“Bombshell,” “The Irishman” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” led the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for film with four bids apiece when they were announced on Wednesday morning, December 11. Check out the complete list of nominations here.
“Irishman” earned a nomination for Cast in a Motion Picture, plus two nominations for Male Actor in a Supporting Role (Al Pacino and Joe Pesci) and Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture. But just like at the Golden Globes, Robert De Niro was snubbed for playing the title role, which is even more surprising at this event since De Niro is set to receive the Life Achievement Award from the guild. Perhaps the SAG nominating committee thought he’s well enough taken care of there.
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” also contends for Cast in a Motion Picture, plus Male Actor in a Leading Role (Leonardo DiCaprio), Male Actor in a Supporting Role (Brad Pitt) and Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture.
“Bombshell” took us by surprise, exceeding our expectations with its four noms instead of just the two we were predicting. We were right that it would be nominated for Female Actor in a Leading Role (Charlize Theron) and Female Actor in a Supporting Role (Margot Robbie), but we didn’t expect Nicole Kidman to join Robbie in the supporting race, and “Bombshell’s” bid for Cast in a Motion Picture was a bit unexpected too.
Rounding out the top category are the ensemble casts of “Jojo Rabbit” and “Parasite.” “Jojo” has one other nomination for Scarlett Johansson‘s supporting performance (Johansson is also nominated as a lead in “Marriage Story”), while “Parasite’s” only bid is for its cast.
These SAG Award nominations were decided by the 2,500 members of the nominating committee, who are selected at random every year to determine the contenders. The winners will now be voted on by all 160,000 members of the SAG-AFTRA union representing actors, journalists, radio personalities, recording artists, TV hosts, voice-over actors, and other industry professionals.
Unlike other awards groups, the SAG Awards don’t give out Best Picture, per se. their top prize honors the performances of ensemble casts, and that’s an important distinction. Fewer than half of the casts that won SAG Awards (11 out of 24) correspond to the Oscar winner for Best Picture. But since many of the industry insiders who decide these awards are also members of the motion picture academy, these kudos are often still a significant preview of things to come. There have only been three Oscar champs that weren’t at least nominated for the top prize by the Screen Actors Guild: “Braveheart” (1995), “The Shape of Water” (2017) and “Green Book” (2018).
Since those last two exceptions to the rule were in the last two years, we may be seeing a break from the previous correlation between the two awards. Things have changed for the motion picture academy: the membership has expanded, and Best Picture is decided by a preferential ballot rather than a simple plurality vote. so the old rules may not apply. But winning individual acting awards from this group is still a major stepping stone if you’re trying to win an Oscar: the two groups have agreed on 35 out of 40 individual acting winners from the last 10 years (87.5%).
What do you think of the SAG Award nominations, and how many of these contenders do you think we’ll see at the Oscars?