Oscars 2012 Update: Screen Actors Guild Awards

Last night was the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

It consistently remains one of the best Oscar precursors and one of the worst awards shows. God, it’s so boring. They speed through two hours and there’s no fun in it. It’s ridiculous. That’s the joy of these shows. Letting everybody get drunk and ramble and have fun.

But anyway, we’re not here for the show, we’re here for the results. This show really started cementing in the probable outcomes for the Oscars.

So let’s take a look at the winners of the 19th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards…

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture


The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Les Misérables


Silver Linings Playbook

Winner: Argo

That, my friends, is a BIG deal. It has the PGA, SAG, the Globe (less meaningful, but perception-wise, it helps), the BFCA — it has every single precursor you can get. (Then again, so did Apollo 13. Its director wasn’t nominated for Best Director either…) If this thing wins the DGA this weekend, then you can call that shit right now. (We’ll also monitor the WGA in a few weeks.)

However, given Lincoln‘s sum total of nominations and probable wins, and Silver Linings Playbook‘s solid nominations total — we’re still gonna consider this a three-way race for Best Picture. But the tide is certainly tipped in Argo‘s favor right now. This award was something Silver Linings Playbook should have won easily. It’s one Lincoln could have won easily. But neither did. So that’s a big statement. Argo has support from everyone.

And just to recap, here’s the list of previous winners and how they matched up to the Oscars:

SAG Best Ensemble Winner                                           Best Picture Winner

2011: The Help                                                                              The Artist

  2010: The King’s Speech                                                        The King’s Speech 

2009: Inglourious Basterds                                                     The Hurt Locker

    2008: Slumdog Millionaire                                                Slumdog Millionaire

       2007: No Country for Old Men                                        No Country for Old Men

2006: Little Miss Sunshine                                                        The Departed

      2005: Crash                                                                                       Crash

                 2004: Sideways                                                               Million Dollar Baby

2003: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King          Return of the King

   2002: Chicago                                                                               Chicago

         2001: Gosford Park                                                            A Beautiful Mind

        2000: Traffic                                                                            Gladiator

       1999: American Beauty                                                     American Beauty

      1998: Shakespeare in Love                                             Shakespeare in Love

1997: The Full Monty                                                                  Titanic

               1996: The Birdcage                                                     The English Patient

          1995: Apollo 13                                                                   Braveheart

So all this win really means is that the actors like Argo a lot. Which is a big deal only when you put it next to all the other big wins for Argo. Right now, that’s your favorite. Lincoln is gonna remain there because it’s the obvious choice, and Silver Linings Playbook is gonna remain there because it’s the only other film with the most widespread support. (You can also say Life of Pi, but I don’t think any of us truly think that film is gonna do anything except win a couple of technical awards like Visual Effects and Score and stuff. Maybe Lee upsets for Director, since that category is the big wild card this year, but other than that, do we really think it has a play for it all?)

So that’s what we need to take out of this.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

John Hawkes, The Sessions

Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables

Denzel Washington, Flight

Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

This basically means no one beats Daniel Day-Lewis. Not that we thought anyone could, but — a win by Jackman or Cooper could have made it interesting for a second. Now — not happening.

One thing I did take out of this, though, was that when I saw the clip they chose for Cooper when they announced the nominees, it reminded me of just how good Cooper’s performance was.

This is such a great Oscar category. I don’t even care that Day-Lewis is gonna win. The category is just incredible.

Here are the previous winners. I’ll mention which ones didn’t win the Oscar, not that it matters. We already know how this is turning out:

2011: Jean Dujardin, The Artist

2010: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech

2009: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart

2008: Sean Penn, Milk

2007: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood

2006: Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland

2005: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote

2004: Jamie Foxx, Ray

2003: Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Sean Penn won the Oscar for Mystic River.)

2002: Daniel Day-Lewis, Gangs of New York (Adrien Brody won the Oscar for The Pianist.)

2001: Russell Crowe, A Beautiful Mind (Denzel won the Oscar for Training Day.)

2000: Benicio del Toro, Traffic (Russell Crowe won the Oscar for Gladiator. Benicio won Supporting.)

1999: Kevin Spacey, American Beauty

1998: Roberto Benigni, Life Is Beautiful

1997: Jack Nicholson, As Good as It Gets

1996: Geoffrey Rush, Shine

1995: Nicolas Cage, Leaving Las Vegas

1994: Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump

The track record doesn’t lie. Day-Lewis has it in the bag. When he wins BAFTA, then it’s a 100% lock. There’s really only two upsets in SAG/Oscar history here. Depp is a meaningless win, since we knew he wasn’t winning the Oscar, and del Toro won Supporting, so that’s a different discrepancy entirely. It’s really just ’01 and ’02.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Helen Mirren, Hitchcock

Naomi Watts, The Impossible

Winner: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

This surprised me. For the better. I wasn’t totally sold on Chastain winning. I’m still not totally sold that Chastain doesn’t win, but at this point, it seems like the Oscar is Lawrence’s to lose. And her speech last night was so terrific — that was an Oscar speech. That shit goes a long way with voters. She’s your big favorite here, but it’s not in the bag yet, just because this category has a strong track record, but not an impeccable one:

2011: Viola Davis, The Help (Meryl won the Oscar for The Iron Lady.)

