Good morning Oscar watchers. This morning brings one of the biggest precursors of the season: the Screen Actor's Guild. These days the eventual Oscar cross-over is usually somewhere between "very hot" (19/20 for 2009) to "very warm" (17/20 in 2011 and 2010) so you can guarantee a large number of the below nominees will show up on Oscar ballots in January.
What are we thinking will cross over? What will fall out? Will tomorrow's Golden Globe nominations (!!!) erase whatever momentum that some of today's nominees have amassed (we're looking at you August: Osage County and Lee Daniels' The Butler)? They just announced the stunt ensemble awards (still not important enough to be read on the main nominations by the likes of Clark Gregg and Sacha Alexander, apparently) and we'll update as they go.
Outstanding Performance by a Cast
- 12 Years a Slave
- American Hustle
- August: Osage County
- Dallas Buyers Club
- Lee Daniels' The Butler
Four of these were expected, but the inclusion of Dallas Buyers Club is interesting. I had long thought that McConaughey was maybe not as locked and loaded as people assumed, but I guess the film is resonating. It also has the smallest nominated cast from any of the five films.
Most annoying "I'm not a big name so I wasn't included in the cast nominations despite being in more of the movie" this time around is *clearly* the omission of Yaya Alafia from Lee Daniels' The Butler. But at least Mariah Carey is now a two-time SAG nominee so who's laughing now (even if her inclusion here over Alafia, along with Redgrave and Pettyfer especially is absurd). It's as if SAG themselves don't realise that the credits of a movie are as managed as everything else and that it's all about who has the better agent or who has the more fame. If Alafia's role had been played by someone more famous, I have no doubt they'd be nominated alongside actors with one 20th of the screentime. Joe Reid dutifully listed all the actors who could have a rightful claim to a nomination including Alafia, Taran Killam in Twelve Years a Slave (his buddy in the film, Scoot McNairy, was nominated) and Kevin Rankin as the homophobic rodeo pal in Dallas. One I hadn't noticed was Colleen Camp in American Hustle and now I'm just gonna go spiral into deep madness.
You don't get a SAG nomination, and YOU don't get a SAG nomination, and YOU don't get a SAG nomination...
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
- Bruce Dern, Nebraska
- Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
- Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
- Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
- Forest Whitaker, Lee Daniels' The Butler
On one hand, I am not at all surprised to see Whitaker nominated. He's incredibly well-liked (he's got his hands in several of this year's contenders alone), he's good in a role that takes him from baby-faced to old man, and the film was obviously popular. On the other hand, I'm surprised at the omission of Robert Redford since, well, he literally had to act all by himself. Dialogue and interaction are apparently the way to avoid that, I guess, since Sandy Bullock was nominated for Gravity with no problem. It's long felt like there were 7 actors gunning for five slots (with Wolf of Wall Street clearly not seen widely enough since Jonah Hill also missed in a relatively open supporting actor field) so maybe it's Redford that's most vulnerable? But I wonder... does Redford get nominated in the stunt ensemble? I mean, he did do a lot of his own stunts. Hmmm. Hanks definitely needed this as the critics awards were not going for the film.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
- Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
- Sandra Bullock, Gravity
- Judi Dench, Philomena
- Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
- Emma Thompson, Saving Mr Banks
A bit ot a yawn roster in that it's been the presumed Oscar shortlist for weeks now. We just gotta hope that tomorrow's Golden Gobe nominations inject some fresh blood into the non-critics discussion especially for Exarchopoulos who'll really need GG and BAFTA to get behind her if she hopes to squeeze out one of these ladies.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
- Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
- Daniel Brühl, Rush
- Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
- James Gandolfini, Enough Said
- Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
I've given up pretending that awards bodies care about category fraud, but it's still a grievance. Brühl and Gandolfini are arguably co-leads (in the case of the former I'd say inarguably). As somebody said on Twitter, the whole roster of nominees feels like "two weeks ago", which makes sense given the ballots were probably cast then. Brühl may be this year's Hilary Swank: nominated here and nowhere else. Are people really remembering that film fondly enough? I find that hard to believe (although, it is a two-time SAG nominee with the stunt cast so maybe I'm wrong).
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
- Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
- Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
- Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
- June Squibb, Nebraska
- Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels' The Butler
Yeah, this is what we expected. Can Julia and Meryl survive the tumultuous response to their film and make it to Oscar? I'd love to see Roberts' talent once again justified after 13 years of bickering over her Oscar win, but this is a lead role. And without her this might have been the rarest thing: a supporting category with no lead roles in it! At this stage I'm thinking the Fruitvale Station ladies Spencer and Diaz might be out with Oscar. The film didn't get a single nomination today and tomorrow's Globes prospects look grim.
Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble
- All Is Lost
- Fast and Furious 6
- Lone Survivor
- The Wolverine
This is what happens when Hollywood offers up some blockbuster garbage. The X-Men films have been nominated here before (First Class was a stunt ensemble nominee) and All is Lost is a curious nominee, but the other three seem like solid choices that likely wouldn't have been there if it weren't for so many of Hollywood's big summer blockbusters not being very good. Isn't it curious how little awards attention The Hunger Games movies get? Last year's original only received a costume guild nomination and I thought maybe Catching Fire may have caught on here.
Conclusion: So what are we thinking? I think the Redford omission is the biggest surprise of the morning. Personally, I think we'll be looking at another year of red hot cross-over with Oscar. Between 17-19 out of 20 (I don't think Brühl will last to Oscar, maybe Gandolfini, Whitaker or Roberts, too), I'd say. And I really hope we can avoid any "Wolf of Wall Street should have screened earlier" nonsense. Let's say "Awards shouldn't be so quick out the gate without having seen big contenders", instead.