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Is "Lincoln" Nervous About Losing SAG?

Early "Lincoln" SwagThis just in. A SAG voter shot me a note yesterday after received a Lincoln screener at the tail end of voting -- the Awards are this Sunday night -- wondering if the Lincoln team was nervous about losing the SAG Ensemble prize to one of its formidable competitors in the seemingly wide-open Best Picture race. 

It was sent last minute, priority mail envelopes, clearly put together quickly.  It wasn't on the initial list of screeners or downloads so it was a last minute decision, it would seem."

It seems weird to hear "put together quickly" about a Lincoln screener since mine was artfully packaged and I received it a month ago. Truth: Lincoln has been the most active movies in terms of continual swag at least at my house: I've gotten Spielberg books, Presidential cookbooks, a screener, a hardcover script (those are rare) and more... but it is a significant expense to send screeners to SAG voters as compared to 6,000ish AMPAS members and 300ish BFCA since members since the Screen Actors Guild has so very very many voting members. 

Do you think Lincoln is nervous about a potential Ensemble loss on Sunday... and thus less momentum heading into the final month of Oscar voting?  

I'm torn myself as to which film I think is winning: Momentum is with Argo, but Silver Linings Playbook is definitely a hit with actors and is campaigning hard. Maybe Lincoln wouldn't have had so much to worry about if they hadn't abused their ensemble by leaving out some of the best players... and not even campaigning for Supporting Actor for audience favorites like James Spader (dear god I never thought I'd write the second half of that sentence). 

only seven -- SEVEN -- members of Lincoln's sprawling awesome cast are nominated in the "Ensemble" category. That's less actors than are in most of the scenes! In contrast: Argo has 13 nominees; Les Miz has 12; Best Exotic has 8; Silver Linings Playbook has 6

P.S. For what it's worth if I were a Screen Actor (I am... not) I would probably vote for Lincoln in this category but not happily since the award would not go to many of the colorful performances featured.

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Reader Comments (18)

"and not even campaigning for Supporting Actor for audience favorites like James Spader (dear god I never thought I'd write the second half of that sentence)."

It takes a lot for me to legitimately laugh out loud at something I've read online but that had me chuckling for a while just now.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Jack

At least they're staying true to the "buy the vote if you have to!!" message in the movie....

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercatbaskets

The Jack -- RIGHT? p.s. i find Spader revolting but even I loved him in it.

January 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I think the cast of Lincoln is the best among the 5 nominated casts. However, I believe in the victory of "Silver Linings Playbook", because it got 4 nominations in the 4 acting categories at the Oscars. The actors must love them. I am worried about the PGA, has "Argo" a good chance of victory on Saturday?

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathanael

If SLP wins SAG and Argo wins PGA while Lincoln takes DGA (which is what I think will end up happening), I will probably kill myself. Emotionally, I cannot handle the "I have no idea what's going on" nature of this year's race. God help us all.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

I think Best Ensemble should mean exactly that and not the Best Picture as it usually does with SAG voters. Anyway, I think Argo will win.

If I had a ballot, and without having seen SLP yet, I would probably vote for Argo too because it would be a fantastic chance to reward actors such as Scott McNairy, Victor Garber, Clea DuVall or Chris Messina who never get enough recognitions. That is certainly not the case with Day-Lewis, Field or Jones.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

White Palace, True Colors, Crash (1996): He failed you as an actor how?

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

"If SLP wins SAG and Argo wins PGA while Lincoln takes DGA (which is what I think will end up happening), I will probably kill myself. Emotionally, I cannot handle the "I have no idea what's going on" nature of this year's race. God help us all."

I would absolutely love that (only for the excitement value, I don't particularly like Argo and I hate SLP). Although, I think if Lincoln wins the DGA, it's all over. If Argo wins DGA and Lincoln wins PGA though, it's still up in the air.

Personally, I still think Argo is taking Best Picture at the Oscars. In all the time since I've been watching them I never thought I'd see a Driving Miss Daisy situation, but I think we've got one here.

What an great, fun year :) And I was getting quite despondent when Zero Dark Thirty started cleaning up all the critics awards.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Jack

Nathaniel do you think if Lincoln loses and the loss is attributed partly to the silly rules about who gets included in the ensemble category that this will maybe the catalyst to change the rules? I feel like something really drastic needs to happen for SAG to change the rules or perhaps even the studios will pay more attention to this when they submit ?

