You may have noticed a few key names missing when the SAG nominatione for ensemble were announced this morning. No, I'm not talking about the casts of Moonrise Kingdom or Magic Mike or other fine ensembles. I'm talking about the performers from the five nominated pictures who won't get a SAG winner / nomination on their resume from this honor. That might seem like nothing but for working actors whose names aren't above the titles it can mean a lot. So today we honor these actors who deserved better from their guild!
I'll keep talking about this every year until SAG fixes their system. Behold the Five most "Outstanding Casts" according to the Screen Actors Guild and a sampling of people that aren't included in that honor.
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
ARGO (Warner Bros. Pictures)
BEN AFFLECK / Tony Mendez
ALAN ARKIN / Lester Siegel
KERRY BISHÉ / Kathy Stafford
KYLE CHANDLER / Hamilton Jordan
RORY COCHRANE / Lee Schatz
BRYAN CRANSTON / Jack O’Donnell
CHRISTOPHER DENHAM / Mark Lijek
TATE DONOVAN / Bob Anders
CLEA DUVALL / Cora Lijek
VICTOR GARBER / Ken Taylor
JOHN GOODMAN / John Chambers
SCOOT McNAIRY / Joe Stafford
CHRIS MESSINA / Malinov
WHERE IS... SHEILA VAND who was captivating as the Canadian Ambassador's housekeeper Sahar?
No people of color from Argo's cast list were recognized despite several cast members of color with important scenes.
More awkward snubs after the jump...
THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL (Fox Searchlight)
JUDI DENCH / Evelyn Greenslade
CELIA IMRIE / Madge Hardcastle
BILL NIGHY / Douglas Ainslie
DEV PATEL / Sonny Kapoor
RONALD PICKUP / Norman Cousins
MAGGIE SMITH / Muriel Donnelly
TOM WILKINSON / Graham Dashwood
PENELOPE WILTON / Jean Ainslie
WHERE IS... LILLETE DUBEY who played the owner of the hotel holding her son's dreams?
LES MISÉRABLES (Universal Pictures)
ISABELLE ALLEN / Young Cosette
SAMANTHA BARKS / Eponine
SACHA BARON COHEN / Thénardier
HELENA BONHAM CARTER / Madame Thénardier
RUSSELL CROWE / Javert
ANNE HATHAWAY / Fantine
DANIEL HUTTLESTONE / Gavroche
HUGH JACKMAN / Jean Valjean
EDDIE REDMAYNE / Marius
AMANDA SEYFRIED / Cosette
AARON TVEIT / Enjolras
COLM WILKINSON / Bishop
Les Miz does a pretty good job of including everyone but for its band of handsome singing revolutionaries including George Blagden as "Grantaire" (right) and Fra Fee as "Courfeyrac" (left)
LINCOLN (Touchstone Pictures)
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS / Abraham Lincoln
SALLY FIELD / Mary Todd Lincoln
JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT / Robert Todd Lincoln
HAL HOLBROOK / Preston Blair
TOMMY LEE JONES / Thaddeus Stevens
JAMES SPADER / W.N. Bilbo
DAVID STRATHAIRN / William Seward
WHERE IS... GLORIA REUBEN who just won a Supporting Actress nod from the NAACP from Lincoln?
And LEE PACE (!) Among many others...
Given Lincoln's subject matter this is very embarrassing since no person of color is included in their "Outstanding Cast". In fact only 3 of the 46 actors nominated are people of color --- in films set in the American Civil War, Iran and India ferchrissakes. And two of those are in the last nominee below which is set in Philly.
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (The Weinstein Company)
BRADLEY COOPER / Pat
ROBERT DE NIRO / Pat, Sr.
ANUPAM KHER / Dr. Cliff Patel
JENNIFER LAWRENCE / Tiffany
CHRIS TUCKER / Danny
JACKI WEAVER / Dolores
WHERE IS... JULIA STILES who plays Jennifer Lawrence's sister and essentially jumpstarts the romantic plot by putting Pat & Tiffany in the same room?
SAG strikes again. Every single year the Screen Actors Guild’s ensemble category betrays them and they never bother to fix it. The Outstanding Cast list is always composed of the top billed players in a movie, regardless of the quality of their performance. The most illustrative example was last year’s Corey Stoll snub in Midnight in Paris. I maintain that his scenes as Hemingway were what pushed perceptions of the movie over from people thinking it was fun to people thinking it was beautifully acted fun. And yet, because he wasn’t famous enough to be on the first group title card he was not among its “Outstanding Cast” nominees. Woody Allen movies are a bit different than other films in that no one gets a solo credit (it’s always alphabetical groupings) but for most films SAG requires that you get your own title card. Lincoln suffers the most this year because of that. It has a large and impressive cast -- truly one of the most deserving "Oscar Bait" period casts ever since Lincoln doesn't even need to be onscreen for the movie to be a lively affair -- and yet from the appearance of its “cast” nominees, you’d think it was as small and tight as Silver Linings Playbook’s neighborhood.
This SAG rule always preferences A List stars over the working class of actors and in so doing it betrays the very purpose of a guild, which should be to protect its workers.