Oscars 2014: Screen Actors Guild Nominations

Oh boy. The first big set of nominations are here. (And are gonna be followed almost immediately by the second.)

The SAG Awards are a big deal. Mostly because the acting branch is the biggest branch in the Academy. So whoever gets nominated here is essentially short-tracked to a nomination. It’s not completely set in stone. But it helps.

Anyway, I won’t get into too much in the intro. It’s SAG. We know them. We know how important they are.

Here are your 2014 SAG nominations:

Best Ensemble

Birdman

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

The Theory of Everything

Best Ensemble doesn’t mean so much, but it does give you an idea of what they’re thinking about for Best Picture a little bit. Though, these shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody. (Grand Budapest is the big ensemble that always makes it in. Last year, August: Osage County and The Butler made it on.)

There isn’t anything here to suggest a Dallas Buyers Club type run to a nomination. I’d figure Theory of Everything was a solid bet based on BAFTA alone. It’s possible it doesn’t, but nothing shocks me here. Imitation Game gets on through Weinstein alone. And the other two were always locks.

So no shockers here. You have to assume Boyhood takes this at the moment.

Best Actor

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game

Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler

Michael Keaton, Birdman

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Our first real category that matters.

Selma is nowhere to be found. Possibly because it was too late to be included. Remember, Django wasn’t nominated anywhere here and still managed a nice amount of Oscar nominations. So this doesn’t mean anyone’s out of it.

Let’s start from the top down:

Redmayne, Cumberbatch and Keaton — obviously. The roles are too juicy to not include. Carell is interesting. The role is baity as hell, but I wasn’t sure if they’d include him. I’m still not sure if he makes the final cut of five in the end.

Gyllenhaal is the one that shocks me. That performance did not seem at all like something they would nominate. And I’d consider him first to be left off in an Academy vote. Which means — who’s left?

First, there’s David Oyelowo, who you have to consider a contender until the end because he’s playing Martin Luther King. So we’ll see where BAFTA and the Globes go before we make any sweeping statements about that. (And, you know… see how good the actual film is.)

At this point, it’s hard to see Channing Tatum get on over Carell. Getting a SAG nod was his only shot there.

Oscar Isaac for A Most Violent Year. This will be his second year running with a highly praised performance that gets ignored. Have to watch out for him.

Bill Murray never had a shot for St. Vincent. This eliminates him entirely. Timothy Spall will get a BAFTA nomination, but without a Globe nomination, you can’t really expect too much out of that one. Jack O’Connell was always a long shot for Unbroken. They’d really need to fall in love with that one to have it get on anywhere but the big one. (Supporting Actor isn’t out of the question, given that category. But I haven’t seen the film yet, so I can’t speak remotely intelligently about anything regarding it.)

The only other remaining contender that took a big hit here was Ben Affleck for Gone Girl. He’ll get a Globe nomination, because the Globes are starfuckers to the highest degree. Especially since Keaton is gonna be under comedy there. (And so is Joaquin Phoenix, but I think we all figured that nomination wasn’t ever in the cards.)

At this point, though — while I’d be surprised if this was your top five… it’s looking like this is most of your top five.

There’s no way Keaton, Redmayne or Cumberbatch doesn’t make it. And two Brits? Unless BAFTA hates one of those movies, those seem like pretty solid locks. And Carell seems like he’ll likely be on. So I imagine that just leaves whether or not Gyllenhaal can make it. It’s a tough call at this point.

Also, typically, SAG matches up at least three to the Oscars. Most of the time, it’s four, but last year, both Hanks and Whitaker got left off in favor of Christian Bale and Leo. (Again, a movie being shut out of SAG that opens late that gets on. That has to be considered.)

Outside of last year, 2012 matched 4/5, 2011 matched 4/5, 2010 matched 4/5, and then from 2006-2009, they matched 5/5 except 2007, which was 3/5. So typically, you’re gonna be mostly right by picking SAG.

That means you have:

Carell, Redmayne, Gyllenhaal, Keaton and Cumberbatch.

Potential alternates: Oyelowo, Isaac, Affleck.

Anyone else would be pretty surprising. At least now. We might see something coming come nominations time.

