The SAG Awards, decided by the industry actors who make up the recently merged SAG-AFTRA union, have been a reliable predictor of Oscar’s acting races since they were created two decades ago, but they’re not as accurate when it comes to forecasting the Best Picture Oscar. Fewer than half of SAG’s winners for Best Ensemble (nine out of 19) have taken the academy’s top honor.
That’s because SAG’s Ensemble award truly emphasizes ensemble acting and isn’t a de facto Best Picture prize, so it doesn’t indicate which way the academy is leaning in that race as well as the Directors Guild or Producers Guild do.
Only rarely do films with small casts prevail: “Sideways” won with only four main cast members, and “Little Miss Sunshine” won with six, though both films were road movies featuring a number of group scenes, highlighting the chemistry among their stars.
“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” won despite SAG’s usual bias against sci-fi and fantasy films, but that was an anomaly: capping one of the most successful franchises in recent film history, “Return of the King” was virtually unbeatable throughout 2003’s awards season.
So does “Into the Woods,” a musical featuring Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, and James Corden. The last musical to win was “Chicago” (2002), which went on to claim the Best Picture Oscar.
Wes Anderson‘s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” boasts Ralph Fiennes and newcomer Tony Revolori in addition to supporting players Adrien Brody, F. Murray Abraham, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton, and Saoirse Ronan.
Which cast do you think will win the SAG Award for Best Film Ensemble? Make your predictions below.