Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Reactions To The 23rd Annual SAG Nominations

By Matt Neglia The Screen Actors Guild announced their nominations this morning and there were certainly some surprises to be had for sure as is per usual the case. Remember last year when “Beasts Of No Nation” received that ensemble acting nomination? Or how about that time Demian Bichir shockingly made it into Best Actor for “A Better Life” on route to his Oscar nomination? Or that time Naomi Watts got a Best Supporting Actress nomination for “Saint Vincent?” The point is that, the SAG nomination can mean a whole lot in terms of a potential Oscar nomination, or nothing at all. Let’s see where all of the current contenders in the acting categories stand now that we have heard from the Critics Choice, the Golden Globes and SAG. The following people have received Critics Choice, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations in their respective categories:

Viola Davis – “Fences” (Critics Choice Winner)
Naomie Harris – “Moonlight
Nicole Kidman – “Lion
Michelle Williams – “Manchester By The Sea

Mahershala Ali – “Moonlight” (Critics Choice Winner)
Jeff Bridges – “Hell Or High Water
Dev Patel – “

​Amy Adams – “Arrival
Natalie Portman – “Jackie” (Critics Choice Winner)
Emma Stone – “La La Land

Casey Affleck – “Manchester By The Sea” (Critics Choice Winner)
Andrew Garfield – “Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling – “
La La Land
Denzel Washington – “Fences”

And then there are people who have been nominated for the Critics Choice Award, Golden Globe Award or SAG Award but not all three.

Octavia Spencer – “Hidden Figures” (Golden Globe & SAG)
Greta Gerwig – “20th Century Women” (Critics Choice)
Janelle Monae – “Hidden Figures” (Critics Choice)

Hugh Grant – “Florence Foster Jenkins” (Golden Globe & SAG)
Lucas Hedges – “
Manchester By The Sea” (Critics Choice & SAG)
Simon Helberg – “
Florence Foster Jenkins” (Golden Globe)
Aaron Taylor-Johnson – “Nocturnal Animals” (Golden Globe)
Michael Shannon – “
Nocturnal Animals” (Critics Choice)
Ben Foster – “
Hell Or High Water” (Critics Choice)

Meryl Streep – “Florence Foster Jenkins” (Golden Globe & SAG)
Annette Bening – “
20th Century Women” (Critics Choice & Golden Globe)
Isabelle Huppert – “Elle” (Critics Choice & Golden Globe)
Ruth Negga – “Loving” (Critics Choice & Golden Globe)
Emily Blunt – “The Girl On The Train” (SAG)
Jessica Chastain – “Miss Sloane” (Golden Globe)

Viggo Mortensen – “Captain Fantastic” (Golden Globe & SAG)
Joel Edgerton – “
Loving” (Critics Choice & Golden Globes)
Tom Hanks – “Sully” (Critics Choice)

We all know that even though there is a large overlap with the SAG membership with the Academy’s membership, that the SAG nominations will not match the Oscar nominations. In fact, I am currently predicting that they will only get a single acting category 5/5 this year and that is Best Actor with Affleck, Garfield, Gosling, Mortensen and Washington all getting in. But what about the other acting categories? And who will they be replaced by?

It is important to note that there have been people who have managed to get nominated for the Oscar without receiving a Golden Globe, Critics Choice or SAG nomination. It’s very rare as it has only happened 9 times in the last 10 years. Here are the people that received Oscar nominations without any prior nominations from the Critics Choice, Golden Globes or SAG:

1994: Rosemary Harris – “Tom & Viv” 
1994: Helen Mirren – “The Maddness Of King George” (BAFTA nomination)
1999: Toni Collette – “The Sixth Sense”
2000: Marcia Gay Harden – “Pollock” (Won The Oscar)
2003: Shohreh Aghdashloo – “House Of Sand & Fog”
2009: Maggie Gyllenhaal – “Crazy Heart” 
2012: Jackie Weaver – “Silver Linings Playbook”
2014: Laura Dern – “Wild”

