Oscars 2017: SAG Award Nominations

The SAG Awards were announced this morning. As always, I mention that they are the body that helps tell you which way the acting categories are gonna go at the Oscars. But that’s winners. Nominees — usually you get a good sense of where they’re leaning, but the main caveat that no one ever really follows the major caveat with these awards, which is — SAG is a huge voting body. Like ten times the size of the acting branch of the Academy, if not more. There are going to be more populist choices here, and just because the Globes and SAG have nominated certain people does not mean they’re locks for the Oscar. (Or do we not remember The Butler, Jennifer Aniston in that movie, or that year Sarah Silverman got all the guild nominations?)

My process with this is to see who they’ve nominated, appreciate everything, but wait and see how everything plays out before I start making wild claims. This year, I’m pretty sure we’re gonna end up with pretty standard fare, and I can probably guess where the major ‘populist’ nominations are gonna go. But we’ll see.

Here are your 2017 SAG nominations:

Best Ensemble

The Big Sick

Get Out

Lady Bird


Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Could have told you the middle three for sure. The Three Billboards love continues to surprise me. I mean, great. I just could not have called that six weeks ago. And The Big Sick, nice to see that bounce back a little bit.

This category means so little for them, and I suspect Get Out will win this, knowing SAG. Mudbound only really wins if they legitimately think it’s a contender. I doubt they just vote for it on its own. If it’s not Get Out, then everyone is all in on Lady Bird, which would be an interesting turn. But I don’t put any thought into this category because it doesn’t matter. So sure. These five.

Best Actor

Timothee Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name

James Franco, The Disaster Artist

Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel Esq.

Oldman and Chalamet just got their Oscar nominations. Those were very likely. Franco, Kaluuya and Denzel were all SAG locks. SAG loves Denzel, and I was hoping to see him here just to make him a legitimate contender for the nomination. Franco was always gonna get on SAG, as if anyone had doubt there. And Kaluuya was definitely gonna make it. That’s the sort of nomination SAG makes. I’m still dubious on his prospects at an actual nomination, but we’ll see. It’s not a particularly strong Best Actor crop.

The two to keep an eye out for at the BAFTAs are Tom Hanks and Daniel Day-Lewis. Hanks has been unceremoniously left out in the past even after being nominated by SAG, and Day-Lewis doesn’t need SAG to get on. Those are the two I think that’ll make some waves in the category.

It’s also way too early to call, but how does Oldman not walk away with this? (Oh, right, because they all vote for Franco, that’s how.)

Best Actress

Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul

Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

Margot Robbie, I Tonya

Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

Four of the five make sense. Judi Dench does not. Did they just vote for her because she’s Judi Dench? This reeks of all those years when Harvey would get SAG nominations for people out of nowhere.

This list left off both Meryl and Jessica Chastain. I wonder if that’s because the body couldn’t see the movies in time. I suspect that may be the case here.

This race seems to be your classic situation of “six people for five spots.” Right now, I’m thinking Margot Robbie ends up on the outside looking in, and both Meryl and Chastain get on. But Robbie could end up with the nomination in the end, especially if BAFTA nominates her, and then you’re probably left with a Chastain snub or (though that possibility keeps getting smaller) a Sally Hawkins snub.

Too early to call a winner in this one, but unless they’re gonna give it to Saoirse, it’s McDormand, right?

Best Supporting Actor

Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

They love them some Steve Carell. They nominated him for Best Actor for The Big Short. So that’s not surprising. Dafoe and Rockwell were always locks. And the Woody nomination is awesome. Also, another Three Billboards nomination. I fucking love it. And Jenkins makes total sense and he’ll likely end up on the final list.

Who did we leave off here? Armie Hammer. Not overly surprising, just because they might have considered him lead. No Stuhlbarg either. Neither is particularly out yet. This is a fairly open category. You have two spots that don’t seem particularly locked. I’d expect to see Armie Hammer get BAFTA and probably a nomination (Stuhlbarg could be nice too). That fifth spot — dunno. Idris Elba’s missed everything, probably because his performance blurs the line between supporting and lead. And for those who think Patrick Stewart has a chance because of that BFCA nom — wait for BAFTA. That’ll tell you if he does.

Right now, I suspect Dafoe takes it because of the Three Billboards vote split, but I’m for Rockwell all the way.

Best Supporting Actress

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound

Hong Chau, Downsizing

Holly Hunter, The Big Sick

Allison Janney, I Tonya

Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

It’s this category that tells you that SAG is just voting for what they’re ‘supposed to’ vote for. Mary J. Blige? Really? This is like that Oprah nomination for The Butler. I just don’t see that happening at the Oscars. I call bullshit on a few of these every year, and almost every year, I’m right. Happy to be wrong here, but I just don’t see how this is something we need to nominate.

The main three get on here, so all is right with that world. No Octavia Spencer, who I suspect likely gets on in the end because she tends to with these sorts of things.

Hong Chau is an interesting inclusion, and while I’m not sure she actually manages the nomination in the end, that does certainly help her case.

Big blow for Tiffany Haddish, who seemed like a lock for this a month ago. If she can’t manage SAG, how well is BAFTA gonna fare for her? And if all she has is a BFCA nomination, that certainly doesn’t bode well for the Oscars.

This seems like a particularly weak year. So unless BAFTA has anyone new to offer us, your category might end up looking a lot like this one plus either Haddish or Spencer.

I have no idea how they’re gonna vote on this, but Janney or Metcalf have to be the favorites, right?