2010: Natalie Portman, Black Swan

2009: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side

2008: Meryl Streep, Doubt (Kate Winslet won the Oscar for The Reader. She won SAG Supporting.)

2007: Julie Christie, Away from Her (Marion Cotillard won the Oscar for La Vie en Rose.)

2006: Helen Mirren, The Queen

2005: Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line

2004: Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby

2003: Charlize Theron, Monster

2002: Renée Zellweger, Chicago (Nicole Kidman won the Oscar for The Hours.)

2001: Halle Berry, Monsters Ball

2000: Julia Roberts, Erin Brockovich

1999: Annette Bening, American Beauty (Hilary Swank won the Oscar for Boys Don’t Cry.)

1998: Gwyneth Paltrow, Shakespeare in Love

1997: Helen Hunt, As Good as It Gets

1996: Frances McDormand, Fargo

1995: Susan Sarandon, Dead Man Walking

1994: Jodie Foster, Nell (Jessica Lange won the Oscar for Blue Sky.)

So they differed six times of 18. That’s only a 2/3 percentage at the moment. However, the Winslet one is a wash, since she won, but in a different category. Last year was an upset, 2007 was a tight race, 2002 was probably an upset, 1999 was an upset, and 1994 was — I’m not entirely sure what it was, but it makes sense.

So basically, this race is somewhere between a tight race and an upset. Since a lot of people felt Chastain was doing well, but I’ve really only seen Jennifer Lawrence do well recently. But I guess it’s been pretty back and forth, so we can still consider it a tight race. Chastain won BFCA, Lawrence won SAG, they both won the Globe. But, I remember when I looked at BFCA — they have a problem with the tight ones. I’m leaning toward SAG here. But — I feel like BAFTA leans more toward Chastain, so I think this remains a tight race and still would not be surprised to hear her name called on the night.

At this point, I’d be shocked to see Riva, Wallis or Watt’s names called. I think it’s them too.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Alan Arkin, Argo

Javier Bardem, Skyfall

Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook

Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master

Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Winner: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

This race has been all over the place. Hoffman won the BFCA, Waltz won the Globe, and now Jones won this.

2011: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

2010: Christian Bale, The Fighter

2009: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

2008: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

2007: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men

2006: Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls (Alan Arkin won the Oscar for Little Miss Sunshine.)

2005: Paul Giamatti, Cinderella Man (George Clooney won the Oscar for Syriana.)

2004: Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby

2003: Tim Robbins, Mystic River

2002: Christopher Walken, Catch Me If You Can (Chris Cooper won the Oscar for Adaptation.)

2001: Ian McKellen, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Jim Broadbent won the Oscar for Iris.)

2000: Albert Finney, Erin Brockovich (Benicio del Toro won the Oscar for Traffic. He won Best Actor for SAG.)

1999: Michael Caine, The Cider House Rules

1998: Robert Duvall, A Civil Action (James Coburn won the Oscar for Affliction.)

1997: Robin Williams, Good Will Hunting

1996: Cuba Gooding, Jr., Jerry Maguire

1995: Ed Harris, Apollo 13 (Kevin Spacey won the Oscar for The Usual Suspects.)

1994: Martin Landau, Ed Wood

They missed 7/18 so far. One of them is the Benicio thing, so really 6 that are the problem ones.

Eddie Murphy losing was a huge upset. Veteran win, but still — Murphy won all the precursors.

Giamatti losing was also an upset.

Walken losing wasn’t really an upset, since I don’t think he won much else but SAG that year.

McKellen losing was — I don’t know. That one was all over the place.

The Duvall/Coburn one — meh. Veteran win.

Ed Harris and Spacey seem to have split a lot of the precursors.

So — I don’t know how much this means. But I guess we have to make Jones the tentative favorite here. SAG counts for a lot, the Oscar swing usually goes in favor of a veteran, and his character is one that lends itself most to a win. Loud, grumpy abolitionist who has to compromise his beliefs and also is secretly a softy with a black wife. He has a full arc, steals scenes (from the Best Actor winner), and has everything going for him. De Niro has the character arc, but not the flashiness of the performance that Jones has. And Hoffman has both of those going for him, but not the SAG win. It’s gonna be interesting. The entire category is full of winners.

