How good are SAG Awards at predicting the four acting winners at the Oscars?

Odds are that three of the four individual film winners at the SAG Awards on February 26 — leads Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) and Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”)  plus “Everything” featured performers Jamie Lee Curtis and Ke Huy Quan — will be collecting Oscars two weeks later.

Over the past 28 years, 83 of the 112 Academy Awards winners in the four acting races had first collected SAG Awards. That success rate of 74% makes this precursor prize a key bellwether to follow when making your 2023 Oscar predictions.

Last year all four SAG champs — leads Will Smith (“King Richard”) and Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”) plus supporting players Troy Kotsur (“CODA”) and Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”) — repeated at the Oscars. The results of the previous four races at both the SAG and Academy Awards breakdown as follows:

Best Actor: 22 of the SAG winners went on to win Oscars (plus Benicio del Toro who prevailed in supporting at Oscars for “Traffic”). In 2021, Chadwick Boseman prevailed here for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” but the late actor lost at the Oscars to Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”). Prior to that there had been three repeat winners in a row: Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”), Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”) and Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”). In 2017, Denzel Washington had ended a 12-year streak when he won at SAG for “Fences” but lost at the Oscars to Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”).

Best Actress: 20 of the SAG winners went on to victory at the Academy Awards. In 2021, Viola Davis won with the guild for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” but lost at the Oscars to Frances McDormand (“Nomadland). Previously McDormand had been the last of previous six SAG champs in a row to pull off this double act when she won in 2018 for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

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Best Supporting Actor: 19 of the SAG choices also added an Oscar to their mantle, including 2021’s dual victor Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Messiah”).

Best Supporting Actress: 20 of the SAG choices were also those of the academy (plus Kate Winslet who won in lead at Oscars for “The Reader”). In 2021, Youn Yuh-jung (“Minari”) prevailed here first before winning at the Oscars.

Historically, the likeliest outcome is that three of the winners at the SAG Awards will repeat at the Oscars. That has happened 11 years in the past 28 years. The 2022 perfect record of 4 for 4 has occurred just nine times. The guild has batted .500 on five occasions and been off the mark in three of the four races another three. It has never been completely wrong.

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