29th SAG Awards Winner Predictions

The 29th Screen Actors Guild Awards air this Sunday evening and they are often a reliable preview of what direction the Academy will go. In their races for Actress, Actor, and Supporting Actor – there has been an 8/10 correlation over the past decade for SAG/Oscar matches. With Supporting Actress – it is 9/10.

Let’s walk through each of the six categories with my predicted winner and a runner-up, shall we?

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture


Babylon, The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, Women Talking

Since the SAGs began in 1995, only one winner (1996’s The Birdcage) wasn’t at least nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. That rules out Babylon. I think (like some earlier precursors) this comes down to Everything v Banshees. I’m majorly tempted to say Banshees as the voters could see it as a way to honor the four thespians nominated in the individual races below. However, I’m giving a very slight edge to SAG doing the same for Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis, and others for Everything.

Predicted Winner: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: The Banshees of Inisherin

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role


Cate Blanchett (Tár), Viola Davis (The Woman King), Ana de Armas (Blonde), Danielle Deadwyler (Till), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

SAG could bestow Yeoh with the trophy, but Blanchett’s work may simply be undeniable at this juncture. If Banshees ends up taking Ensemble, I do think it increases Yeoh’s chances here.

Predicted Winner: Cate Blanchett, Tár

Runner-Up: Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role


Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Bill Nighy (Living), Adam Sandler (Hustle)

I feel like Farrell really needed that BAFTA last weekend and he didn’t emerge victorious. So it’s a two-person race between Butler and Fraser. And I’m struggling with this one. I could easily envision fellow actors crowning Fraser’s dramatic comeback that includes a Critics Choice award. Yet Butler has seen an impressive run that includes the Golden Globe and BAFTA. This is a coin flip, but I’ll say Butler has a little more momentum.

Predicted Winner: Austin Butler, Elvis

Runner-Up: Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role


Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), Hong Chau (The Whale), Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin), Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

A quintet that matches the Oscar five, Condon disrupted the possibility of Bassett sweeping when she took the BAFTA. They’re the two likeliest winners. I will say Curtis scoring an upset is feasible. I think the smart money is on Bassett with Condon as the runner-up.

Predicted Winner: Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Runner-Up: Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role


Paul Dano (The Fabelmans), Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin), Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin), Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Eddie Redmayne (The Good Nurse)

BAFTA again had a trick up their sleeve when Keoghan surprised over Quan. I think SAG will follow the lead of the Globes and Critics Choice and bring the latter back to the stage.

Predicted Winner: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin

Outstanding by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture


Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Top Gun: Maverick, The Woman King

The only pic that I don’t think has a shot is Avatar because the original in 2009 didn’t even land a nom. 2018’s Black Panther won so Wakanda is certainly viable. Those pilots from Maverick did same amazing stuff though. They’re my pick.

Predicted Winner: Top Gun: Maverick

Runner-Up: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

And there you have it! I’ll have a recap up Sunday evening with my thoughts on what happened compared to my predictions.

2021 SAG Awards Winner Predictions

The SAG Awards air this Sunday night and I’m here to give you my take. For some context, I went 4/5 in my projections from 2017-2019 and 3/5 last year. The winners here will certainly help themselves if they’re nominated for Oscars (as you’ll see – not all are).

Let’s get to it!

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture




Don’t Look Up

House of Gucci

King Richard


I could offer an argument for anything but Gucci (partly because The Birdcage from 1996 is the only winner that wasn’t nominated for BP at the Oscars). The rest of the pics are BP players with the Academy. Belfast is the most likely to win (notice frontrunner The Power of the Dog isn’t here). Even though I’m not projecting its lone nominee (Balfe) to take the SAG and it was a surprise that Ciaran Hinds didn’t make it, I’ll say the cast is ultimately honored as a whole. CODA is right on its heels.

Predicted Winner: Belfast

Runner-Up: CODA

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role


Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter

Lady Gaga, House of Gucci

Jennifer Hudson, Respect

Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos


Welcome to the confounding world of Best Actress in the 2021 awards season and this is easily the trickiest race to figure out. The Oscar/SAG match is 3/5. Gaga and Hudson didn’t make the Acadeny’s cut in favor of Penelope Cruz (Parallel Mothers) and Kristen Stewart (Spencer).

Let’s start with Gaga. The SAG winner in this race has never not been nominated for an Oscar so the superstar would certainly make history if she takes this. That stat discourages me from calling her name, but who knows? All hopefuls here would be first-time winners in this category (Hudson took Supporting Actress 15 years back in Dreamgirls). She seems least likely to win. So we’re down to Chastain, Colman, and Kidman. All could prevail. Kidman took the Golden Globe and a podium trip could solidify her status as the Oscar frontrunner. Chastain’s showy role could be honored and it’s a bit of a coin flip for me. I’ll give Kidman an ever so slight edge.

