2017 SAG Awards Predictions

January 28, 2017

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I’ll make this post quick. The SAG Awards take place this Sunday and while La La Land has been racking up all of the attention and buzz (both good and bad), this year’s SAG Awards are a bit unpredictable mainly because La La Land is not nominated for the main award: Best Film Ensemble. Weird. So what does this mean?

This is Moonlight’s big chance to gain some ground while behind La La Land. With a SAG Ensemble win for Moonlight, it will certainly boost its momentum to try and upset for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. But if Moonlight loses, possibly to Fences or Manchester by the Sea, you can practically kiss its chances goodbye.

That being said, there is another big story surrounding this awards, and that is the opposite of the #OscarsSoWhite discussion from last year. It seems like in the supporting acting categories, Mahershala Ali and Viola Davis should win. There is even a good amount of talk saying that Denzel Washington could very well win his FIRST SAG award trophy. You read that corrently, Denzel has never won a SAG award before. Just for that reason alone, I feel like he has a slight edge over Casey Affleck.

But if Washington, Davis, and Ali go on to win, that is 75% of the acting awards going to African Americans. Quite the turn-around from years past. Then again, if Stone, Affleck, Hedges, and Williams win then we might have some more complaints.

Anyway, here are my predictions:

Best Film Ensemble: Moonlight
Best Actor: Denzel Washington (Fences)
Best Actress: Emma Stone (La La Land)
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis (Fences)

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The Race for Best Picture (87th Academy Awards)

February 11, 2015

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Let’s cut right to the chase, this year’s Oscar award for Best Picture is between two films: Boyhood and Birdman. Which film has the edge? That’s what I’m going to try to figure out during this post. Bear with me folks.

For Boyhood, it was the critics’ darling of 2014, collecting A LOT of accolades from critic circles. Here are a handful:

Best Film from:
– Austin Film Critics Association
– Boston Society of Film Critics
– Chicago Film Critics Association
– Critics’ Choice Movie Awards
– Detriot Film Critics Society
– Georgia Film Critics Association
– Houston Film Ciritcs Society
– Iowa Film Critics
– London Film Critics’ Circle
– Los Angeles Film Critics Association
– New York Film Critics Circle
– Oklahoma Film Critics Circle
– San Francisco Film Critics Circle
– Toronto Film Critics Association
– Vancouver Film Critics Circle
– Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association

So what’s the problem? Well for one, The Academy who vote on the Oscars aren’t critics. They’re people in the film industry and a lot of them either 1. don’t have the same taste as critics or 2. simply don’t like movie critics. Now with all the support from the critics to Boyhood, who can the industry back for Best Picture? How about a film with a distaste for critics… Birdman!

This is no major spoiler, but in Birdman, Riggan Thomson is looked down upon by a very influential theater critic because she can never see Thomson as anything else other than his super-hero days. He uses this to fuel his passion and enthusiasm to push his play to a greater level, but with extreme consequences. So basically, Hollywood can overcome the evil critics and produce incredible pieces of art, no matter what you did in the past. Is it a coincidence that Birdman has been receiving the love from the Guilds, made up of people in the film industry?

Birdman has won the top awards from the Screen Actors Guild, the Producers Guild of America, and the Directors Guild of America. It’s obvious that Hollywood is standing behind Birdman, but let’s make this even more interesting. Two other award ceremonies that are seen as precursors to the Oscars are The Golden Globes and the BAFTA Awards (British Academy of Film and Television Arts). Is it coincidence that Birdman lost Best Picture at each ceremony, and instead Boyhood won because those are two awards not voted by members of Hollywood?

While all of this speculation is fun, it’s time to crunch some numbers. First, I’m going to be concentrating on 2007-present. Here are the Best Picture winners since then:

Best Picture:

2007 – No Country for Old Men
2008 – Slumdog Millionaire
2009 – The Hurt Locker
2010 – The King’s Speech
2011 – The Artist
2012 – Argo
2013 – 12 Years a Slave
2014 – ???

Now let’s look at the SAG Award for Best Ensemble Cast.

SAG Winners:

2007 – No Country for Old Men
2008 – Slumdog Millionaire
2009 – Inglorious Basterds
2010 – The King’s Speech
2011 – The Help
2012 – Argo
2013 – American Hustle
2014 – Birdman

In the last seven years, four films that won the SAG Award for Best Ensemble went on to win Best Picture. It’s not a great award to predict who will win Best Picture, but it’s noteworthy because the SAG is the guild with the most members in The Academy. So if it’s a coin toss and it’s down to the wire, it’s likely that the majority of the SAG votes Birdman and therefore you’ll know who will win.

