SAG Nomination Analysis – What Does It All Mean?

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paperboy-nicole-kidman001-730x365The SAG bells rang today but they rang for many surprising and jaw-dropping exclusions.  As going on record stating this is the most competitive Oscar race I’ve covered in years.  Not one category seems assured with their lineups and we got many curveballs thrown at us this morning.

In Best Supporting Actress, Amy Adams was left off for performance in The Master, a turn many of cited wasn’t in the same league as co-stars Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman.  Sally Field in Lincoln, Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables, and Helen Hunt in The Sessions, all made their appearances as expected.  With Maggie Smith announcing she wasn’t going to be campaigning, she still managed to pull in four nominations for herself including her performance in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  Nicole Kidman jumped back into the race for a film that was pulverized by critics.  While her role in The Paperboy is quite extraordinary, the film that surrounds her doesn’t do any favors.  Older members of the Academy might find it difficult to get passed some of the more controversial scenes.  Also missing big here was Ann Dowd from Compliance, something that really needed a boost from the acting branch.  Many pundits have speculated on the possibility of Samantha Barks finding wiggle room into the race along side co-star Hathaway for Les Miserables.  That notion may have just been put to bed.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master took the largest hit of the day.  Only Philip Seymour Hoffman will be representing the film in Supporting Actor.  Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln and Robert DeNiro for Silver Linings Playbook move forward in their respective awards circuit.  Though Alan Arkin made a showing with both SAG and BFCA yesterday, his spot still doesn’t seem as secure as some may think.  It’s interesting to see Arkin being the actor that represents Argo especially when co-stars John Goodman and Ben Affleck pull just as much focus from the audience.  The inclusion of Javier Bardem is what’s warping my mind at the moment.  Both BFCA and SAG have cited Bardem in their lineups and if the Golden Globes do so tomorrow, is Bardem that serious of a threat to show up for Skyfall?  If SAG matches up with Oscar, we will have five previous Oscar winners battling it out for either their second or third trophies.  With Dwight Henry deemed ineligible and the rumors flying around that Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained was not screened by enough voters, Henry, Christoph Waltz, and Leonardo DiCaprio are still very much on the table to steal a spot or two.

Jessica-Chastain-in-Zero-Dark-Thirty-2012-Movie-Image-2The Lead Actress field could be our final lineup give or take Quvenzhane Wallis and Emmanuelle Riva take spots.  Helen Mirren and Hitchcock are kept alive as Mirren lands her ninth SAG nomination, a statistic I didn’t see before making the predictions.  She is beloved by the actors.  Marion Cotillard was able to keep a float landing her nomination for Rust & Bone as well.  Naomi Watts is the most benefited by her nomination today as she delivers one of the year’s finest performances in a film that has many critics split on its possibilities.  Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence will keep the epic battle going between them for the rest of the season.  Whoever wins the SAG is DEFINITELY winning the Oscar.

The SAG Ensemble category went pretty much as suspected.  Lincoln and Les Miserables make their Best Picture chances more assured than ever, two films that will battle it out for the Oscar.  If Zero Dark Thirty had managed an Ensemble mention, I’d take its winning chances much more seriously.  Do you remember Slumdog Millionaire?  Moonrise Kingdom took the biggest hit by missing here but it’s not the end all for any film or performance not mentioned in a category.  There’s always the Shohreh Aghdashloo’s or The Reader or the Terrence Malick’s that wiggle their way into Oscar’s graces.  Hell, Marcia Gay Harden went on to win the Oscar with no Golden Globe or SAG mentions and during the season, had only one win from the New York Film Critics Circle.  Watch left field, because something always shows up.

Predicted Winners – 12/12/12

Best Cast Ensemble
Lincoln

Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Hugh Jackman for Les Miserables

Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty

Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln

Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables

Comment and discuss!