SAG Awards Nominees 2014

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The Screen Actors Guild Awards are chosen and voted for by the largest guild in the business: the actors. It’s always interesting to see which movies and actors the peers are leaning towards as the best from the past year. Should we take these nominees seriously when trying to predict the Oscars?

There are only five nominees every year for the SAG Outstanding Performance by a Cast award, so during the days when there were only five Best Picture nominees, it was fun to compare. Now with more Best Picture nominees, all of these guild nominations are just hints at what the Best Picture category can look like.

Let’s take a look at the past few SAG Ensemble winners and Best Picture winners:

2012: Argo (SAG) – Argo (Oscar)
2011: The Help (SAG) – The Artist (Oscar)
2010: The King’s Speech (SAG) – The King’s Speech (Oscar)
2009: Inglourious Basterds (SAG) – The Hurt Locker (Oscar)
2008: Slumdog Millionaire (SAG) – Slumdog Millionaire (Oscar)

So based on the past five years when matching the SAG and Best Picture, you can see a on-and-off pattern. If that pattern continues, then the winning SAG Ensemble won’t match this year’s Best Picture, but that’s pretty silly. It’s better off mentioning that there’s about a 50% chance that the winning SAG ensemble will also end up winning Best Picture.

Here are the nominees:

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
August: Osage County
Dallas Buyers Club
Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Bruce Dern / Woody Grant – “Nebraska”
Chiwetel Ejiofor / Solomon Northup – “12 Years a Slave”
Tom Hanks / Capt. Richard Phillips – “Captain Phillips”
Matthew McConaughey / Ron Woodroof – “Dallas Buyers Club”
Forest Whitaker / Cecil Gaines – “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Cate Blanchett / Jasmine – “Blue Jasmine”
Sandra Bullock / Ryan Stone – “Gravity”
Judi Dench / Philomena Lee – “Philomena”
Meryl Streep / Violet Weston – “August: Osage County”
Emma Thompson / P.L. Travers – “Saving Mr. Banks”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Barkhad Abdi / Muse – “Captain Phillips”
Daniel Brühl / Niki Lauda – “Rush”
Michael Fassbender / Edwin Epps – “12 Years a Slave”
James Gandolfini / Albert – “Enough Said”
Jared Leto / Rayon – “Dallas Buyers Club”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Jennifer Lawrence / Rosalyn Rosenfeld – “American Hustle”
Lupita Nyong’o / Patsey – “12 Years a Slave”
Julia Roberts / Barbara Weston – “August: Osage County”
June Squibb / Kate Grant – “Nebraska”
Oprah Winfrey / Gloria Gaines – “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”

At this stage of the game, the two front-runners for Best Picture seem to be 12 Years a Slave and Gravity. Gravity’s absence for the SAG Ensemble award isn’t that big of a deal though, since it’s practically Sandra Bullock throughout. What I can make out from the five nominees is that American Hustle is making a push towards the top tier alongside 12 Years a Slave and Gravity as favorites. Also, Lee Daniel’s The Butler is doing very well and is on its way to making a serious push for Best Picture.

I am very surprised that Robert Redford wasn’t among the nominees for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for All is Lost. Also, Joaquin Phoenix didn’t get nominated while Her is receiving incredible raves from groups like the National Board of Review, the American Film Institute, along with many critic circles. But the Lead Actor category is stacked this year, so we’ll have to see how this all plays out.

Meanwhile, the Lead Actress category looks to be a lock for these five actresses, with Sandra Bullock leading the way. Some are making a case for Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine, and you should never count out Meryl Streep when she’s nominated. Rounding out the nominees, I’m glad that Daniel Brühl received a nomination for his excellent performance in Rush. It was also nice to see James Gandolfini nominated in the same category. And at the end, there’s Oprah nominated for her performance in The Butler.

While this doesn’t change the predictions all that much, it definitely benefits Lee Daniel’s The Butler.

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