How about the Directors Guild of America…

DGA Winners:

2007 – Ethan and Joel Coen, No Country for Old Men
2008 – Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
2009 – Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
2010 – Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
2011 – Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
2012 – Ben Affleck, Argo
2013 – Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
2014 – Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman

During the last seven years, the movies with the DGA winner have won six times. The only time they didn’t line up was last year when Alfonso Cuaron with Gravity won, even though 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture. But isn’t it true that typically, if you win Best Director at the Oscars, you’ll win Best Picture? Let’s take a look…

Academy Award for Best Director:

2007 – Ethan and Joel Coen, No Country for Old Men
2008 – Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
2009 – Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
2010 – Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
2011 – Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
2012 – Ang Lee, Life of Pi
2013 – Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
2014 – ???

It looks like they matched up nice and tidily up until 2012, then it’s been chaos ever since. Ang Lee won the strange year where Ben Affleck won the DGA but wasn’t even nominated for Best Director (then Argo wins Best Picture). Last year it was a tight race between 12 Years a Slave and Gravity throughout, and they ended up splitting the Best Picture/Best Director categories. Can the same thing happen again this year to make it three in a row? It’s very possible.

Let’s look at the Producers Guild of America…

PGA Winners:

2007 – No Country for Old Men
2008 – Slumdog Millionaire
2009 – The Hurt Locker
2010 – The King’s Speech
2011 – The Artist
2012 – Argo
2013 – 12 Years a Slave/Gravity
2014 – Birdman

Here’s one that looks like a sure thing. Since 2007, EVERY movie that has won the PGA award has gone on to win Best Picture. Its only slight blemish is that last year the vote resulted in a tie between the obvious two front-runners in 12 Years a Slave and Gravity. But this year in another very tight race, Birdman came out victorious. Is that a sign pointing at Birdman, or is this a Hollywood statement from the industry?

With the guilds out of the way, let’s look at the Golden Globes:

Golden Globe Winners (Drama/Comedy):

2007 – Atonement/Sweeney Todd
2008 – Slumdog Millionaire/Vicky Cristina Barcelona
2009 – Avatar/The Hangover
2010 – The Social Network/The Kids Are All Right
2011 – The Descendants/The Artist
2012 – Argo/Les Miserables
2013 – 12 Years a Slave/American Hustle
2014 – Boyhood/The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Globes used to be a joke. When movies like The Hangover wins a so-called “prestigious” award, everyone starts scratching their heads. But recently, the Globes have been quite spot on in predicting the Best Picture winners. The Artist, Argo, and 12 Years a Slave won the big award at the Globes. This year, Boyhood won Best Drama and Birdman lost to The Grand Budapest Hotel. So what’s the deal? Did you know that the Globes are voted by the HFPA, a group of journalists from around the world. That’s right, no one from Hollywood. So without a Globes win for Birdman, can it become the first film in four years to win Best Picture?

Continuing to stay clear from Hollywood, let’s take a glance at the recent BAFTA winners:

BAFTA Winners:

2007 – Atonement
2008 – Slumdog Millionaire
2009 – The Hurt Locker
2010 – The King’s Speech
2011 – The Artist
2012 – Argo
2013 – 12 Years a Slave
2014 – Boyhood

Since 2008, the films that won Best Picture have also won the Best Film award at the BAFTAs. And as you can see, Boyhood won the big prize at the BAFTAs this year. Will the streak continue?

Last, but not least, let’s take a peak at the Academy Award for Best Editing. Throughout the years, there has been a direct link with this category and what film is considered a true front-runner for Best Picture. Just take a look…

Academy Award for Best Editing:

2000 – Gladiator (nominated)
2001 – A Beautiful Mind (nominated)
2002 – Chicago (won)
2003 – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (won)
2004 – Million Dollar Baby (nominated)
2005 – Crash (won)
2006 – The Departed (won)
2007 – No Country for Old Men (nominated)
2008 – Slumdog Millionaire (won)
2009 – The Hurt Locker (won)
2010 – The King’s Speech (nominated)
2011 – The Artist (nominated)
2012 – Argo (won)
2013 – 12 Years a Slave (nominated)
2014 – ??? Boyhood (nominated), Birdman (not nominated)

As you can see, every single movie that has won Best Picture since 2000 has been at least nominated for the Best Editing category. You have to go back all the way to 1980 to name a film that won Best Picture without receiving a Best Editing nomination (Ordinary People). That’s just whacky! But to be fair, Birdman’s fluid style doesn’t give much to the editors, though there are plenty of editing tricks throughout the film. So how glaring is this omission?

