By Daniel Howat
After yesterday’s Golden Globe nominations, today’s SAG Award nominations are here to truly help us get a sense of where this season is headed. There were absolutely some surprises, some snubs, and at least one baffling moment.
Let’s break it all down and see how it could affect the Oscar race!
Jared Leto Again??
Let’s start with the most bizarre thing to happen all season long: Jared Leto just scored his second major nomination for his role in “The Little Things.” I want to be clear; his performance isn’t bad in the film. That’s not why this is bizarre. It’s just…so random. The film came out to middling reviews with little-to-no fanfare and seemingly no one singling out his performance. And yet, here we are now with Golden Globe and SAG nominations. It’s a bit baffling, to be honest. My gut still tells me there’s no way he can make it to the final lineup since he likely won’t make it at Critics Choice, and he didn’t make the BAFTA longlist. Still, we can’t completely rule him out at this point.
Chadwick Boseman Makes SAG History
Alongside individual nominations for Best Actor for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and Best Supporting Actor for “Da 5 Bloods,” Boseman snagged Ensemble nominations for those films as well. This is the first time any actor has scored four SAG nominations in a single year. Boseman is still the odds-on favorite to win this category both here and at the Oscars, though Hopkins will be a formidable competitor. Still, for me personally, I can’t imagine a scenario where Boseman loses. These nominations continue to confirm that bet.
For Those Still In Doubt: Glenn Close Is Winning
I’ve been saying it for months now: Glenn Close is winning the Oscar. Today’s nominees, or more accurately, those who were snubbed, confirm it. Despite very poor reviews for “Hillbilly Elegy,” which certainly doesn’t help, there is no clear frontrunner who could beat her to the win. Many have been saying Amanda Seyfried could win for her ingenue-esque role in “Mank,” she failed to receive a nomination today. And for those pointing to Regina King’s Oscar win after she failed to receive a SAG nomination: she was already far and away the frontrunner, so the SAG miss fueled her campaign to the win. The same can’t be said for Seyfriend. Olivia Colman is Close’s closest competition, but she just won an Oscar (defeating Close) two years ago. It’s extremely unlikely she would win again for an underseen, under-campaigned film. The Oscar is Close’s to lose, like it or not.
What’s Up With Supporting Actress?
We’ve already covered Close’s inevitable win, along with Seyfried’s snub, but Supporting Actress had plenty of other surprises in store. First of all, those it seemed truly improbable just a few months ago, the likelihood of Maria Bakalova scoring an Oscar nomination is going up by the day. After yesterday’s Globe nomination (in Lead Actress – Musical/Comedy) and today’s SAG nom, it’s hard to doubt her, especially when she’s almost certainly winning the Globe. Additionally, Helena Zengel is doing well to battle against the inherent bias that award season typically has against child performers. I would call her a lock, but with Globe and SAG noms, she’s in a very good spot. Alongside Seyfried, the biggest miss today was Ellen Burstyn, who also missed the Globe nomination. Not a good sign.
Minari Gets Big Boost
After a near-total shutout at the Golden Globes, “Minari” scored huge today. The film was nominated for Best Ensemble, Best Actor (Steven Yeun), and Best Supporting Actress (Youn Yuh-Jung). This is a desperately needed boost for the film that many expected to remain on the sidelines this season. Yuh-Jung has been received numerous critics awards, making her the critics favorite in her category, but with an understated campaign from A24 (to put it nicely), an Oscar nomination would be an uphill battle. The film needed this today to stay alive in the race, and it got exactly what it needed.
No Delroy Lindo…Again!
As surprised as many of us were yesterday to see Delroy Lindo left out, today hurt worse. While “Da 5 Bloods” was completely shut out at the Globes, SAG still nominated Boseman and the Ensemble, so why did Lindo get snubbed? It’s really hard to say. I have a hard time seeing Yeun make the final lineup due to the languid campaign, and there aren’t any competitors that feel strong enough to push him out. I still feel good about predicting Lindo to make the Oscar lineup, but these misses are troubling. Furthermore, Spike Lee missed the BAFTA longlist for Director, not a good sign. It’s been a weird couple of days for this movie’s awards hopes.
The Trial Of The Chicago 7 Stays Steady
Nothing unexpected happened with “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” which is exactly where it needs to be. It scored two nominations: Ensemble and Supporting Actor (Sacha Baron Cohen). An Ensemble nomination is typically a great barometer for Best Picture, though there have been exceptions in recent years. Notably, “Nomadland” didn’t get an Ensemble nomination today. So, if Best Picture is a race between “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “Nomadland,” does this hurt “Nomadland’s” chances? Sort of, but not as much as you might think. In 2017 and 2018, “The Shape of Water” and “Green Book” became the first two films to miss an Ensemble nomination but still win Best Picture. “The Shape of Water” was an especially big miss in Ensemble, considering how many great performances are in the film. For “Nomadland,” the Ensemble miss hurts a bit less, considering it’s largely centered on one main performance from Frances McDormand. So I don’t think this at all means “Nomadland’s” chances are over. But it’s unquestionably a heated race between “Nomadland” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”
Other Notable Moments:
- “Sound of Metal’s” Paul Raci missed a Supporting Actor nomination again. It’s not very surprising, despite being the critics’ favorite, but he really needed a boost. An Oscar nomination is looking less and less likely.
- It’s game over for “Ammonite.” Without any nominations from the Golden Globes or SAG, neither Kate Winslet nor Saoirse Ronan seem to have any hope of an Oscar nomination.
- Amy Adams scored a Best Actress nomination for “Hillbilly Elegy.” Unlike Close, a nomination for Adams doesn’t feel guaranteed, but she’s certainly still in the running for that fifth spot, along with Zendaya, Sophia Loren, or Globe nominees Andra Day and Michelle Pfeiffer.
There’s still plenty of time before the Academy Awards nominations on March 15th, so this race is anything but over. There are more critics’ groups, along with BAFTA and Critics Choice to come, so anything could happen.
What were the biggest surprises for you this morning? Did these nominations confirm any of your predictions for the Oscars? Who did you think will win Ensemble? Chime in below in the comments section or over on our Twitter account.
You can follow Daniel and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @howatdk