SAG Analysis: What Regina King’s Snub Means and What Film is the Frontrunner?

Can the star of "If Beale Street Could Talk" go the way of Marcia Gay Harden for "Pollock?"

OSCAR CIRCUIT: The Screen Actors Guild announced their nominations and had proven to be out of touch with the mainstream awards bodies.  The most prevalent example is the ignoring of Regina King in the Supporting Actress category for her work in “If Beale Street Could Talk.”  The entire film was shut out of all categories including Cast Ensemble, where it seemed assured to a citation.

The nominating committee, which consists of random members of the Screen Actors Guild, made some interesting choices, while simultaneously making some that grew large amounts of criticism.

King, who won awards at the National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Circle, and Los Angeles Film Critics Association (we just wrote yesterday about what her historical wins mean), is the first woman of color to pull off the “trifecta,” and just the second black person overall.  In the history of the SAG Awards, only two actors have gone on to win the Academy Award without a nomination from their peers: Marcia Gay Harden in “Pollock” (2000) and Christoph Waltz in “Django Unchained” (2012).  There is precedence for King to still win the award in the end, but she’ll have to fight off two possible televised wins for Amy Adams, who did score a nomination for Adam McKay’s “Vice.”

It has been speculated that screeners for Annapurna Pictures went out late to the nominating committee but considering the strong showing for “Vice,” which found love for stars Christian Bale and Adams, not sure the argument holds water.

Leading the charge was Warner Bros’ “A Star is Born” which netted four nominations including Cast Ensemble, and citations for its three principal actors: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, and Sam Elliott.  Cementing its feet in the pole position as the film that can go on to win it all.  It even has a chance to become the first film since “The Silence of the Lambs” to win the “Big Five” major categories, if it can fend off big competitors in categories like Actress, Actor, and Adapted Screenplay.

Next in line with a three nomination tally was Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” and Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite.”  The former picked up big mentions for Cast Ensemble, Supporting Actor for Adam Driver, and a much needed Lead Actor nomination for John David Washington.  If there’s a film that could give “A Star is Born” a run for its money, perhaps this timely look at racism could do it.  In the case of Lanthimos’ period film, it netted mentions for its three actresses but failed to grab a Cast Ensemble nomination, something that the film has been heavily praised for during this early precursor season.

Other shockers came with “Bohemian Rhapsody” showing up in Cast Ensemble (alongside star Rami Malek‘s nomination in Lead Actor), over films like “Widows” and the aforementioned “If Beale Street Could Talk.”  Damien Chazelle’s “First Man” pulled a donut with no love for the ensemble or stars Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy.

The Supporting Actor lineup fell into a familiar place as Sam Elliott bounced back after his Golden Globe snub and looked to be set up for a big win if the momentum continues.  Timothee Chalamet continues to stand above the mixed reactions for “Beautiful Boy” and could be headed for his second nomination in two years.  However, if there is anyone who looks to emulate an awards trajectory similar to Maria Bello (“The Cooler”), Daniel Bruhl (“Rush”), or Michael Shannon (“99 Homes”), meaning they nab Globe and SAG, but miss Oscar in the end, Chalamet could be it.

Jaws dropped at the cite of Margot Robbie netting her second consecutive nomination for “Mary Queen of Scots” in Supporting Actress, despite the film’s critical success.  Off the late start with its premiere at AFI, the film seemed to gain enough ground for her inclusion.  Will it translate in the end or will she go the way of Sarah Silverman (“I Smile Back”) and Emily Blunt (“The Girl on the Train”)?

Speaking of Blunt, she found not one, but two nominations today.  The first was an expected Lead nomination for “Mary Poppins Returns” but the second came for her role in husband John Krasinski’s horror film “A Quiet Place” in Supporting Actress.  A worthy and dynamic performance, it was still shocking to most pundits and awards followers she was able to get over bigger, more talked about performances such as King, Foy, and even Michelle Yeoh in “Crazy Rich Asians,” which found love only in Cast Ensemble.

The SAG Awards will air on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT, where Alan Alda will be receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Oscar Prediction pages on The Circuit Hub will be updated this Sunday at midnight with all new rankings and commentary.  Make sure to check back to see who is shifting up or down!

What are your SAG Predictions?  Comment below!

Be sure to check out the Official Oscar Predictions Page to see where this year’s films and performances rank among the contenders!