SAG Thoughts: What Today Means to the Oscar Race?

JenniferAniston Cake



JenniferAniston_CakeThe Screen Actors Guild nominations were announced earlier today with a few surprises and a few shocks to this year’s race to the Oscars.  Leading the tally was “Birdman” picking up four nominations for Cast Ensemble, Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, and Emma Stone.  “Boyhood,” “The Imitation Game,” and “The Theory of Everything” were next in line with three mentions each including Cast Ensemble.

In the Cast Ensemble category, the four are joined by “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which was the film’s only mention. 

On to the acting categories: Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” was shutout this morning with no mentions for its cast of star David Oyelowo.  It is known that screeners did not go out to members and that only theatrical screenings were made available.  Perhaps not enough saw it?  Or maybe they just didn’t take to it like Los Angeles and the New York critics did.  Also shut out was J.C. Chandor’s “A Most Violent Year,” with no mentions for Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain and “Interstellar,” whose campaign has heavily cited the film’s cast.

Some things worth noting is the Supporting Actor lineup, which is likely our Oscar lineup.  Robert Duvall makes it in as suspected for “The Judge” and should coast nicely to an Oscar nomination.  If he also scores a Golden Globe nomination tomorrow, it’d be hard to bet against him for nod.  Then again, he pulled a similar showing with “Get Low” a few years ago and missed out in the end, so you never know.

Naomi Watts becomes the headscratcher of the morning picking up a Supporting Actress nomination for “St. Vincent,” the film’s sole mention.  Was it a way of rewarding her for “Birdman” as well or was it just slim pickings in the field?  Not even Laura Dern or Carrie Coon could muster a mention.  And over Chastain?  Come on. 

Jennifer Aniston begins her compelling case for a Best Actress nomination with “Cake” sneaking in over Marion Cotillard and Emily Blunt.  The film had come on very strong the past few weeks, even leading me to predict her in Best Actress.  This may be her biggest shot of her career and a deserved one. 

Creating some waves the past few weeks is “Nightcrawler” and its star Jake Gyllenhaal, who scored a nomination in Lead Actor this morning.  Open Roads just re-released the film, and Gyllenhaal as been making his rounds and campaigning heavily for the film.  Perhaps Gyllenhaal is finally able to score his second Oscar nomination since 2005’s “Brokeback Mountain.”  SAG also revived the campaign for Steve Carell in “Foxcatcher,” who desperately needed this. 

Though “Unbroken” did manage a mention for Stunt Ensemble, no other nominations came in sight for the cast or its stars Jack O’Connell and Miyavi.

On the television side of things, “Mad Men” from AMC had a bad morning with no mentions for the Cast or Jon Hamm.  Best mention of the morning is Uzo Aduba for her work on “Orange is the New Black,” which also was nominated for Cast Ensemble, likely the (PLEASE GOD) winner of the category. 

SAG is a great barometer for the Oscar nominations but they are announced rather early before AMPAS has been playing catch up.  If anything, this leads them to make sure they pop in “Cake,” “Nightcrawler,” and “St. Vincent” over the holiday break.

Later today, we’ll get the Golden Globes Preview piece up.  For now, we have to take in the actor’s branch and see what this all really means.

Comment and discuss.

What do you think?

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Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times,, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.


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Lionel Fox

Means true performance will always be ignored for the not better, but hard-campaigned one.


People are still pushing Emily Blunt ? Really? I think Aniston, Swank, Cotillard, Adams and even Mbatha-Raw are in front of her. I don’t think she’s set yet for an Oscar nom. She’ll have to settle for a GG nod tomorrow.

Phillip Milner

Gyllenhaal nomination made my morning. So deserved. I’m not sure if I like him more than Redmayne right now in my personal awards, but it’s definitely close. Also loved the Aduba mention. That cast is just stellar through and through.

Andrew Gillespie

Really, Naomi Watts? They couldn’t have at least given it to the far more deserving Melissa McCarthy if they had to nominate someone from St. Vincent?


Naomi Watts and Meryl Streep nominations over Jessica Chastain makes me loose credibility toward the Screen Actors Guild Awards


Now I have to decide between Cotillard and Aniston for my five. The former has been doing tremendously with the critics awards, though the Academy does take SAG to heart. And I am assuming that Chastain might have had a split somehwere, because I am not really sure how to explain Watts. Right now, Robert Duvall seems in a good position to get the fifth spot. And on top of all of this, The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything get nice boosts, though Unbroken is sinking fast. If Unbroken misses for Globes, then we KNOW something is wrong.

Robert MacFarlane

To the people saying Duvall is a “lock” now:



Thank you.


The SAG nominations almost alwasys leads to some major Oscar snubs. Like last year, the Academy nominated Christian Bale and Leonardo Dicaprio over Tom Hanks & Forest Whitaker who received the SAG nominations. There are a lot of examples in the past when you compare the SAG’s to the Oscars. It is because of this ill-suited timeframe. Seriously, they need to return back to the old timeframe where they wait until the end of the year to announce the nominations & have more time to properly evaluate all of the films which haven’t even reached critical consensus yet. It is… Read more »


I honestly have no clue how the race is going to play out. There have been a lot of interesting twists and turns this awards season so far. Curious about the Golden Globes tomorrow morning. Right now, I am convinced these eight are locks for Best Picture noms: Boyhood Birdman Selma Whiplash Foxcatcher The Imitation Game The Theory of Everything Gone Girl That ninth slot, in my opinion, is wide open right now. It could be A Most Violent Year. It could be Unbroken. It could be Interstellar. Who knows, American Sniper could sneak in there. I’m wondering if the… Read more »


I was looking at the possible nominees and quite simply went “YUCK what a bore”. Not quite sure what is going on with Hollywood these days, but the films being turned out just have no universal appeal. I was reviewing some of the Oscar nominations for previous years … Just take a look at 1955 and the broad range of genres and talent. If the film makers want to get seats in the seats, a little variety would be appreciated. A Man Called Peter Bad Day At Blackrock Battle Cry Blackboard Jungle Court Martial of Billy Mitchell Daddy Long Legs… Read more »


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