SAG Awards nominations: Good (Jennifer Aniston), bad (no ‘Gone Girl’) & ugly (‘Selma’ snub’)

For the awards-obsessed editors of Gold Derby, we couldn’t hardly wait until awards season arrived. Now that the Screen Actors Guild Award nominations have been unveiled, here are our collective thoughts on the highs, lows and everything in between for the SAG announcement. 

Related: Complete list of 2014 SAG Awards nominations

For many, Jennifer Aniston’s nomination for “Cake” will be a surprise this morning (she had 100/1 odds to receive a nomination), but ever since I saw the movie I knew she’d be nominated. After all, why would all those SAG members (which include film and TV voters) snub their best “Friend”? – Marcus Dixon

I really love surprises, so sue me. Jake Gyllenhaal delivered one of the best performances of the year and his best ever, so his inclusion was very welcome. But even more of a surprise, Naomi Watts‘ nomination shows the SAG nom com looking outside the pundit-dictated square. – Rob Licuria

SAG is keeping the races for both Best Actor and Best Actress interesting. By nominating Steve Carell (“Foxcatcher“) and Jake Gyllenhaal (“Nightcrawler“) for roles that haven’t been occupying the conversation recently and snubbing David Oyelowo (“Selma”), Timothy Spall (“Mr. Turner“) and Bradley Cooper (“American Sniper”), SAG is showing us how truly cutthroat this year’s competition is. – Charles Bright

Even though their nominations were expected, I am thrilled for the veteran star comeback by Michael Keaton and a character actor like J.K. Simmons with a career performance. Also, it is great to see both Jake Gyllenhaal and his sister Maggie Gyllenhaal nominated in the same year. – Chris Beachum

Foxcatcher” snags nods for Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo in the Lead and Supporting Actor categories, respectively. This is a huge boost for the film, which due to its grim subject matter may have a tough road to go on its way towards the Oscars. The same is true of Jake Gyllenhaal in “Nightcrawler,” who for a while now has been just outside of our expert’s predicted top five for Best Actor with odds of 100/1: if the Globes nominated him tomorrow, expect those odds to improve. – Zach Laws

Jennifer Aniston needed a big push for her small indie film “Cake” from upstart distributor Cinelou Films. Though some of the reviews have been mixed, the SAG members at the screening I attended last month ate it up, and so did I, so I guess I should have seen this coming. She’s one of Hollywood’s most underrated actors, and this recognition is well-deserved. – Daniel Montgomery

“The Good Girl” reunion in the Lead Male and Female Actor categories for Jake Gyllenhaal (“Nightcrawler”) and Jennifer Aniston (“Cake”), both deserving nominees scoring their first ever Film Lead SAG nominations. – Ralph Galvan

Related: SAG Awards snubs include Jessica Chastain, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper

The shut out of what should be an awards heavyweight “Selma,” and the lone nomination for
Gone Girl” lead actress Rosamund Pike stings. SAG voters can’t vote for everything, but they should’ve made more room for these two films. – Rob Licuria

Jessica Chastain was snubbed despite having several films in the running, but the omission of her performance in “Interstellar” is the most frustrating, because the industry hardly ever recognizes great performances in effects-heavy films. – Daniel Montgomery

While I knew it would happen, I am never happy to see the tiny ensembles in that category. This year, it is “Boyhood” after others like “Million Dollar Baby” and “The Hurt Locker.” – Chris Beachum

I’ll never understand how something like “The Grand Budapest Hotel” can have one of the five best cast ensembles of the year when none of its cast members are good enough to receive individual nominations. Huh? – Marcus Dixon

No Best Ensemble nomination for “Gone Girl”? Lead Actress Rosamund Pike was recognized as expected, but under the guidance of director David Fincher, stars Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, and Tyler Perry gave unexpected performances in roles they wouldn’t normally be thought of for, while Carrie Coon and Kim Dickens gave two of the many rich performances by actresses in the film. This doesn’t necessarily hurt its Best Picture chances, but it doesn’t help either. – Zach Laws

No Chadwick Boseman being nominated for Best Actor. I know it’s an insane long shot that he would be nominated for almost anything at this point, but he deserves to be seen as a serious contender for portraying Mr. James Brown in “Get On Up” and I will continue to beat that drum until someone drapes a cape over me and carries me off stage. – Charles Bright

Bad films with big campaigns are taking over SAG nom com’s minds. “The Imitation Game” scored three Film nominations when far more deserving and lesser campaigned actors and ensembles such as Miles Teller (“Whiplash”) and “American Sniper” were left out. – Ralph Galvan

Related: Forums posters rant and rave about SAG nominations

The complete shut-out of “Selma:” a Best Ensemble nod was maybe a long-shot, but snubbing Leading Man David Oyelowo in the juicy role of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a major setback for the actor’s campaign. Ditto Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson in Supporting. Granted, the film may not have been seen by too many SAG members (it just started screening), but Oyelowo and Wilkinson are gonna need either Golden Globe, BFCA or BAFTA nods to stay afloat. – Zach Laws

The snubs of Amy Adams (“Big Eyes”), Laura Dern (“Wild”) and David Oyelowo (“Selma”) are inexcusable. Forget nominations, this trio of stars gave performances worthy of WINS. – Marcus Dixon

There were no curveballs in the Best Cast category. Yes, “The Theory of Everything” was ranked at 21 in our predictions center, but it is an expected nominee for Best Picture so it’s nomination isn’t too surprising. But you can usually count on some really left field nominees in this category like previous nominees “Little Voice,” “Waking Ned Devine,” “In America,” “The Station Agent,” “Hustle & Flow,” “3:10 to Yuma” and “Dallas Buyers Club.” There were plenty of options they could have gone with such as “Pride,” “Inherent Vice,” “Gone Girl,” “Unbroken” and even “Interstellar.” Come on SAG! Let’s shake things up a bit! – Charles Bright 

“Selma’s” exclusion could be the result of it not being available for enough SAG voters — the same thing happened to “Django Unchained” a couple of years ago, and “The Wolf of Wall Street” last year — but its absence from the list is still galling, given the depth of its cast, the strength of their performances, and the shocking lack of diversity in the overall film nominations (there are hardly any people of color even among the nominated ensemble casts). Awards groups are so eager to get out in front of the rest, perhaps it would be better to extend the voting period for a couple weeks than to leave out deserving contenders SAG members haven’t seen yet. – Daniel Montgomery

Rene Russo (“Nightcrawler”). In what should have been her comeback year having given the third best supporting actress performance of the year – behind Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”) and Meryl Streep (“Into the Woods”) – the acting vet was snubbed by an awards committee full of her peers. What the hell, SAG? – Ralph Galvan

Do SAG voters not see ANY foreign language films? At all? So the only worthy films are those made in the USA or UK. Got it. Take that, Marion Cotillard, whose Oscar trajectory hit a big roadblock this morning. – Rob Licuria

More News from GoldDerby