1994: Paul Scofield – “Quiz Show” (BAFTA nomination)
1995: James Cromwell – “Babe”
1996: Armin Muellr-Stahl – “Shine”
1997: Robert Forster – “Jackie Brown”
2004: Djimon Hounsou – “In America”
2004: Alan Alda – “The Aviator” (BAFTA nomination)
2008: Michael Shannon – “Revolutionary Road”
2011: Max Von Sydow – “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
2013: Jonah Hill – “The Wolf Of Wall Street”

1997: Julie Christie – “Afterglow”
2003: Samantha Morton – “In America”
2007: Laura Linney – “The Savages”

1994: Nigel Hawthorne – “The Maddness of King George” (BAFTA Win)
1998: Edward Norton – “American History X”
2000: Ed Harris – “Pollock”
2005: Clint Eastwood: “Million Dollar Baby”
2008: Tommy Lee Jones – “In The Valley Of Elah”
2011: Javier Bardem – “Bitiful” (BAFTA nomination)
2012: Gary Oldman – “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” (BAFTA nomination)
2014: Bradley Cooper – “American Sniper”

So, as we can see, this definitely seems to happen more often than we think and we have reason to believe it may happen again this year. Jonah Hill pulled off this trick of getting nominated without a Critics Choice, Golden Globe or SAG nomination due to a late release for Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf Of Wall Street.” I believe that Andrew Garfield will be nominated at this point for “Hacksaw Ridge” over “Silence” but Issey Ogata has popped up in a few critics groups and has been signaled out by many who have seen the film as the standout. My gut tells me that he gets in over Lucas Hedges who seems to be on shaky ground, being a younger performer who still has his whole entire career ahead of him before his first nomination. And to fill up that fifth and final slot, I’m sticking with Hugh Grant for “Florence Foster Jenkins” who was predicted to win at some point by a few pundits, has never received an Oscar nomination, does some of the best work of his career (Stealing the film from Meryl Streep in some instances) and managed to score with both Golden Globes and SAG.

As far as the other categories go, I think the only category where SAG and the Oscars will match is in Best Actor, although if anyone is considered weak in that category it’s probably Ryan Gosling for “La La Land.” Now I know what you’re thinking, “Matt! You’re insane! They love La La Land! He’s so charming! He learned how to play piano!” but what people need to understand is that Gosling is not doing much in the way of a “performance.” He’s Ryan Gosling being Ryan Gosling who can so happen to sing and dance. There is no “Oscar clip” scene and the story is not so much about him as it is about his co-star Emma Stone. With all of that said, I am predicting him for now but he’s the one I will probably kick out if I change my mind before the nominations are officially announced. And who would I replace him with you ask? Well, I would probably have to pick Tom Hanks, seeing as how he is owed a nomination after missing out for “Captain Philips” a few years ago and turning in excellent work last year in “Bridge of Spies.” We also need to remember that “Sully” is Warner Bros.’ best chance at a Best Picture nomination and if the film manages to make it in along with a few technical awards, how do you not also mark Tom Hanks down on your ballot? It does not hurt that he’s pretty much the nices guy in town with a film that was a box office success earlier in the season. I’m not saying it is going to happen, but watch out.

Best Supporting Actress is a mess for that fifth slot. Octavia Spencer getting in at both the Golden Globes and SAG feels very much like how Nicole Kidman got in at Golden Globes and SAG for “The Paperboy” back in 2012. Well respected actress, who has star power but was not a real contender anyone was talking about leading up to the nominations and now we have to consider when we see that they have received nominations unexpectedly from these two groups. I’m not buying it. Which is why I’m looking towards the other ladies that are still in contention, Greta Gerwig for “20th Century Women” and Janelle Monae for “Hidden Figures.” I’d flip a coin between these two because both are worthy performances. They may want to go for Gerwig considering she’s been doing consistently great work these past couple of years and she starred in both “Jackie” and “20th Century Women” this year plus two underseen films “Weiner-Dog” and “Maggie’s Plan.” Janelle Monae, like Gerwig, managed to get in for Critics Choice but has missed at Golden Globes and SAG to her more well known co-star. While, I have not yet seen “Hidden Figures” I’ve heard that Monae is a standout amongst the ensemble and if enough voters realize that she also starred in “Moonlight” this year, they may welcome her to the club (Her first occupation is that of a musical recording artsit) with her first nomination. It’s a tough call, but either way, I don’t expect Spencer to make it right now.

