Oscars 2015: Screen Actors Guild Awards Nominations

All right. We have our first set of nominees that matter. The SAG Awards.

A reminder — this isn’t what will be nominated. This is just what stands a good chance at being nominated. It’s what wins here that you need to watch out for.

This is based on the thousands upon thousands of members of SAG vote for. The Academy acting branch is much smaller and skews older and features more Brits. Don’t be slavishly devoted to whatever is nominated here. Because they tend to nominate weird stuff. And you have to factor into it that people who aren’t in SAG won’t be nominated here, and some films that are coming out late won’t have been seen in time.

That said, let’s see who SAG nominated this year:

Best Ensemble

Beasts of No Nation

The Big Short


Straight Outta Compton


No surprise the actors liked Trumbo. The Beasts of No Nation support means something. Straight Outta Compton makes sense here. The other two are all star casts. Otherwise, Best Ensemble means little.

Best Actor

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Johnny Depp, Black Mass

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Renenant

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

I’m not overly surprised by this. DiCaprio, Fassbender and Redmayne make total sense. Cranston has the kind of performance SAG goes for. Will he ultimately be nominated? Dunno. Depp makes sense, and could sneak on there by virtue of there not being a whole lot of performances out there.

Other potentials to keep eyes out for (with varying to no degrees of possibility):

Matt Damon, The Martian — the movie made a lot of money and is allegedly going to be nominated everywhere. I need to see evidence of this first. Him not being on here is a big strike against him. I’ll keep him in the conversation, but if he misses BAFTA and only gets the Globe nomination (which he will… for comedy), it’ll take the indication of some American Hustle type love for me to think he’s gonna get on.

Michael Caine, Youth — He’s snuck on before. The Quiet American performance wasn’t nominated by SAG. He’ll get BAFTA and if he gets Globes too, he can be a solid contender. Still, don’t rule him out on the veteran vote.

Geza Rohrig, Son of Saul — He’s not SAG, I’d imagine, so he can still make it on. He’s a contender.

Ian McKellen, Mr. Holmes — Unlikely from the jump. BAFTA will maybe keep him in the conversation, but I don’t know if he gets on.

Will Smith, Concussion — This movie was… not great. He’s fine, but he needed SAG to even have a chance. No shot here. He’s done.

Tom Hanks, Bridge of Spies — He needed this to factor in. They nominated him SAG for Captain Phillips. That was a much better performance than this. He’s out.

SAG matches up pretty solid with the Oscars. Last year was 4/5, 2013 was 3/5, 2012 was 4/5, 2011 was 4/5, 2010 was 4/5. Usually they’ll get 4/5. I’d imagine Cranston will be the one left off.

I’m trying to think if there’s anyone else who really stands a chance… Tom Courtenay, I doubt it. John Cusack probably needed SAG to stand a chance. Michael B. Jordan was a long shot to begin with. Abraham Attah I guess can still technically be considered because he’s not SAG, but again, I doubt it.

So yeah, I’m thinking this won’t be your Oscar list purely because it’s never your full Oscar list. Either Cranston or Depp will likely be left off in favor of… guessing now… Rohrig, Caine or Damon. Maybe another person will make themselves known over the other precursors.

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett, Carol

Brie Larson, Room

Helen Mirren, Woman in Gold

Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Sarah Silverman, I Smile Back


Not Helen Mirren, Harvey gets people on SAG in his sleep. (He got Naomi Watts on for St. Vincent and Diane Kruger on for Inglourious Basterds. Plus they’ll vote Helen Mirren for anything. Even Hitchcock.)

Sarah Silverman getting on here surprised the shit out of me. That performance was fine but that movie wasn’t very good. But fuck. Where did that come from?

Best Actress is usually not always a match with SAG, so the alternatives will still be contenders. This year, it was always Blanchett, Ronan and Larson as the locks.

Other potentials to take the last two sports: Jennifer Lawrence, Charlotte Rampling, Carey Mulligan.

Joy reviews are only starting to trickle in, so maybe they didn’t see it in time (happened with Wolf of Wall Street). Not gonna rule her out at all.