So what does this all mean? When there is a really tight race for Best Picture, like we have this year, plenty of patterns and logic will be broken. Will Boyhood defy all logic that you need to win the guild awards to win Best Picture? Will Birdman be the first film since 1980 to win Best Picture without a Best Editing nomination? We’ll find out soon!


2014 Screen Actors Guild Award Winners

January 20, 2014

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The SAG is the largest guild who vote for the Oscars, and that’s exactly the reason why people pay close attention to the SAG awards. The nominees for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture were:

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

Of these nominees, 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle are favorites for Best Picture, though Dallas Buyers Club is certainly gaining momentum with its support for McConaughey and Leto. But when they announced the winner, the front-runner took the award, American Hustle. Does this make it the clear favorite to win Best Picture? At the moment, yes.

Here are the other winners from the ceremony (winners are in bold):

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
Daniel Bruhl (Rush)
Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
James Gandolfini (Enough Said)
Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
June Squibb (Nebraska)
Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

All is Lost
Fast & Furious 6
Lone Survivor
Rush
The Wolverine

It’s noteworthy that Jennifer Lawrence didn’t win the Supporting Actress category, falling to Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave). This will be a huge shift to what everyone thought was a lock for Lawrence to win her second Oscar. Nyong’o might be 12 Years a Slave’s best chance at snagging a Top 6 Oscar award, and people may very well vote that way.

Here are the TV awards from the night

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Matt Damon (“Behind the Candelabra”)
Michael Douglas (“Behind the Candelabra”)
Jeremy Irons (“The Hollow Crown”)
Rob Lowe (“Killing Kennedy”)
Al Pacino (“Phil Spector”)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Angela Bassett (“Betty & Coretta”)
Helena Bonham Carter (“Burton and Taylor”)
Holly Hunter (“Top of the Lake”)
Helen Mirren (“Phil Spector”)
Elisabeth Moss (“Top of the Lake”)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

Steve Buscemi (“Boardwalk Empire”)
Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”)
Jeff Daniels (“The Newsroom”)
Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”)
Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

Claire Danes (“Homeland”)
Anna Gunn (“Breaking Bad”)
Jessica Lange (“American Horror Story: Coven”)
Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey”)
Kerry Washington (“Scandal”)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

“Boardwalk Empire”
“Breaking Bad”
“Downton Abbey”
“Game of Thrones”
“Homeland”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series

Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”)
Jason Bateman (“Arrested Development”)
Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”)
Don Cheadle (“House of Lies”)
Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

Mayim Bialik (“The Big Bang Theory”)
Julie Bowen (“Modern Family”)
Edie Falco (“Nurse Jackie”)
Tina Fey (“30 Rock”)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

“30 Rock”
“Arrested Development”
“The Big Bang Theory”
“Modern Family”
“Veep”

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series

“Boardwalk Empire”
“Breaking Bad”
“Game of Thrones”
“Homeland”
“The Walking Dead”


SAG Awards Nominees 2014

December 11, 2013

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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.


Oscar Talk 2012: The DGA Awards are important (in case you didn’t know)

January 29, 2013

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We all want to be able to correctly predict what film is going to win Best Picture. It’s something you can wildly debate about with your friends for countless hours, and then have the bragging rights if you select the winner. There are even Vegas odds and bets placed on the prestigious night. But while I’ve been in the game of Oscar watching for almost a decade now, there is still only one thing that I know: your guess is as good as mine.

I guess it’s kind of funny for me to admit that, but year after year that is what I keep saying. I’ll give my predictions and my reasons for believing in certain movies and certain upsets, but the truth is that your guess is as good as mine and as good as anyone else’s. If I somehow correctly predict 23 out of the 24 awards given out, I’ll be the first one to tell you that it was luck. Why do I keep doing it? Because it’s so much freakin’ fun.

So back to the game, this past weekend revealed that Argo seems to be back as the front-runner for Best Picture. Winning the PGA and the SAG awards is a pretty big deal. Am I ready to call it for Argo yet? No. It still has the HUGE obstacle of winning without a Best Director nod for Affleck, but if it wins this Saturday at the DGA awards and then gets the WGA, well it’ll practically be a lock then for Argo.

But just because it won the PGA and SAG doesn’t mean it’s a lock quite yet. In 1995, there was a crowd-pleasing film about an American event that went down this same path. Apollo 13 won the PGA, SAG, and even the DGA for Ron Howard (and also Howard didn’t get a Best Director nomination). It was expected for Apollo 13 to take the Oscars, but Braveheart swooped in with the upsets winning Best Picture (and Best Director for Mel Gibson, even though Howard wasn’t nominated).

