Robert Redford (“All is Lost“) and Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Wolf of Wall Street“) were among the surprise omissions at the SAG nominations this morning. Does this mean they’ve lost any chance at Oscar? Tom O’Neil says no, but I think there’s cause for them to be concerned.
SAG recently merged with its sister union AFTRA, and that has changed the makeup of the organization. Could that be responsible for last year’s disparity between SAG and Oscar nominees? The two groups only agreed on 14 of the nominees, fewer than usual, and Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained“) became only the second actor to win Oscar without being nominated first at SAG. (Marcia Gay Harden in “Pollock” is the only other example.)
It’s impossible to know if the nominations would have been drastically different without the additional AFTRA members in the mix, or which actors in particular might have been helped or hurt. Who is voting is a big piece of the puzzle, but the more important question is why more of them didn’t vote for Redford or DiCaprio.
“The Wolf of Wall Street” didn’t start screening until a week or two ago. Though it did screen for SAG, did enough of the nominating committee get to it in time? It’s possible its snubs are evidence that voters disliked the film, but it could be an anomaly like “Django Unchained” last year. Eventually “Django” rebounded at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, and Oscars, where it won Supporting Actor and Original Screenplay. If “Wolf” is well represented at later events, DiCaprio could get back in the mix, but it’ll need strong support from other groups.
What about “All is Lost”? The film started screening ages ago and opened theatrically in late October. There’s no excuse for SAG voters to have missed it, so its exclusion may be more telling. If we can be sure voters had access to it, why didn’t they rally behind its star?
Maybe they didn’t want to spend 106 minutes with a man on a leaky boat who barely says a word. Or if they all did see it, maybe they didn’t respond as strongly as critics did to the Redford’s mostly stoic performance. If anyone should be concerned by these nominations, it’s him, because when the acting community had an opportunity to honor one of its living legends in his biggest showcase role in years, they didn’t. This is the same acting community, mind you, that gave Betty White two awards for “Hot in Cleveland.”
Redford can’t afford to miss a single nomination from here on out. If BAFTA, the Globes, or Critics’ Choice also brush him off, he’s probably out of luck for the Oscar win, and may even be vulnerable for a nomination.
Are DiCaprio and Redford really at risk at the Oscars? Or is Tom right that missing out on SAG is a fluke? Post your comments below.