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Best Actress: When The SAG Winner And The Oscar Winner Didn't Match Up And Why

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  • Joe Burns
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    #1202808389

    This year marked the 6th time in the history of the SAG awards that the winner there did not prevail at the Oscars in the Best Actress category(and yes I am counting Winslet as SAG had no choice but to put her in supporting for The Reader and regardless of category SAG awarded her for that performance and Oscar did as well). Why was this the case? I’ll give you my thoughts below but I really want to hear what you guys think and to see if there are additional reasons as to why SAG/Oscar didn’t match then the reasons I am thinking of:

    1994: This was the very first year that SAG had an awards ceremony so this example maybe was considered a bit of an anomaly back in the early days of SAG but considering the fact that Hanks, Landuau, and Wiest also won it does seem odd that Lange did not. It most likely was because actors greatly admired the leap that Foster made in Nell and she was really at the height of her popularity here. Lange probably had an advantage with the broader academy due to sympathy for Orion’s bankruptcy which caused the film to be put on the shelf for three years. It’s also a very sexy and baity performance and as Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, and Robert De Niro can attest to, it’s not easy to win a third Oscar especially for Foster as she won two Best Actress Oscars before she turned thirty.

    1999: This one is a bit harder as Swank was such a runaway favorite throughout the entire awards season that it’s weird that she failed to prevail here but I guess SAG went crazy for American Beauty(to me it’s weird that Cooper got in there in supporting for it but maybe it wasn’t at the time?).I’m sure Swank was really close though because with her sweeping the entire season and her being nominated here should mean that enough SAG voters saw Boys Don’t Cry although maybe the broader voting body didn’t get around to it? Swank’s breakout performance was considered too great to be denied at the Oscars and American Beauty was bound to get more awards in other categories so voters decided to spread the wealth. Bening’s character is also pretty unlikeable too.

    2002: Here is another odd one as you’d think they’d feel guilty about snubbing Nicole entirely the year before in addition to her being the slightly more respected actress of the two(although maybe that wasn’t quite true at that time?) but just like with American Beauty,SAG voters went crazy for Chicago and voters were most likely impressed with the range Zellweger showed as nobody thought that she could sing and dance as well as she did plus her acting is also great.I bet Nicole just barely lost though.

    2007: This race is the first time that I have ever heard the argument of “screeners for the film weren’t delivered” argument which seems to actually be a more solid one given that an article that Tom wrote at the time of the race (an excerpt of is featured here: http://marioncotillard.blogspot.com/2008/02/tom-oneil-upset-for-cotillard.html) claimed that SAG voters didn’t even get screeners for La Vie En Rose but got them for Away From Her while Oscar voters got screeners for both of those films. I believe that to be the case especially as SAG was held the same week of the nominations coming out and BAFTA was held two weeks before the Oscars(coincidentally all of the dates of the ceremonies were the same as this years). Not enough voters got around to seeing La Vie En Rose at SAG while nearly an entire month went by in which Oscar voters were able to see Marion Cotillard’s performance(she also presented at SAG that year handing the Supporting Actor award to Javier Bardem so that definitely helped her get some exposure at just the right moment). SAG voters were pretty sentimental during this season and Christie was the heavy industry favorite so they honored her here. I think Marion did come in second though.

    2011: Tariq Khan tries to pull the same argument from above here(https://www.goldderby.com/article/2012/meryl-streep-oscars-movies-news-246809753/) but I doubt this was really the case. The Iron Lady was buzzed enough about at the time and Meryl Streep is popular enough to have her film be seen and to get enough votes although yes The Help was immensely loved by SAG and was definitely seen more than The Iron Lady. I think that respect for Davis as an actress and the success of her promoting herself and the film helped her to endure with SAG a lot too. Streep is arguably the most heavily awarded actor in history and had just been honored for Doubt three years earlier.With Davis in the race, SAG wasn’t going to just repeat and give Streep another one. This is another example of the wider Academy membership making the difference as I’m sure if it was just the Actor’s Branch voting Davis would have prevailed.The film industry at large wanted to see another Oscar in Streep’s hands.

    2018: The same thing with Julie Christie happened this year Close although I don’t feel Colman was a big threat at SAG. Obviously the paint is not dry yet on Colman’s win but I doubt that she was that close to beating Glenn here. What do you think?

    Your thoughts? How reliable do you feel that SAG will be in this category going forward? Will you be hesitant to declare all of the acting races at the Oscars to be over after SAG? What do you think?

    • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by  Joe Burns.
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    MarinaBelo2
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    #1202808566

    1999: Bening was kind of a veteran, so SAG chose her over a newbie, it’s not hard to understand that. The weird part is why the Academy chose Swank over her since Bening had SAG AND BAFTA… No idea! Maybe they dislike Bening or they just loved Swank’s performance too much to deny her.

    2002: Probably because Kidman wasn’t really lead in The Hours. But Kidman won BAFTA and her role was probably more baity, I guess. Since Kidman was/is bigger than Zellweger, Oscars chose her instead.

    2007: A foreign language performance wouldn’t win SAG. Cotillard had Globe + BAFTA so her win is “obvious” in hindsight, she’s young, hot and talented and campaigned much harder. Besides, Christie already had an Oscar so there was no overdue narrative to help her beat an ingenue.

    2011: SAG apparently loves Davis. BAFTA is kind of racist so they went with Streep. Streep had GG Drama + BAFTA while Davis only had SAG. It was a no brainer since Streep is too hyped/popular/beloved to not win in such a context. SAG was an outlier.

    2019: The Academy just doesn’t like Close, I guess. It’s clear no one cares about CC(Malek lost, Gaga tied, Bale won), so I doubt that tie between Close and Gaga made a significant portion of voters vote for Gaga to make a vote split happen. Besides, Close won SAG after that, so Gaga was forgotten, just like Colman. Then, Colman won BAFTA, which was obvious, but apparently all Close “haters” saw that as a sign that Colman had a shot and decided to vote for Colman so Close wouldn’t win. I don’t buy that they just liked Colman’s performance better because that’s not how it works. Regina King, Rami Malek and Ali won thanks to their narratives/awards run, we never have surprises in the acting categories as of lately, so the fact that Close couldn’t win even when her narrative was much stronger than Colman’s and she was campaigning harder… Colman isn’t a typical BA winner either, so that also demonstrates that there’s some kind of bias against Close. Comedy/Musical Globe winners only win the Oscar when they’re hot young things(Lawrence, Witherspoon, Cottilard, Paltrow, Stone), and even then, they also win SAG, which Colman didn’t.

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    Miles
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    #1202808570

    I do not buy the argument at all that the Academy somehow has it out for Close. There’s nothing unlikable or controversial about her and she gave hugely popular speeches. This argument doesn’t make sense unless there’s some collective vendetta against Glenn Close I don’t know about.

    It’s also important to keep in mind that modern Academy voters only had one chance to reward her, for Albert Nobbs, which she obviously wasn’t going to win for. So today’s Academy, who supposedly “hate” her, are not the same people who denied her all through the 80s.

    What I suspect happened is that once Gaga kept losing Actress and kept winning Song she became a non factor and it really came down to Colman and Close. Close was being pushed as the frontrunner and so some Oscar voters who had no personal allegiances to Close decided to vote for their favorite performance instead because other people were taking care of the Glenn Close vote for them. Too many people did this for Close to win.

    So no, I don’t think that Glenn Close lost because the Academy hates her. As for SAG, they had no excuse not to reward Glenn Close as they love voting for veterans and GG and CC, who just exist to predict the Oscars, had already established Close as the frontrunner.

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    Mukund
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    #1202808575

    They love Close. Look at the audience reacting to her win at the Globes. She got three standing ovations!! No one cares about Colman. She isn’t well known in the US.

    These were some of the things said before the Oscars.

    Now that Close has lost, some people would rather believe absurd conspiracy theories and contradict everything they said before than accept the truth.

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    SHT L
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    #1202808835

    I guess the truth is that the Academy also really does believe Rami Malek, Mahershala Ali, Regina King and every other acting winner truly gave the best performance in their categories among the nominees.

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    Anonymous
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    Anonymous
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    MultipleOscarWinner
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    #1202809083

    You’re overthinking the winners in this category. Olders performers (like in the other categories) are favored here over their younger alternatives (in case both are front-runners) because winners are decided by peers and since actors tend to be very loyal to their idols, if they have a chance to recognize them or pay respect to them, they’ll do it. If they want to reward a living legend they’ll do it too. I mean, Betty White got two COMPETITIVE awards AFTER she was given a lifetime archievement award. I don’t recall a single awards ceremony doing this at all (I think the closest situation to a case like this, happened when Agnès Varda received an honorary Oscar and got buzz for “Visages villages”, but it was within the same year and even in the end she still lost for that documentary). Also, since they’re such a new awards ceremony, they tend to spread the wealth a lot (at least in the film categories). I think only McDormand and Day-Lewis have more than one award.