Best Actress

Jennifer Aniston, Cake

Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Four of these looked like locks. Jones, Witherspoon and Moore were always on. Pike always seemed like a strong bet based on the lack of competition, even though she’d never win given the nature of her role. (Academy doesn’t like that.)

I wasn’t overly impressed by the Marion Cotillard argument to this point. I saw the movie, liked it, but wasn’t overly impressed by the performance. Even so, I like her, so I wasn’t ruling it out based on that. I was worried not enough people would even see the film to put it on. And, if you remember, in 2012, she was nominated here for Rust and Bone and wasn’t nominated for the Oscars (that was the year her and Helen Mirren got both Globe and SAG nominations, but were left off the Oscar list for Quvenzhané Wallis and Emmanuelle Riva). So her not being nominated here makes her a real long shot to make it next month.

Harvey Weinstein has decided late in the game to start pushing Jessica Chastain for The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. If anyone has the pull to get her on, it’s him. Plus, she’s Jessica Chastain, and also has A Most Violent Year (more on that in a minute) and Interstellar to her credit (or… credits). She’s still a major contender. Plus, getting Aniston to the final list of nominees won’t be such a…. Cake walk.

I’m the best.

Who else has a chance at this? Hilary Swank only had a chance if she got SAG, and I thought the buzz was dubious at best, having seen that one. Gugu Mbatha-Raw was never a real contender without something like this. Amy Adams never seemed like a real threat outside the Globes (and she should get a Globes nomination). There’s really not anyone else.

Quite honestly, you might be looking at your final five here.

Chastain is your alternate, and maybe you’re looking at something crazy happening, like Arquette getting switched in her category (but honestly, they’d be dumb to even attempt that). Right now, you’re practically guaranteed to get four of five here, and after that, we wait for the other guilds to see who else can potentially sneak on.

Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall, The Judge

Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Edward Norton, Birdman

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Norton, Ruffalo and Simmons are on. Don’t waste time there. How can you not consider Hawke a lock, considering the complete lack of contenders?

Duvall will be considered a favorite for the fifth spot given his stature, but know two things: one, remember in 2010 when he got nominated here for Get Low and was completely left off the Oscar list (in favor of… I wanna say…oh, it was Javier Bardem)? And this also reeks of Forest Whitaker getting nominated for The Butler. There’s always the lighter fare that sneaks onto SAG that doesn’t always make the final list. So beware guessing him automatically just because he’s Duvall. This might not work out for you.

Watch out for Josh Brolin. I don’t know how serious a contender he actually is, but he’s definitely a name that can sneak on here. As well as almost anyone from that movie.

I’m trying to think of what other veteran/wild card there could be at the moment. Currently drawing blanks. We’ll see what I can think of. Oh, right. Japanese camp dude from Unbroken. He could be a contender as well. Gonna wait to see how this one shakes out before I make proclamations.

Either way, you’re looking at an easy 4/5 here too.

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

Emma Stone, Birdman

Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Naomi Watts, St. Vincent

SO FUCKING HAPPY FOR NAOMI WATTS. Thought it would be for Birdman. Love that it’s for St. Vincent. I thought she was awesome in that movie, and I’m glad she got on.

Will she make the final list? No idea. It’s anybody’s game at this point, since there’s actually no set category whatsoever.

Arquette seems like the only lock.

You have to assume Meryl will get on simply because she’s Meryl. But even then, Meryl gets a lot of SAG nominations that don’t always translate to Oscar nominations. So even that’s not a definite given.

Emma Stone seems the most likely to be left off. And seems like they just really enjoyed Birdman. Can’t consider her a definite lock either. Especially since — SAG nominated Mila Kunis. So we can’t completely buy into what they say in every category.

Keira Knightley is an interesting one. I didn’t see her pop up in any of the precursors, though she seemed like a natural fit, given the nature of the performance. So I’ll pay attention to that one when I watch the movie.

Personally, the performance I was hoping made it on was Carrie Coon for Gone Girl. I thought she was fantastic. Also, I’m not gonna rule out Oprah getting on for Selma. They’re featuring her prominently in the trailer. I’m not sure if she’s a glorified cameo or not, but her getting on could make that lack of a nomination for The Butler look so much better.

Oh, and Laura Dern is a possibility.  They could easily get her snuck on for Wild. This isn’t that strong a category at all. Don’t rule that one out for a half a second.

