The 18th annual Screen Actors Guild awards will take place on TNT and TBS on January 29, 2012 at 8 p.m. Here are the nominees:
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
“Midnight in Paris”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Demian Bichir, “A Better Life”
George Clooney, “The Descendants”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “J. Edgar”
Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”
Brad Pitt, “Moneyball”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Glenn Close, “Albert Nobbs”
Viola Davis, “The Help”
Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”
Tilda Swinton,“We Need To Talk About Kevin”
Michelle Williams, “My Week With Marilyn”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Kenneth Branagh, “My Week With Marilyn”
Armie Hammer, “J. Edgar”
Jonah Hill, “Moneyball”
Nick Nolte, “Warrior”
Christopher Plummer, “Beginnners”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Berenice Bejo, “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain, “The Help”
Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”
Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs”
Octavia Spencer, “The Help”
First and foremost, my initial reactions for the SAG nominations were sort of plain. The nominations for The Artist, The Descendants, and The Help were obvious, but I was quite surprised by Midnight in Paris and Bridesmaids to receive noms. I was expecting to see Drive, The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, or even Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in for the running instead of Bridesmaids (not that I mind because I loved Bridesmaids).
For those who are just shrugging their shoulders and thinking, “Who cares? What does all this matter in the long run?” Let’s take a look at the past few years and see how they match up with the Academy’s Best Picture:
Last year, 2011, The King’s Speech won the Outstanding Performance by a Cast and ended up winning Best Picture. Also, Black Swan, The Fighter, The Kids Are All Right, and The Social Network were nominated for the SAG and all were nominated for Best Picture.
In 2010, Inglourious Basterds won the Outstanding Performance by a Cast and was also nominated for Best Picture. The other SAG nominees were An Education, The Hurt Locker, Nine, and Precious. The Hurt Locker won Best Picture and Nine was not a Best Picture nominee.
In 2009, Slumdog Millionaire won the Outstanding Performance by a Cast and also won Best Picture at the Oscars. Other SAG nominees included The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Doubt, Frost/Nixon, and Milk. Only Doubt wasn’t also a Best Picture nominee.
In 2008, No Country for Old Men won the Outstanding Performance by a Cast and also won Best Picture at the Oscars. Other SAG nominees were 3:10 to Yuma, American Gangster, Hairspray, and Into the Wild. NONE were nominated for Best Picture.
So what can we conclude? Out of the past 4 years, the movie that won SAG’s Outstanding Performance by a Cast won Best Picture THREE times. Why is that? Because the SAG makes up the largest guild of the entire Academy who votes for the Oscars. Winning the SAG award is being recognized by your peers and puts you at an advantage going into the Oscars. You most likely already have the majority of the votes by the largest guild in The Academy, it’s like you can practically see the finish line.
Anyway, all of this really enforces is that this year’s Best Picture seems to be coming down to a race between two movies: The Artist vs. The Descendants. It’s still early, but that’s really what it’s shaping up to be (unless War Horse can make a ridiculous push as the dark horse, no pun intended).