Best Stunt Ensemble

Baby Driver



War for the Planet of the Apes

Wonder Woman


– – – – –

And now the TV stuff.

Best Ensemble in a Drama Series

The Crown

Game of Thrones

The Handmaid’s Tale

Stranger Things

This Is Us

Whatever. Handmaid’s Tale or Stranger Things, right? Isn’t that how they vote?

Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series


Curb Your Enthusiasm


Orange Is the New Black


Just give it to Black-ish, man. They get nominated all the time and get nothing. I hope Curb, but just fucking give it to Black-ish. They’re a great ensemble.

Or do they just give it to Glow or Veep and make their protests by voting for all the African-American / ‘women’ shows? Because that is a very SAG thing to do.

Best Stunt Ensemble in a Drama or Comedy Series

Game of Thrones



Stranger Things

The Walking Dead

Seems kind of unfair to put Glow in the same category as Game of Thrones, but okay.

Best Actor in a Drama Series

Jason Bateman, Ozark

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

David Harbour, Stranger Things

Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul

Harbour or Brown, I expect. Unless they really like Bateman that much.

Best Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish

Aziz Ansari, Master of None

Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm

Sean Hayes, Will and Grace

William H. Macy, Shameless

Marc Maron, Glow

Maron would be funny. Larry David would be awesome. I’m still rooting for Anderson, even though either Macy will win again or they’ll just go Will and Grace because they’re too big and the voting gets watered down to the broadly popular mainstream.

Best Actress in a Drama Series

Millie Bobbie Brown, Stranger Things

Claire Foy, The Crown

Laura Linney, Ozark

Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

Robin Wright, House of Cards

Millie Bobby got upped to lead this time.

It’s Moss though, right? Linney seems like a no-shot, Wright only wins if they wanna make a statement against Spacey, and Foy may have won last year. If it’s not Moss, it’s gotta be Foy, unless they’re all Stranger Things nuts. But I feel like everyone likes Moss, so it’s probably her.

Best Actress in a Comedy Series

Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black

Alison Brie, GLOW

Jane Fonda, Grace and Frankie

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Is anyone but Julia Louis-Dreyfus allowed to win this?

Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie

Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Lying Detective

Jeff Daniels, Godless

Robert De Niro, The Wizard of Lies

Geoffrey Rush, Genius

Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies

Had no idea Jeff Daniels was in Godless. That certainly will help me see it.

Skarsgard will win this. There doesn’t feel like there’s that person they’ll just vote for because they like them on here. So let’s say it’s him.

Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie

Laura Dern, Big Little Lies

Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies

Jessica Lange, Feud

Susan Sarandon, Feud

Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies

At this point, who gives a shit?

– – – – – – – – – –

So yeah, those are the SAG nominations. My big takeaway is the Three Billboards love. Otherwise, I’m not overly surprised at anything.

This is a fairly large piece of the puzzle, and there’s one major one left to land. So let’s see where BAFTA goes next month. Until then, it’s end of the year, recap time, bitches.


5 responses

  1. lacourseauxetoiles

    The SAG didn’t nominate Steve Carell for The Big Short. They nominated DiCaprio, Redmayne, Fassbender, Cranston, and Depp that year.

    December 13, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    • Correct. Critics’ Choice and the Golden Globes nominated Carell in their Best Comedy Actor categories. That said, Carell gave my favorite male supporting performance of 2015.

      December 13, 2017 at 10:52 pm

  2. Devin

    You’re actually underestimating the Best Ensemble Cast award, It’s actually quite important when you consider that ever since 1996 EVERY Best Picture Winner has been nominated or won Best Ensemble Cast. In fact, it’s actually a 50/50 for the film who wins and considering Get Out, The Big Sick and Mudbound don’t have much chance in there, you should really look out for Lady Bird and Three Billboards

    December 13, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    • You took the words right out of my mouth, Devin.

      Ever since the shift to the preferential ballot for Best Picture, stats have fallen and new precedents made. These include:
      2012 (Argo: 1st BP winner w/o Directing Oscar nom since 1989’s Driving Miss Daisy),
      2013 (PGA tie b/w Gravity and eventual BP winner 12 Years a Slave),
      2014 (Birdman: 1st BP winner w/o Editing Oscar nom since 1980’s Ordinary People),
      2015 (PGA streak since 2007 broken by SAG Cast/BP winner Spotlight), and
      2016 (BP winner Moonlight loses PGA/DGA/SAG Cast).
      In 2015, a good handful thought The Revenant (or Mad Max early on) could break the SAG stat. It didn’t happen. (Meanwhile, Mike’s oft-stressed streak of Best Picture nominees or Star Wars films winning Best Visual Effects since Star Wars ’77 ended with Ex Machina.) Last year, many thought La La Land could overcome the lack of a Best Cast SAG nom with its record-tying 14 Oscar noms. It didn’t happen.

      The rising influence of actor-voters in recent award seasons tells me that the obligatory Best Cast SAG nomination will stay with us for some time. The wise among us would do well to adhere to the stat, even during this or a future awards season in which it appears it might finally break.

      December 13, 2017 at 11:20 pm

      • lacourseauxetoiles

        While I agree about the increasing importance of being nominated for SAG Ensemble, I still think The Post is a contender to win Best Picture. It most likely was only not nominated for Best Ensemble just because the SAG hadn’t gotten the chance to see it yet. The actors in the Academy should still love it.

        December 14, 2017 at 9:58 pm

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