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    Anonymous
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    Joe Burns
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    #1202809331

    BAFTA was held after the Oscar ceremony the year Bening won and Swank wasn’t eligible at that time so that opinion doesn’t quite pan out. Given SAG was still pretty new and BAFTA was a non-factor the critics had more power and Swank swept those in addition to winning the Globe.

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    Joe Burns
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    #1202809374

    1999: Bening was kind of a veteran, so SAG chose her over a newbie, it’s not hard to understand that. The weird part is why the Academy chose Swank over her since Bening had SAG AND BAFTA… No idea! Maybe they dislike Bening or they just loved Swank’s performance too much to deny her.

    2002: Probably because Kidman wasn’t really lead in The Hours. But Kidman won BAFTA and her role was probably more baity, I guess. Since Kidman was/is bigger than Zellweger, Oscars chose her instead.

    2007: A foreign language performance wouldn’t win SAG. Cotillard had Globe + BAFTA so her win is “obvious” in hindsight, she’s young, hot and talented and campaigned much harder. Besides, Christie already had an Oscar so there was no overdue narrative to help her beat an ingenue.

    2011: SAG apparently loves Davis. BAFTA is kind of racist so they went with Streep. Streep had GG Drama + BAFTA while Davis only had SAG. It was a no brainer since Streep is too hyped/popular/beloved to not win in such a context. SAG was an outlier.

    2019: The Academy just doesn’t like Close, I guess. It’s clear no one cares about CC(Malek lost, Gaga tied, Bale won), so I doubt that tie between Close and Gaga made a significant portion of voters vote for Gaga to make a vote split happen. Besides, Close won SAG after that, so Gaga was forgotten, just like Colman. Then, Colman won BAFTA, which was obvious, but apparently all Close “haters” saw that as a sign that Colman had a shot and decided to vote for Colman so Close wouldn’t win. I don’t buy that they just liked Colman’s performance better because that’s not how it works. Regina King, Rami Malek and Ali won thanks to their narratives/awards run, we never have surprises in the acting categories as of lately, so the fact that Close couldn’t win even when her narrative was much stronger than Colman’s and she was campaigning harder… Colman isn’t a typical BA winner either, so that also demonstrates that there’s some kind of bias against Close. Comedy/Musical Globe winners only win the Oscar when they’re hot young things(Lawrence, Witherspoon, Cottilard, Paltrow, Stone), and even then, they also win SAG, which Colman didn’t.

    Bening had only been acting for eleven years on film and for thirteen on television. She’s way older then Swank yeah but a veteran seems to be a bit of a stretch for her at this point in her career.

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    MarinaBelo2
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    #1202809532

    Bening had only been acting for eleven years on film and for thirteen on television. She’s way older then Swank yeah but a veteran seems to be a bit of a stretch for her at this point in her career.

    That’s why I said “kind of a veteran” meaning she wasn’t really a veteran, but she was around for more than one decade and she was much older than Swank, so people could’ve seen her like one. If they didn’t respect/like Swank enough, Bening would’ve beat her quite easily, but unfortunately for her, that wasn’t the case. They loved Swank enough to give her 2 LEAD Oscars in 6 years, so probably Bening didn’t stand a chance against her.

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    Joe Burns
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    #1202809552

    It does seem weird that Swank won a second Oscar five years after her first but none of the other nominees had enough buzz nor were they in strong enough films(besides maybe Staunton who was too unknown and too subtle to win) to beat Swank who was playing a very sympathetic character in a major Best Picture contender.

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    Joe Burns
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    #1202809565

    I think what happened in 2012 was that the awards bodies that elected Davis didn’t think Streep was gonna win. They probably thought it was gonna be just another year where she’s filler and it’s someone else’s chance. SAG also had already given Streep leading actress SAG 3 (?) years before for Doubt. GGs went for in their opinion best performance (Streep’s), and BAFTAs went for Streep playing one of the biggest british history figures. And golden dildos felt the need to give Streep her overdue 3rd I guess, while she had already won the deadly GG/BAFTA combo anyway

    Was it true that Streep told Harvey Weinstein to get her the Oscar that year?

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