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.
"12 Years a Slave" leads the SAG Awards nominations with four bids, followed by three apiece for "The Butler," "August: Osage County" and "#Dallas Buyers' Club#."
"The Butler," "Dallas Buyers' Club" and "August: Osage County" did better than the experts had predicted, with Forest Whitaker reaping a bid for Best Actor over Leonardo DiCaprio ("The Wolf of Wall Street"") and Robert Redford ("All Is Lost"), who were among the many shocking snubs. "Dallas Buyers' Club" was expected to earn nominations for Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, but it also pulled off a jawdropper for Best Ensemble. Ditto for "August: Osage County," which also snagged a surprise bid for Julia Roberts in addition to its expected nom for Oprah Winfrey.
"The Wolf of Wall Street" and "Inside Llewyn Davis" got completely skunked. Among the actors overlooked: Joaquin Phoenix ("Her") and "American Hustle" stars Christian Bale and Amy Adams. (See full list here.)
There is still Oscar hope for many snubbees. In the past, the SAG Award used to be an uncanny Oscar crystal ball. The two awards usually agreed on 18 to 19 of their 20 acting contenders, but the overlap rate dropped dramatically last year after SAG merged with AFTRA. SAG only picked 14 Oscar contenders and completely overlooked eventual supporting-actor winner Christoph Waltz ("Django Unchained"). Read more here.
Over on the TV side, "Breaking Bad," "The Big Bang Theory" and "Modern Family" led with the most nominations (three). Surprising snubs in the ensemble races: "House of Cards," "Orange Is the New Black," "Girls," "Glee" and "American Horror Story: Coven." Overlooked actors: Damien Lewis ("Homeland"), Jon Hamm ("Mad Men"), Aaron Paul ("Breaking Bad"), Michael J. Fox ("The Michael J. Fox Show") and Robin Williams ("The Crazy Ones").
BEST FILM ENSEMBLE
"12 Years a Slave"
"August: Osage County"
"Dallas Buyers Club"
Bruce Dern, "Nebraska"
Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years a Slave"
Tom Hanks, "Captain Phillips"
Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"
Forest Whitaker, "The Butler"
Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"
Sandra Bullock, "Gravity"
Judi Dench, "Philomena"
Meryl Streep, "August: Osage County"
Emma Thompson, "Saving Mr. Banks"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Barkhad Abdi, "Captain Phillips"
Daniel Bruhl, "Rush"
Michael Fassbender, "12 Years a Slave"
James Gandolfini, "Enough Said"
Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle"
Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years a Slave"
Julia Roberts, "August: Osage County"
June Squibb, "Nebraska"
Oprah Winfrey, "The Butler"
BEST STUNT ENSEMBLE
"All is Lost"
"Fast & Furious 6"
Not necessarily. The film with the most nominations most often wins the top Oscar, but that's not as reliable a predictor of the SAG Awards. Just last year, "Lincoln" and "Les Miserables" led the nominations with four apiece, but the Ensemble award went to "Argo," which only had one other bid, for supporting actor Alan Arkin.
So if total nominations isn't an indicator of support in the top category, what is?
Having a big cast of A-listers is usually an advantage. "Argo" had a deep roster that included star Ben Affleck as well as well liked actors Kyle Chandler, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Victor Garber, Arkin, and more. Other winners, like "The Help," "Crash," "Chicago," "Godford Park," and "Traffic," were also carried to victory thanks to armies of recognizable stars. "Slumdog Millionaire" won without any household names, but it did have the longest nominated cast list that year (11).
The cast of "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" managed to win Best Ensemble without a single other nomination for the film, so often size does matter, but only in terms of the amount of actors, not the amount of nominations.
The SAG Award nominations were mostly as expected, but with several races crowded with viable candidates this year there were still significant omissions, not the least of which were "The Wolf of Wall Street," snubbed in all categories, Robert Redford, who had been expected to pick up a bid for "All is Lost," and Tom Hanks, who earned a leading nomination for "Captain Phillips" but was left out of the supporting race for "Saving Mr. Banks."
See some of the most significant snubs below. For a complete list of the nominations, click here.
NOT NOMINATED: Best Film Ensemble
"Inside Llewyn Davis"
"Saving Mr. Banks"
"The Wolf of Wall Street"
NOT NOMINATED: Best Film Actor
Christian Bale, "American Hustle"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Michael B. Jordan, "Fruitvale Station"
Joaquin Phoenix, "Her"
Robert Redford, "All is Lost"
NOT NOMINATED: Best Film Actress
Amy Adams, "American Hustle"
Berenice Bejo, "The Past"
Adele Exarchopoulos, "Blue is the Warmest Color"
NOT NOMINATED: Best Film Supporting Actor
Bradley Cooper, "American Hustle"
Will Forte, "Nebraska"
John Goodman, "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Tom Hanks, "Saving Mr. Banks"
Jonah Hill, "The Wolf of Wall Street"
The SAG Awards nominations for film work went mostly as expected, with "12 Years a Slave" leading the way with four bids, including Best Ensemble. "The Butler," "August: Osage County," and "Dallas Buyers Club" followed with three apiece.
The nominations for "12 Years" weren't a surprise. We had expected the film to pick up four nominations.