Predicted Winner: Nicole Kidman

Runner-Up: Jessica Chastain

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role


Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog

Andrew Garfield, Tick Tick… Boom!

Will Smith, King Richard

Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth


Not complicated like Actress as there’s a 5 for 5 lineup with the Academy’s nominees. Unlike the Oscars, I do buy into the theory that Garfield might be more of a spoiler than Cumberbatch to Smith. The SAG folks could reward Garfield’s showy role. That said, I’m not betting against Smith.

Predicted Winner: Will Smith

Runner-Up: Andrew Garfield

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role


Caitriona Balfe, Belfast

Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley

Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog

Ruth Negga, Passing


There’s only a 2 for 5 symmetry with the big show and that’s DeBose and Dunst. Balfe, Blanchett, and Negga are in over Academy picks Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter), Judi Dench (Belfast), and Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard). I do think it’s between the Oscar contestants. Dunst is a threat though I’m going with DeBose sweeping until I see different.

Predicted Winner: Ariana DeBose

Runner-Up: Kirsten Dunst

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role


Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar

Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza

Troy Kotsur, CODA

Jared Leto, House of Gucci

Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog


Like Supporting Actress, just a 2 for 5 (Kotsur, Smit-McPhee) match. Affleck, Cooper, and Leto got SAG love instead of Oscar selections Ciaran Hinds (Belfast), Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog), and J.K. Simmons (Being the Ricardos). And I’ll also say it’s between the two Academy players. This is difficult because I could easily see Smit-McPhee sweeping (he won the Globe). Yet I have a sneaking suspicion the thespians may go for Kotsur. With little confidence, I’ll pick that.

Predicted Winner: Troy Kotsur

Runner-Up: Kodi Smit-McPhee

I’ll have reaction up on the ceremony Sunday night!

Movie Perfection: Did Ya Smile?!?!?

Gene Hackman can be very funny onscreen (rewatch The Birdcage or The Royal Tenenbaums or his sole scene in Young Frankenstein for a reminder). Yet if there’s a trait that I most frequently attribute to the two-time Oscar winner, it’s intensity. Few actors display it in the way that Hackman does. We can see it in The French Connection or Crimson Tide and Unforgiven. 

Nowhere is that hair raising intensity more potent than in a barbershop sequence in 1988’s Mississippi Burning. A historical drama based on real events, the pic recounts the investigation into the murders of three activists in 1964. It casts Hackman as an FBI agent who cut his teeth as a sheriff in the title state. He’s paired with a younger agent (Willem Dafoe) and the two don’t exactly see eye to eye when it comes to interrogation tactics.

This is most evident during the aggressive questioning of Brad Dourif’s small town deputy. Hackman’s Agent Anderson does so with by employing close shave methods and I’m confident Dourif didn’t have to act much to look as terrified as he does. It is my favorite example in his long and impressive filmography as to just how menacing Hackman can be. This time around, you’re rooting for him. The scene also expertly shows (in that brief glimpse of when Dafoe tries to enter the business) the difference between the two protagonist’s means to their ends.

Mississippi Burning earned seven Oscar nominations and is notable for being Frances McDormand’s first nod as Dourif’s abused wife that Anderson assists. He’s not in the mood to help her husband in that barber shop. He’s out to scare the daylights out of him and the whiskers off his racist face. It’s a sequence that’s Movie Perfection due to Hackman’s brilliance and I smile just thinking about it.

Shoulda Been Oscar Contenders: Nathan Lane in The Birdcage

And now for a new category on this here blog where I’ll be covering performances and films that I feel merited some Oscar attention. I’m calling it “Shoulda Been Oscar Contenders” and I’ll start with a breakout comedic turn from the mid 90s.

Nathan Lane was mostly known as a stage performer in 1996. While he was featured in supporting turns in a few features, his best known cinematic work was as the voice of Timon in Disney’s 1994 animated blockbuster The Lion King. That all changed two years later when he was cast as Albert, life partner to Robin Williams in The Birdcage from director Mike Nichols. A remake of the 1978 French hit La Cage aux Folles, the pic pleased audiences and critics alike.

Even with the inclusion of high profile thespians like Williams, Gene Hackman, and Dianne Wiest (all previous or eventual Oscar recipients), it was Lane’s performance that stole the show. The Hollywood Foreign Press took notice and nominated him for Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy (he lost to Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire).