Needless to say, this is a very strange road to the Oscars that we’ve been on thus far. You know what would really throw a wrench in the whole thing? If Ben Affleck or Steven Spielberg DOESN’T win the DGA. Imagine that? Because whoever wins the DGA out of those two will easily become the front-runner going into the Oscars. But let’s say… Ang Lee wins the DGA (which he’s won twice already). That would really throw a curve-ball at everyone, but at the same time it would hurt Spielberg and Lincoln more than anything else.

ben-affleck-argo      spielberg-lincoln

Okay… so where do we stand? Silver Linings Playbook has NO chance at Best Picture since it lost the SAG where it was expected to win. And unless Ang Lee can win the DGA, you can count Life of Pi completely out as well. As for Amour and Beasts of the Southern Wild, well they’re just happy to be there. So it’s Lincoln vs. Argo down the stretch of the last month before the Oscars air.

Here’s a little bit of history, something like what we’ll be referring back to in the future if Argo wins Best Picture. Driving Miss Daisy is the only film to win Best Picture without a directing nod in 80 years and many people are comparing it to Argo. Born on the Fourth of July was a film that looked like was on its way to a Best Picture win. Here are the accolades for both films leading up to the Oscars:

Driving Miss Daisy
– won PGA
– won Golden Globes Comedy/Musical
– won WGA

Born on the Fourth of July
– won DGA
– won Best Director
– won Golden Globes Director and Drama

Though tradition was on Born of the Fourth of July’s side, Driving Miss Daisy made history with its Best Picture victory. Only once in the last 10 years has the Best Picture winner not matched the Best Director (Crash beating out Brokeback Mountain). So like I said earlier, there is a very good chance that history will be made… that is unless Spielberg wins the DGA and Lincoln sweeps at the Oscars. If that’s the case, we can all just have a good laugh.


Oscar Talk 2012: So Where Are We?

January 25, 2013

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Remember at the Golden Globes when Ben Affleck and Argo won? Well, that has people throwing their hands up in the air with all sorts of celebratory reactions as their favorite movie of the year is finally gaining the respect they feel it deserves. But what does all of this mean with the Oscars only a month away? Does it mean anything at all?

In past years, it might not have. Here are the movies that won both Best Picture Drama and Comedy/Musuical the past 8 years at the Golden Globes:

2012 – Argo and Les Miserables
2011 – The Descendants and The Artist
2010 – The Social Network and The Kids are All Right
2009 – Avatar and The Hangover
2008 – Slumdog Millionaire and Vicky Cristina Barcelona
2007 – Atonement and Sweeney Todd
2006 – Babel and Dreamgirls
2005 – Brokeback Mountain and Walk the Line
2004 – The Aviator and Sideways

From the past 16 movies that won in the last 8 years, only 2 movies have won the Best Picture Oscar. That’s right, only TWO (The Artist and Slumdog Millionaire). So why is everyone jumping on the Argo bandwagon again? I honestly have no idea.

But this weekend the PGA and SAG will announce their winners. After this weekend, we will be able to have a much clearer projection of what will happen at the Oscars. If Argo wins both PGA and SAG, then I’ll admit that Lincoln might be in trouble. If Silver Linings Playbook (in my opinion, the biggest threat to Lincoln) doesn’t win the SAG, then it’s almost as good as dead.

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Back to Argo. Here’s a fun fact for all of those Argo supporters. No director has ever won the DGA, not gotten nominated for an Oscar, and then had their film win BP. Ever. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it would be an insane feat for Affleck to win the DGA and then see Argo win Best Picture. I’m a big fan of “history repeats itself” and will stick with that mindset over anything else.

If Lincoln gets shut out this weekend and both Argo and Silver Linings Playbook wins, then I’m really going to throw a fit. This could be the most unpredictable Oscars in a very long time, and while that’s frustrating for people like me, honestly it’s the best thing that could happen to the Oscars. I’d much rather be dead wrong and see Lincoln win only one Oscar while Argo wins Best Picture and Ang Lee wins Best Director than see Lincoln sweep the major awards.

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But I’ll still speak what I believe in, and that is Lincoln is the clear front-runner with every other film miles behind. Here are the reasons why:

– Lincoln has the most nominations (12)
– Lincoln has grossed the most money of all nominations
– Has 3 acting nominations and one clear favorite (Daniel Day-Lewis)
– It has ALL of the important nominations
– Steven Spielberg

While Lincoln isn’t many people’s (including mine) favorite film, you cannot ignore how well-made it is. Excellence is displayed on every level of that film, and shouldn’t films like that be rewarded?


