SAG Award as Oscar crystal ball: Is it broken forever?

Attention, Oscar nuts: Don’t worry too much about the SAG Awards’ snubs of Robert Redford (“All is Lost“), Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Wolf of Wall Street“) and others.

It’s possible that today’s SAG Award nominations won’t tell us too much about the Oscar nominations ahead. Ever since SAG and AFTRA merged last year, there seems to be less of a magic link between the two kudos. Hell, SAG didn’t even nominate Christoph Waltz (“Inglorious Bastards”) last year. The only other time that SAG failed to nominate an ultimate Oscar champ was in 2000 and that was just a weird fluke. Even the Golden Globes had accidentally skipped over Marcia Gay Harden (“Pollock”). Last year the Globes not only gave Waltz a bid, they gave him the gold.

Normally, 18 to 19 of the SAG nominees end up on the Oscar list, but last year they only agreed upon 14 contenders. In addition to Waltz, the SAG nominating committee snubbed all of these eventual Academy Award contenders: Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master”), Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”), Quevenzhane Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”), Amy Adams (“The Master”) and Jacki Weaver (“Silver Linings Playbook”).

When winners are unveiled, they agreed upon 3 out 4 of the champs, as they usually do, with Tommy Lee Jones (“Lincoln”) prevailing instead of absent Waltz.

SAG has about 100,000 members, all participants of the acting profession. The merger added 65,000 AFTRA members, who aren’t all actors. Hell, up till a few years ago, I belonged to AFTRA because of all of my frequent appearances as a pop-culture commentator on TV. If the SAG Award is supposed to be a peer-group award – and it is – then someone like me should not be voting, frankly. By letting non-actors vote, the SAG award results are thrown. By how much? This is only the second year of post-merger awards, so that answer is unclear.


8 thoughts on “SAG Award as Oscar crystal ball: Is it broken forever?

  1. Actually this article is quite misleading. After only one year of SAG-AFTRA you can’t draw conclusions like this one. And to say that normally 18 to 19 of the SAG nominees end up nominated on Oscar nominations morning is a lie as well.

    1994 – 12/20 (lowest ever)
    1995 – 13/20 (lower than last year)
    1996 – 13/20 (lower than last year)
    1997 – 17/20
    1998 – 17/20
    1999 – 15/20
    2000 – 17/20
    2001 – 14/20 (just as low as last year)
    2002 – 16/20
    2003 – 15/20 and Keisha Castle-Hughes (the 15th) was in a different category
    2004 – 16/20
    2005 – 17/20
    2006 – 19/20
    2007 – 15/20
    2008 – 18/20
    2009 – 19/20
    2010 – 17/20
    2011 – 17/20
    2012 – 14/20

  2. Let’s not forget AFTRA also included most major recording artists (some who play instruments may be represented by AFM instead, but very few). Maybe the likes of Britney & Rihanna were already voting as dual members of SAG & AFTRA pre-merger, but a lot of recording artists with NO acting aspirations ended up in SAG-AFTRA post-merger. And the low years Zooey cites, especially the early years, look to be anomalies; the significant differences between the noms and the consensus (few experts predicted Forest Whitaker, Daniel Bruhl or James Gandolfini) could be an anomaly *OR* AFTRA-member influence (especially for Gandolfini).

  3. Waltz was snubbed because he campaigned for lead and not supporting (where I would’ve picked him over all of the nominees other than Daniel Day-Lewis and Joaquin Phoenix). I think this means Redford won’t win the Oscar this year though he could still be nominated, ditto DiCaprio.

  4. The crystal ball that is broken forever is the one from all the “experts” that wrongly predicted Robert Redford would win the Oscar and in special… dismissing Bruce Dern’s chances.

  5. I think the crystal ball is hurt most by scheduling. I mean Hustle was late, Wolf had no screeners, Django had no screeners either…SAG should move date a couple weeks forward. Oscars dont even have ballots in hands yet.

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