2018 SAG Awards nominations analysis: Who’s up (‘Get Out’) & who’s down (‘The Shape of Water’) in Oscar race

Did the 2018 SAG Award nominations just transform the Oscar race? They might have. This is the first big awards season event decided by industry insiders, so while the Critics’ Choice Awards and Golden Globes are important in raising a film’s profile during the Oscar race, the SAG Awards are our first indication of what Hollywood actually thinks. And what they think is surprising. Check out the complete list of nominations here.

These nominations were decided by 2,500 randomly selected members of the SAG-AFTRA union. Winners will be voted on by all 121,000 members, many of who overlap with the motion picture academy. Consequently, no film since “Braveheart” (1995) has won Best Picture at the Oscars without a corresponding SAG Award nomination for its ensemble cast. And the strong majority of SAG Award nominees and winners go on to repeat at the Oscars. So how do these crucially important kudos affect this year’s Oscar race? Below, find out who’s up, who’s down, and who’s in about the same position they were in yesterday.

UP

“The Big Sick” — Things were looking dicey earlier this week after this acclaimed romantic comedy was completely shut out at the Golden Globes, but it rebounded where it counted by earning SAG Award nominations for its ensemble and for supporting actress Holly Hunter. It’s officially back in the race.

Get Out — This satirical horror film did earn nominations at the Golden Globes, but that was a split decision since Jordan Peele was snubbed for his screenplay and direction. Now being embraced by the industry’s actors puts the film back on solid footing. On paper it’s an unlikely contender for awards, so now we know for sure the Hollywood elite are responding in a big way.

“Mudbound” — The SAG Awards may turn out to be an anomaly for “Mudbound” since these awards have been far more hospitable to Netflix than the Oscars — “Beasts of No Nation” also earned a nomination here for its ensemble before being skunked by the motion picture academy — but its two nominations are nevertheless a good sign for the film and its supporting standout Mary J. Blige.

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” — This indie film over-performed at the Golden Globes with six nominations, and now it’s the top SAG Award nominee with four bids. We expected it to earn noms for Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell. The additional nominations for Woody Harrelson and the ensemble cast were significant bonuses.

DOWN

“Call Me by Your Name” — You would think an intimate romantic drama with such an emphasis on its characters would be a hit with the actors who vote for the SAG Awards, but its only nomination is for lead star Timothee Chalamet. Supporting actors Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg both missed the cut, and it missed out on a nomination for its ensemble as well.

“Dunkirk” — It wasn’t widely expected to earn a SAG nomination for its regular ensemble cast, but given the history of the SAG Awards as a reliable predictor of Oscars, it probably needed a bid in that top category to still be considered the frontrunner for Best Picture. It did earn a bid for its stunt ensemble, so all is not lost, and was nominated for Best Film Drama and Best Film Director at the Golden Globes, so it’s doing well enough to stay in the conversation, but it might need a boost to stay competitive.

“The Post” — It was completely shut out by the SAG Awards. It’s completely possible that voters just didn’t see it in time, but it’s still a bad sign since it illustrates how difficult it is for films to build momentum on the awards scene when they’re released so late in the year. No December release has won the Best Picture Oscar since “Million Dollar Baby” (2004).

The Shape of Water — Everything was going right for Guillermo Del Toro‘s romantic fairy tale, topping the Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe nominations, but it under-performed at the SAG Awards, earning bids for Sally Hawkins and Richard Jenkins, but not for Octavia Spencer or the ensemble cast. Will that prove to be a fatal blow for its Oscar chances, or just a slight bump in the road?

ABOUT THE SAME

“Darkest Hour”Gary Oldman‘s lead performance as Winston Churchill continues to be the only recognition for this period biopic. That isn’t great news for the film’s Best Picture chances, but it’s no better or worse than the film performed at the Golden Globes, so these nominations probably don’t change much for this film’s Oscar fortunes.

“Lady Bird” — With three nominations — for Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, and the ensemble cast — this is the second most nominated film at the SAG Awards, and it performed as well as most of us expected it to. This keeps it in a strong position in the Oscar race, especially after a couple of other high-profile films missed all-important nominations for their casts.

Be sure to make your SAG predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on January 21. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 SAG Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our movie forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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