19th Annual SAG Awards Nominations

December 12, 2012

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Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture:

ARGO
THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL
LES MISERABLES
LINCOLN
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

How important are the SAG Awards when determining which actors and movies will be major contenders at the Academy Awards? Let’s just take a look back at past winners…

Last year, The Help won the big award at the SAG awards while The Artist won Best Picture at the Oscars. But the SAG awards for actors went 3-for-4, with Meryl Streep winning the Oscar over Viola Davis.

In 2010, the SAG Awards matched up with the Oscars in all categories.

In 2009, The SAG Awards gave Inglourious Basterds the final award while The Hurt Locker went on to win Best Picture (Avatar wasn’t nominated for a SAG award). But in the four acting categories, the SAGs and Oscars matched up.

In 2008, Slumdog Millionare won the SAG Award and Best Picture, but the SAGs were just 2-for-4 with the acting categories.

So what does all of this mean? Well, the SAGs might not be the best indicator of what film is going to win Best Picture, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. But when it comes down to it, if you have the support from the SAG (the largest group of voters in The Academy), you’re on your way to win Best Picture.

Now the interesting part about this is how The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a nominee. No one is picking this film to be nominated for Best Picture, yet here it is poking its nose right in the middle of the conversation. It will most likely be like J. Edgar of last year, but it’s still worthwhile to mention.

Another thing that has to be mentioned is how only two of the three major contenders were nominated for the SAG. Les Miserables and Lincoln comfortably made it on the SAG’s top five, but Zero Dark Thirty was ruled out. It is very possible that Zero Dark Thirty wasn’t screened for the nominating committee on time, therefore snubbing them from the big award and having The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel filling its seat instead. Still, that didn’t prevent Jessica Chastain’s guaranteed nomination for Best Lead Actress at the SAGs.

While I don’t like to weigh heavily on the SAGs, it’s important because it kicks off the Guild Awards. Also, the Golden Globe Awards will announce its nominees tomorrow. Oh what an exciting time of year this is!

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role:

BRADLEY COOPER / Pat – “SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK”
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS / Abraham Lincoln – “LINCOLN”
JOHN HAWKES / Mark – “THE SESSIONS”
HUGH JACKMAN / Jean Valjean – “LES MISÉRABLES”
DENZEL WASHINGTON / Whip Whitaker – “FLIGHT”

I don’t think I was the only one surprised that Bradley Cooper sneaked into this category with his performance from Silver Linings Playbook. It was a fine performance, but can it really be put in the same category as Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln or John Hawkes in The Sessions? The surprise was how Joaquin Phoenix didn’t get a nod for his comeback performance in The Master. Maybe what he said about awards season will actually hurt him more than we anticipated.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role:

JESSICA CHASTAIN / Maya – “ZERO DARK THIRTY”
MARION COTILLARD / Stephanie – “RUST AND BONE”
JENNIFER LAWRENCE / Tiffany – “SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK”
HELEN MIRREN / Alma Reville – “HITCHCOCK”
NAOMI WATTS / Maria – “THE IMPOSSIBLE

Once again, four of the five nominees were expected. Here, I was surprised that Helen Mirren was nominated for her performance in Hitchcock. I’m still expected Keira Knightley to get a nod for her role in Anna Karenina, but nonetheless this is Jessica Chastain’s category and no one else has a chance.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role:

ALAN ARKIN / Lester Siegel – “ARGO”
JAVIER BARDEM / Silva – “SKYFALL”
ROBERT DE NIRO / Pat, Sr. – “SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK”
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN / Lancaster Dodd – “THE MASTER”
TOMMY LEE JONES / Thaddeus Stevens – “LINCOLN”

This category seems to be up in the air but the competition definitely is starting to shape up now. Seeing Javiar Bardem get a SAG nomination for his role as the villain in Skyfall is a great surprise. Meanwhile, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s nod shows how the SAG didn’t completely snub The Master

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role:

SALLY FIELD / Mary Todd Lincoln – “LINCOLN”
ANNE HATHAWAY / Fantine – “LES MISÉRABLES”
HELEN HUNT / Cheryl – “THE SESSIONS”
NICOLE KIDMAN / Charlotte Bless – “THE PAPERBOY”
MAGGIE SMITH / Muriel Donnelly – “THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL”

More love for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel with a nod for Maggie Smith. And the SAGs went for Nicole Kidman in The Paperboy instead of Amy Adams in The Master. I’m also surprised that Jacki Weaver didn’t get noticed by the SAG for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook. But apparently this is Anne Hathaway’s lock, so I guess it doesn’t matter.


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