At this point, if I had to rate the potential for people to win, it’s: Jones, then Hoffman, then De Niro, then Waltz, then Arkin.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Sally Field, Lincoln

Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables

Helen Hunt, The Sessions

Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy

Maggie Smith, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Winner: Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables

2011: Octavia Spencer, The Help

2010: Melissa Leo, The Fighter

2009: Mo’Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire

2008: Kate Winslet, The Reader (Penelope Cruz won the Oscar. Kate won Best Actress.)

2007: Ruby Dee, American Gangster (Tilda Swinton won the Oscar for Michael Clayton.)

2006: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls

2005: Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener

2004: Cate Blanchett, The Aviator

2003: Renée Zellweger, Cold Mountain

2002: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago

2001: Helen Mirren, Gosford Park (Jennifer Connelly won the Oscar for A Beautiful Mind. She was nominated for SAG Best Actress for that.)

2000: Judi Dench, Chocolat (Marcia Gay Harden won the Oscar for Pollock.)

1999: Angelina Jolie, Girl, Interrupted

1998: Kathy Bates, Primary Colors (Judi Dench won the Oscar for Shakespeare in Love.)

1997: Gloria Stuart, Titanic & Kim Basinger, L.A. Confidential

1996: Lauren Bacall, The Mirror Has Two Faces (Juliette Binoche won the Oscar for The English Patient.)

1995: Kate Winslet, Sense and Sensibility (Mira Sorvino won the Oscar for Mighty Aphrodite.)

1994: Dianne Wiest, Bullets Over Broadway

They’ve missed six times, two of them were category deals. So — four. And of the four —

Ruby Dee, veteran SAG and tight category.

Judi Dench, veteran and tight category.

Kathy Bates, veteran and weird category.

Lauren Bacall, veteran and major upset on Oscar night.

Kate Winslet — not sure what happened there.

Either way, I think you can tell that not only is Anne Hathaway a mortal lock, but this category is a really strong indicator of who’s going to win.

She’s going to win. This and Best Actor — they’ve been decided since before nominations were announced. You know they have.

Okay, now for the categories I don’t care about…

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries

Kevin Costner, Hatfield and McCoys

Woody Harrelson, Game Change

Ed Harris, Game Change

Clive Owen, Hemingway and Gellhorn

Bill Paxton, Hatfields and McCoys

Winner: Kevin Costner

He was the obvious choice. I also loved that he wasn’t there. It’s fitting after that Globes speech. I think he might have offed himself.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries

Nicole Kidman, Hemingway and Gellhorn

Julianne Moore, Game Change

Charlotte Rampling, Restless

Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals

Alfre Woodard, Steel Magnolias

Winner: Julianne Moore

No surprise. She played Palin. This was easy as shit to guess.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom

Jon Hamm, Mad Men

Damien Lewis, Homeland

Winner: Bryan Cranston

He’d never won this, so it was nice to see him win. Not that it matters who won this one, since I like all of these actors.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

Claire Danes, Homeland

Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey

Jessica Lange, American Horror Story Asylum

Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Winner: Claire Danes

No surprise. Everyone loves her. Lange won last year, Margulies won the two before that. Means nothing, but I felt I should mention.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actress in a Comedy Series

Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

Ty Burrell, Modern Family

Louis C.K., Louie

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

Winner: Alec Baldwin

Seven in a row. No joke. He’s won for every season of this show. If you thought this was a surprise, stop guessing awards shows.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie

Tina Fey, 30 Rock

Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Sofia Vegara, Modern Family

Betty White, Hot in Cleveland

Winner: Tina Fey

The show is ending on Thursday. I did not know this. That might have changed my guess. She also won the three before Betty White won the last two.

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

Boardwalk Empire

Breaking Bad

Downton Abbey


Mad Men

Winner: Downton Abbey

Not really a surprise. But either way, none of these would be surprises. Boardwalk took the last two, and Mad Men took the two before that. So it seems like this is winning next year, too.

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

30 Rock

The Big Bang Theory


Modern Family

Nurse Jackie

The Office

Winner: Modern Family

Three years running for this. No surprise.

– – – – – – – – – –

So those were the SAG Awards.

What did we get out of them?

Argo is a solid favorite for Best Picture.

Daniel Day-Lewis and Anne Hathaway will win the Oscars. (Until they don’t. But what idiot would vote against them at this point?)

Jennifer Lawrence is now your Best Actor favorite.

Tommy Lee Jones takes a slight lead in the Supporting Actor race.

Nice. That makes things easy. Now all we gotta do is start seeing what the guilds do to figure out how we’re gonna vote in the technical races. That’s the meat and potatoes of Oscar night anyway. That’s where you get your good tally up. Get the sound categories and makeup and costumes and stuff. That’s the difference between getting 16/24 and 20/24. So that’s the shit we’ll need to focus on over the next month. Otherwise you’re just rearranging an already made setpiece. We know this shit. Nothing changes here over the next month.

But that’s good, though.

One less thing.


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