The real story is "Dallas Buyers Club," which was predicted as a major threat for Best Actor (Matthew McConaughey) and Best Supporting Actor (Jared Leto), but it wasn't even among our top 10 contenders for a nominations for Best Ensemble. To pick up that nomination it had to get past the formidable ensembles of "The Wolf of Wall Street," "Inside Llewyn Davis," and "Nebraska," among others. Does this mean the film will have more support than we expect in the Oscar race for Best Picture?
"August: Osage County" and "The Butler" also did slightly better than expected. In addition to "August's" anticipated nominations for Best Ensemble and Best Actress (Meryl Streep), Julia Roberts was recognized with a Supporting Actress nomination, while "Butler's" Forest Whitaker bumped Leonardo DiCaprio ("The Wolf of Wall Street") and Robert Redford ("All is Lost") in the race for Best Actor; it picked up additional bids for Supporting Actress (Oprah Winfrey) and Ensemble.
"American Hustle" didn't do quite as well as we predicted. It earned two bids: Ensemble and Supporting Actress (Jennifer Lawrence). Bradley Cooper was left out of the Best Supporting Actor race, while Amy Adams was absent from the Best Actress lineup.
See the complete list of film nominees below. And to review some ot his year's shocking snubs, click here.
The SAG Award nominations for TV shows and performers went mostly as we predicted. However, as always, there were a few headscratchers (I'm looking at you Rob Lowe) which meant some of the strongest contenders were left out in the cold.
Below, the lists of those programs and performers who won't be in the running on Jan. 18 at the 20th annual edition of these kudos.
NOT NOMINATED: TV Comedy Actor
Andre Braugher, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
Michael J. Fox, "The Michael J. Fox Show"
Tony Hale, "Veep"
Ed ONeill, "Modern Family"
Eric Stonestreet, "Modern Family"
Robin Williams, "The Crazy Ones"
Once again, the Screen Actors Guild Awards echoed the Emmys when it comes to their TV kudos, wwith two surprising caveats -- the guild does not differentiate between lead and supporting performances on the small screen, though they do on the big one. And Alec Baldwin has won the Comedy Actor prize SEVEN years running for his work on "30 Rock" and we don't expect that streak to end this year for the final five episodes. (Read about the shocking snubs here.)
Breaking Bad" reaped three bids, including Best Drama Ensemble. Bryan Cranston is favored to repeat as winner of the Drama Actor race while Emmy supporting champ Anna Gunn could surprise in the combined race here where she faces a fierce challenger in reigning winner Claire Danes ("Homeland").
While "Homeland" did land an Ensemble nod as well as one for Danes, Damian Lewis was snubbed.
Among laffers, "Modern Family' could make SAG history if it wins the Comedy Ensemble award for a fourth time besting three-time champ "Seinfeld" (1994, 1996, 1997). Among its six adult cast members, Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell were the only ones to make the cut. For Burrell, this is his fourth consecutive bid while Bowen bumped out co-star Sofia Vergara who had contended three years running.
Reigning two-time Emmy champ Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("Veep") faces a strong foe in four-time SAG champ Tina Fey who could get a farewell hug for "30 Rock." She won last year and may well join co-star Baldwin in the winner's circle. Both their shows also contend for Comedy Ensemble.
With surprise Emmy champ Laura Linney ("The Big C: Hereafter") is not among the five women in contention on the movie/mini side, the edge could go to Elisabeth Moss for her starring role in the seven-hour miniseries "Top of the Lake" over featured player Holly Hunter.
Below, the complete list of nominees on the TV side.
Nominees for the 20th annual edition of the Screen Actors Guild Awards were announced Wednesday (Dec. 11). The awards will be handed out on Jan. 18 during a ceremony simulcast on TBS and TNT.
I loved "Her" when I saw it a couple of months ago at the New York Film Festival, but wasn't sure how it would go over, even with critics. After all, I had been similarly enthusiastic about Spike Jonze's last film, "Where the Wild Things Are," which got solid reviews and did okay at the box office, but received just a smattering of support during awards season.
Sure, "Her" is not entirely out of character for the National Board of Review, which has made edgy choices in recent years like "Zero Dark Thirty" (2012), "The Social Network" (2010), and "No Country for Old Men" (2007). However, the NBR is notable for picking films that end up on Oscar's list of Best Picture nominees.
Indeed, NBR's pick has at least been nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars for the past 12 years in a row. And only three winners from the last 30 years ("Empire of the Sun," 1987; "Gods and Monsters," 1998; "Quills," 2000) didn't make the cut with the academy.
So does that mean Oscar voters will like "Her" more than we thought it would, or will the NBR winner miss out on an Oscar bid for the first time in more than a decade?
That "Her" won over the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., where it tied with "Gravity," is even more important, and not just because of LAFCA's track record – it has only been five years since one of their winners failed to earn an Oscar bid ("WALL-E" in 2008) – but because winning two awards in the first week of an onslaught of awards brings it to the attention of academy members who might not otherwise have considered it essential viewing.
But it's one thing to impress the critics with a futuristic romance, and quite another to impress the academy. Critics tend to embrace the new, while Oscar voters usually stick with the familiar. Will the surge of support for this film inevitably end after the critics have had their say?
Maybe not. There's a chance the film could strike a chord even with older members of the academy wary of new technology. After all, lovelorn Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) has his own reservations of his about his cyber-love with his computer (Scarlett Johansson) and gets serious push-back from his ex-wife Rooney Mara, who may speak for some members of the audience.
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