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrami (ramification)

rami -- if i had more power maybe but i've noticed that the other oscar pundits don't ever pick up this story and back me up. The media in general (not me obviously) can't be bothered with seeing this as a problem. It's kind of like category fraud. people are just okay with it because mostly people don't take the integrity of awards as seriously as they think they do ;)

So nothing will happen. (sigh)

January 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Interesting. I'm rooting for Silver Linings Playbook, but I think Lincoln will win here.
However, this news is giving me second thoughts.

Also, Lincoln cookbook... any recommendations for Oscar noms?

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPat

I think it has more to do with the problems we (SAG members) had with itunes and Lincoln is trying to get in front of people who might miss it. The digital downloads were handled by itunes and were glitched more often than not making it very hard to see the films. Most had time limits on them which meant you could only watch them once and usually only within 24 hours after the download (I'm on cable and it took 19 hours just to download The Master after the glitches were fixed and it COULD be downloaded). The Impossible (brilliant) allowed three viewings with no time limit and I believe Argo (in digital also from Summit) did the same and these came from Summit's site and were much easier to view. Argo also sent a screener, first to arrive (SLP and Les Miz were the others). The screeners allow you to watch and rewatch the film at your leisure (I've watched Argo three times now not including in the theater) and will watch Lincoln again when my screener arrives (hopefully today). I spent all day yesterday watching downloads and will again today as the voting must be done by tomorrow. I won't see Rust and Bone because of the glitches which claimed I had already downloaded the film when I hadn't and getting that corrected is tantamount to giving up your first born.

As for predictions? Argo (Marigold would be nice here as well--so effortless), DDL, Watts, TLJ or Arkin, Sally (although a tie with Jacki Weaver would be nice--She made a silk purse out of a sow's ear in SLP) and Bourne for stunts. Zero, Paper Boy and Skyfall did not offer screeners or digitals although Zero did a lot of invited screenings on the coasts for members.

I applaud the efforts and commitment of the actors in Les Miz, but it was a terrible film (and I wanted to like it and like all the actors). Anne gave it her all, but it was a one dimensional performance. All "poor me" with no hint of recognizing her own complicity in how her life turned out. Live singing during filming may have sounded like a good idea, but it ended up making many of the actors sound anemic and limited the editing (the "one take" per scene they keep talking about had less to do with how terrific the takes were than with the inability to edit various takes together because they sounded so different. You can see this in the final cut at the end of On my Own. The last phrase sounds like a different person is singing it because of a change of POV (Barks was one of my favorites in the film too along with Amanda and Eddie). I blame the director and concept.

In the end, however, I won't be upset at any of the results. All the actors nominated are terrific. It was a great year and there were a lot more performances that could be up there. My predictions are based more on degrees of merit rather than gulfs,

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Sideways, a dramatic comedy/comic drama, won this in 2004, and SLP has the same kinda vibe.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I think Silver Linings Playbook will win have a somewhat surprising mini-sweep at the SAG awards by picking up Ensemble Cast, Actress, and Supporting Actor (thus making the Supporting Actor Oscar total chaos).

However, I think Argo will win both the PGA and DGA--and probably the BAFTA too--thus giving it the momentum headed into Oscar night. If Affleck had been nominated for Director, I don't think there would even be much doubt right now that Argo is the frontrunner, and I expect that strength to grow in the coming weeks.

It will be interesting to see what happens in Best Director if Affleck keeps winning, though.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEdwin

I know that Argo has a lot of awards momentum, but I just don't get it. It's a sharp, smart entertainment, but not a great film--not by a long shot. If Argo wins Best Picture, we'll be looking back on another Crash fiasco.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I know this won't happen but I want Les Miz to win the ensemble to freak everyone out. When was the last time a musical won the SAG ensemble?

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGabriel Oak

I don't see how you can vote for a film performance by watching it on a TV screen. It's just not the same watching a film on TV and in the theater.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGabriel Oak

I'm guessing it's going DGA - Lincoln, PGA - Argo, SAG - Silver Linings Playbook... and we'll have an open race all the way until the envelope is read. hellzyeah!

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

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