My guess is that the Academy considered him in the supporting race, but he didn’t make the cut. Looking over the five nominees in 1996, I would easily take out James Woods (Ghosts of Mississippi) to make room for Lane. This is the first post in this new series, but I know it won’t be the last to hone in on a performance played mostly for laughs. The Academy is notorious for ignoring those roles. They shouldn’t have this time and you’ll see examples of others quite soon.

2020 SAG Awards Winner Predictions

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards airs this Easter Sunday evening in an abridged hour long ceremony and, as usual, it could carry significant Oscar implications as to who the frontrunners truly are. That means it’s time for me to put my forecasting hat on and give it my best shot with predictions.

Let’s break it down category by category, shall we? I’ll provide my runner-up selection as well.

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Nominees: Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Minari, One Night in Miami, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Analysis: Interestingly, the last two films in the big race (Black Panther, Parasite) won without a single nomination in the individual acting races. That had only happened two times previously between 1995-2017 with 1997’s The Full Monty and 2003’s Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. That will not happen for 2020’s selections as all five have at least one performer contending in a separate category.

However, in a rare occurrence, only two of the five ensembles here landed a Best Picture nomination from the Academy. Those are Minari and The Trial of the Chicago 7. Only once in SAG’s history has a movie emerged victorious here without a BP Oscar nod (1996’s The Birdcage). This serves as my annual reminder that SAG picks the best cast and not the best movie.

Truth be told, Da 5 Bloods is the only pic that I believe has little chance at winning here. Yet Ma Rainey and Miami are likely at a disadvantage due to precedent. That leaves us with Minari and Trial. The latter has seen its Oscar momentum stalled in recent weeks, but its sprawling cast could finally get the major precursor victory that it’s been missing. I’m tempted to pick it and it might be the safe choice.

Minari, on the other hand, has gained steamed recently and emerged as a potential upset winner at the Oscars against Nomadland (as has Promising Young Woman, which missed here). I’m choosing to go with the picture with the hotter hand.

Predicted Winner: Minari

Runner-Up: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees: Amy Adams (Hillbilly Elegy), Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Frances McDormand (Nomadland), Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman)

Analysis: The Golden Globe winner in this category (Andra Day for The United States vs. Billie Holiday) isn’t featured here. Therefore we can take a precursor sweep off the table for Best Actress. Adams is the sole nominee without an Oscar nomination so she’s out of contention. Mulligan has the Critics Choice Award and is looked at as the prohibitive favorite from the Academy. She’s the most likely SAG winner. Davis and McDormand could upset, but I’m relatively confident with this pick.

Predicted Winner: Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Runner-Up: Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees: Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Gary Oldman (Mank), Steven Yeun (Minari)

Analysis: There’s a five for five match here with the Academy, but I find this SAG lineup to be a bit more complicated due to other factors. While Boseman has taken the Globes and Critics Choice, his nod in Supporting Actor with the actors guild for Da 5 Bloods (if he wins there) opens the door for either Ahmed or Hopkins. That wouldn’t totally shock me, but it’s hard to predict against Boseman and I won’t.

Predicted Winner: Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Runner-Up: Anthony Hopkins, The Father

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees: Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Olivia Colman (The Father), Yuh-jung Youn (Minari), Helena Zengel (News of the World)

Analysis: Now this is a tough one. The Supporting Actress derby in the precursors has been a true head scratcher. Like in Best Actress, Golden Globe winner Jodie Foster (The Mauritanian) is nowhere to be found (she missed at the Oscars too). Colman and Zengel are the two performers who are highly unlikely to take the prize. This is a genuine three person race between Bakalova, Close, and Youn. Bakalova seems to have momentum with a recent Critics Choice victory. SAG could certainly opt for Close’s baity role (the fact that they nominated her costar Amy Adams lends credence to that). Youn is without a major precursor, but Minari‘s upswing could sweep her in.

Simply put, I’ve very torn here. With Close, the Academy’s narrative for a win is that she’s without an Oscar and is looked at as overdue. SAG, on the other hand, has bestowed trophies for her twice including just two years ago for The Wife. Bakalova has the disadvantage of being in a comedy, but that hindrance may not matter much in this wide open field. I’m left with buying the Minari momentum for Youn. However, I can’t stress enough how feasible a win is for all three actresses.

Predicted Winner: Yuh-jung Youn, Minari

Runner-Up: Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Chadwick Boseman (Da 5 Bloods), Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah), Jared Leto (The Little Things), Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami)

Analysis: This one is far simpler than Supporting Actress as Kaluuya has racked up the Globe and Critics Choice and is the heavy favorite. The only wrinkle, as mentioned above, is if SAG voters decide to honor Boseman here instead of in Best Actor. It probably won’t happen, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

Predicted Winner: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

Runner-Up: Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods

And there you have it! I’ll have reaction up on Sunday evening. Until then…