The quartet of ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ could tie this SAG Awards record

If size really doesn’t matter, then one film has the edge to win ensemble at the Screen Actors Guild Awards: “The Banshees of Inisherin.” Because of the group’s stringent rules stipulating only actors with their own title cards are eligible for the prize, the dark comedy boasts just four nominated cast members: Kerry Condon, Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan. And if “Banshees” prevails, it’ll tie the record for smallest cast to win the award.

“Sideways” (2004) has the record all to itself right now. Thomas Haden Church, Paul Giamatti, Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh were part of its winning ensemble, and the quartet triumphed in a year of small casts in a field of six. “Hotel Rwanda” also had four nominated cast members, while “Million Dollar Baby” had just three. The boxing drama and “Beasts of No Nation” (2015) hold the record for smallest nominated cast. Only one of the six nominees, “The Aviator,” hit double digits with 10 nominated cast members — half the size of the largest winning cast, “Gosford Park” (2001). “Finding Neverland” had nine and “Ray” had eight.

“Banshees'” competition doesn’t possess incredibly large ensembles either. “Babylon” and “Women Talking” feature 13 and 11 nominated cast members, respectively, and the ensemble bids are their sole nominations. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” has eight and “The Fabelmans” has seven. The former is way out in first place in the odds at 16/5, while “Banshees” is comfortably behind in second at 19/5, followed by “The Fabelmans,” “Women Talking” and “Babylon,” all at 9/2.

SEE ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ makes it 4 years in a row of double noms in the Best Supporting Actor Oscar category

That’s not surprising since “Everything Everywhere” and “Banshees” topped nominations at five apiece and are 1-2 in the Oscar race. They are the fourth and fifth films to earn five nominations after “Shakespeare in Love” (1998), “Chicago” (2002) and “Doubt” (2008). This is where things get complicated. Every five-time nominee so far has won at least one award. At the moment, “Everything Everywhere” is predicted to win three (ensemble, actress for Michelle Yeoh and supporting actor for Ke Huy Quan), but “Banshees” is expected to win exactly zero. Farrell is in third place in lead actor behind the transformational turns by Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”) and Austin Butler (“Elvis”), Condon is second in supporting actress to Golden Globe and Critics Choice champ Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”), and Gleeson and Keoghan are running 2-3 in supporting actor, as they have been all season to Quan.

But could the “Banshees” cast members’ also-ran statuses in their own categories help them in ensemble? You know — voters might not have any of them as their top choice individually, but they could vote for the “Banshees” gang in ensemble, especially if they feel like they’ve covered “Everything Everywhere” in other categories. “Banshees” is the first SAG-nominated cast to have all of its eligible cast members earn individual bids, so there’s clearly a lot of love there. But there’s also a lot of love for “Everything Everywhere,” which, if the odds prove to be true, would become the fifth film to take home three awards.

What might also work in “Banshees'” favor is that not winning an individual prize may not be a death knell to its chances in ensemble. In the 27-year history of the category (it was added at the second ceremony), 15 films have won ensemble as their only award of the night. Even better news for “Banshees”: That includes eight out of the last 10 years — only “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (2017) and reigning champ “CODA” nabbed additional wins during that time.

SAG Awards odds for Best Film Ensemble
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