And that finally leaves us with Best Actress which is easily the hardest category to predict all season. This is the category where I think hearts are going to be broken and we may have seen a preview of that with Annette Bening missing SAG (So too did Gerwig and the film in ensemble). I would say the only sure things now are Stone and Portman. Yes, I know Adams has also landed nominations at Critics Choice, Golden Globes and SAG but with the recent news that “Arrival” has missed out on its chances at an Original Score nominations due to disqualification and now with “Moonlight” and “Loving” being announced as going into the Adapted Screenplay category at the Oscar, the steam for this movie is starting to dwindle. It was not a massive hit at the box office, although it was respectable given that it is a more thoughtful film than your typical action SciFi film. Its Best Picture and Best Director chances have been shaky at best, especially for Director now that Villeneuve has missed at the Golden Globes for a nomination. And we must also remember that the brilliance of Amy Adams’ performance comes mostly from a second viewing of the film after the mysteries of the plot have been revealed to us. Voters may view it as strong work but with so many other performances to choose from, it’s not hard to see how it gets lost in the shuffle.

So who are the next likliest to get in? Isabelle Huppert has had her name kept in the conversation all season thanks to critical support and wins from various groups, but failing to get a SAG nomination certainly hurt. Ever since the SAG Awards began, six women with foreign language performances have been nominated for Best Actress. Of those six, none of them managed to miss out on at least a Critics Choice, Golden Globe or SAG nomination. This bodes well for Huppert who managed to get two out of the three, is an acting legend and has never received an Oscar nomination before in her career. The film’s subject matter may be too mch for some voters but I believe she can rise above it, for even the harshest critics and viewers have singaled her performance out. My gut tells me she makes it.

Assuming that Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, Isabelle Huppert and Amy Adams all make it, how the hell do I possibly pick someone for that final slot? God bless Emily Blunt, as she managed to be the only decent thing about “The Girl On The Train” and apparently SAG voters thought so as well, giving her a surprising nomination here. I don’t expect that to translate at all however into an Oscar nomination. Jessica Chastain is quite marvelous in “Miss Sloane” but her film’s mixed reception, poor box office and lone Golden Globe nomination puts her on the outside. Ruth Negga managed mentions from the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards. However, I have this weird feeling that if Joel Edgerton does not get in, then I don’t see how she can either as I don’t believe you can nominate one without the other. Since I don’t feel there is enough passion votes as there are for other women in this category (And for Edgerton in Actor as well), I’m going to have to say that I don’t think she makes it. Which leaves us with either Bening or Streep. And in this instance, I have to go with Streep for two reasons. One is that she is Meryl friggin’ Streep!! Even when she gives a somewhat decent performance, she still manages to get nominated and she’s actually quite great in “Florence Foster Jenkins.” She may have missed Critics Choice, but 1. Does that matter compared to SAG? and 2. She won an award there anyway for Best Actress in a Comedy. So I have to give the queen the edge here as much as I love Bening and feel that she deserves the nomination.

So with that said, here are where my personal acting predictions stand today in a post BFCA/GG/SAG world.

Viola Davis – “Fences”
Greta Gerwig – “
20th Century Women
Naomie Harris – “Moonlight
Nicole Kidman – “Lion
Michelle Williams – “Manchester By The Sea

Mahershala Ali – “Moonlight
Jeff Bridges – “Hell Or High Water
Hugh Grant – “
Florence Foster Jenkins
​Issey Ogata – “Silence”

Dev Patel – “Lion

​Amy Adams – “Arrival
Isabelle Huppert – “
Natalie Portman – “Jackie
Emma Stone – “La La Land
Meryl Streep – “
Florence Foster Jenkins

Casey Affleck – “Manchester By The Sea
Andrew Garfield – “Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling – “La La Land
Viggo Mortensen – “Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington – “Fences”

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my reasoning for these nominations? I certainly reserve the right to change my mind between now and January 14th but until then, let me know in the comments what your thoughts are and who you think will be nomiated for the Oscar. You can follow Matt and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @NextBestPicture

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Matt Neglia
Matt Negliahttps://nextbestpicture.com/
Obsessed about the Oscars, Criterion Collection and all things film 24/7. Critics Choice Member.

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