Rampling will get BAFTA and could still easily get on if enough voters see it.

Carey Mulligan will likely get BAFTA, but probably needed SAG in order to raise awareness.

I’m actually a bit at a loss as to what can make it on. Lily Tomlin is too low profile in Grandma. Maggie Smith in Lady in the Van seems really unlikely. There’s really not a whole lot else. I’m really gonna need to see other precursors to get a read on this one.

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale, The Big Short

Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Michael Shannon, 99 Homes

Jacob Tremblay, Room

Boy, did they go off the board here. Interesting. Not one Spotlight nomination. Can’t imagine the Academy will go that way. No Benicio. Which sucks to see. No Stallone. No Dano. No Tom Hardy. Hardy makes sense not being here though.

Tremblay is amazing in that movie, so that’s really nice to see. I was wondering if he’d get on. Though I guess he is SAG? I don’t know how any of this works. Nice to see Shannon get on. He was great. Rylance was always gonna be there, and Elba also makes sense. Bale is surprising to me. Just saw that movie last night. He’s fine, but it’s more of an ensemble. Not sure that one holds up unless they really love that movie. Spotlight seems to be the ensemble of choice. Otherwise the list is solid.

Keep an eye out for Benicio del Toro, Sylvester Stallone (though he just took a big hit), Paul Dano (also took a hit), Tom Hardy (doubtful, but why not?), and either Michael Keaton or Mark Ruffalo. They’re still in the conversation.

Best Supporting Actress

Rooney Mara, Carol

Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

Helen Mirren, Trumbo

Alivia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Helen Mirren is to SAG what Meryl Streep is to the Golden Globes. I mean, really? Come on now, guys.

Winslet, Vikander and Mara seem like safe bets. McAdams is surprising as the Spotlight nomination for the Oscars, but makes sense for SAG. That said, not seeing a whole lot of alternatives, and Spotlight could get the two Supporting nominations. That would make some sense.

Other contenders — Jennifer Jason Leigh (this has happened before with Quentin films. They only just premiered this on Monday. Something tells me no one saw it yet), Jane Fonda (so they say. She can get carried on from BAFTA/vets), Elizabeth Banks (though if no Dano or Cusack, we can pretty much rule her out), Kristen Stewart (they’re saying, but she needed SAG. Plus nobody saw that movie and no one got a screener of that movie. So she’s out until some major groups nominate her), and Joan Allen. DO NOT sleep on Joan Allen, especially since Room could be getting more than one acting nomination.

Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory

Key & Peele

Modern Family

Orange Is the New Black



Key & Peele. That’s nice. Otherwise, pretty standard stuff here.

Best Actor in a Comedy Series

Ty Burrell, Modern Family

Louis C.K., Louie

William H. Macy, Shameless

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

These all look familiar. They’re just gonna keep feeding these to Tambor.

Best Actress in a Comedy Series

Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black

Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie

Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Same as last time, except Aduba went lead. Doesn’t Julia Louis-Dreyfus always win this?

Best Ensemble in a Drama Series

Downton Abbey

Game of Thrones


House of Cards

Mad Men

Same as always. Yawn. Don’t care.

Best Actor in a Drama Series

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Jon Hamm, Mad Men

Rami Malek, Mr. Robot

Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul

Kevin Spacey, House of Cards


Best Actress in a Drama Series

Claire Danes, Homeland

Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder

Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Robin Wright, House of Cards

Oh look, the same five we have every year.

Best Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries

Idris Elba, Luther

Ben Kingsley, Tut

Ray Liotta, Texas Rising

Bill Murray, A Very Murray Christmas

Mark Rylance, Wolf Hall

Bill Murray. Ha.

Best Actress in a TV Movie or Miniseries

Nicole Kidman, Grace of Monaco

Queen Latifah, Bessie

Christina Ricci, The Lizzie Borden Chronicles

Susan Sarandon, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe

Kristen Wiig, The Spoils Before Dying

That’s hilarious. Grace of Monaco failed so badly they dumped it on TV and Harvey still managed to get it nominated. I just assume Latifah wins here.

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