And Jessica Chastain should absolutely get on for A Most Violent Year. That’s been the most praised supporting performance of the year next to Patricia Arquette. I can’t see that being left off every other list.

Though that does beg the question — with Weinstein pushing for lead now… can she pull off the double nominations? This could be a year she can pull it off, and end up winning Supporting. That’s happened before. (Jessica Lange did it. Fay Bainter did it. Possibly one more. I’m not in that mindset right now and don’t want to look it up. And don’t need to be told. The point is, the opportunity is there.)

This, as usual, will be an interesting category to watch develop. The Globes might have a say in this one (or illuminate us as to what could possibly get on). Though I already know they’re gonna nominate Meryl, so that’ll only make things harder for us.

I’m also curious, when I think about what I’d be nominating (and what my favorite performances were from all these categories), who I’d put on. This is gonna be an interesting month.

– – – – –

Oh, and now for the TV categories.

We already know I could care less about these.

But I go through the motions anyway, because categories are fun.

Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Modern Family

Orange Is the New Black

Veep

Okay. Modern Family always wins this.

Best Actor in a Comedy Series

Ty Burrell, Modern Family

Louis C.K., Louie

William H. Macy, Shameless

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

Sure.

As always, I root for Louis. As always, he won’t win.

Parsons has won. Burrell has won. Maybe they’ll give it to Stonestreet. That would be cool. Macy seems like the Edie Falco of this category.

Speaking of which…

Best Actress in a Comedy Series

Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black

Julie Bowen, Modern Family

Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

You can just pencil in Edie Falco, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Amy Poehler into this category. And Julie Bowen most years too. And they put an Orange Is the New Black actress on there.

Guess what? Do not care about this category one bit. One of the same people will win, and I won’t care.

Best Ensemble in a Drama Series

Boardwalk Empire

Downton Abbey

Game of Thrones

Homeland

House of Cards

Sure. Don’t really care at all.

Best Actress in a Drama Series

Claire Danes, Homeland

Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder

Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Robin Wright, House of Cards

Six?

I root for Tatiana Maslany every time.

Robin Wright usually wins this. Though by usually, I mean… once.

Danes seems an afterthought. Don’t think they go back to Margulies. Maggie Smith never shows up, and I doubt they’d do it.

So it’s either Wright or Davis. Maybe Maslany can get enough support. If it’s not her, then I don’t care.

Best Actor in a Drama Series

Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Woody Harrelson, True Detective

Matthew McConaughey, True Detective

Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Ah, we’re in a post Breaking Bad world. Buscemi is here for the last time. I don’t think they go him. Dinklage… doubt it. It’s either McConaughey or Spacey. I don’t see him and Woody splitting the vote. It’s either Spacey or McConaughey. I think the True Detective love has died down enough to where Spacey is a legitimate threat to take this.

But ultimately, don’t care. All five of these actors are cool, and the TV awards are meaningless to me, so whichever way they want to go is fine.

Best Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries

Adrien Brody, Houdini

Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: His Last Vow

Richard Jenkins, Olive Kitteridge

Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart

Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo

Billy Bob Thornton. Yes.

Otherwise, don’t care. Maybe they give it to Ruffalo. Cumberbatch seems likely.

Otherwise, if it’s not Billy Bob, I don’t care.

Best Actress in a TV Movie or Miniseries

Ellen Burstyn, Flowers in the Attic

Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Honorable Woman

Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge

Julia Roberts, The Normal Heart

Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful

Wouldn’t be SAG without Ellen Burstyn getting on.

I imagine this is either Frances McDormand, Julia or Cicely. Julia might be the big fish bait there, but either way — do not care.

– – – – –

So those are your SAG Award nominees.

This is a weak year, one that could potentially be masked by good nominations. So I’m not gonna feel one way or the other about them. It does give us a nice, strong way to kick off our Oscar season officially, though. Like that Thursday NFL game to start the season.

I’ll be back tomorrow with your Golden Globe nominees.

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One response

  1. BlueFox94

    “You have to assume Boyhood takes this at the moment.”

    Nah, I doubt that. Birdman is the ensemble frontrunner right now and will probably win.

    December 10, 2014 at 12:44 pm

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