Awards analysis is provided by Sean from @MathTeacherMovies.
The SAG Nominations were announced this week and they were full of both disappointment and confusion. With Golden Globes losing a lot of their power of persuasion this awards body might be one of the more important in terms of influence, and yet some of the snubs and nominations this year are so surprising that they may not have as much influence as one might think.
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
“Belfast” (Focus Features)
“CODA” (Apple Original Films)
“Don’t Look Up” (Netflix)
“House of Gucci” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)
“King Richard” (Warner Bros)
The best news here is see CODA on the list of nominations. It’s a film that is fairly close to getting a nomination for Best Picture but this SAG nomination definitely solidified that nomination. King Richard and Belfast are also definite Best Picture nominations but probably already were. Don’t Look Up has the potential to sneak on the list with the popularity that it has gained. Meanwhile, House of Gucci will most likely not make it due to its divisive reception but this nomination could make things happen for the movie.
The nominations on this list are confusing as they don’t match casts that included nominated actors or many nominated actors aren’t included in best cast. Don’t Look Up is quite the cast but no one from that cast was actually nominated. Meanwhile, King Richard, Belfast, and CODA being given only one other nomination which feels odd considering its honoring a cast. Finally, something like Power of the Dog not being nominated feels off with so many actors in the cast being nominated.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem (“Being the Ricardos”)
Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Power of the Dog”)
Andrew Garfield (“Tick, Tick … Boom!”)
Will Smith (“King Richard”)
Denzel Washington (“The Tragedy of Macbeth”)
The three front runners are still here with Will Smith in King Richard, Andrew Garfield in Tick, Tick…Boom, and Benedict Cumbercatch in The Power of the Dog. Smith is still riding his way to the Oscar on name alone and Cumberbatch is riding on praise alone, but Garfield is having one hell of a campaign and is garnering the most attention and favoritism of the three including his fellow actors evidently.
Denzel Washington was on the edges for a while in his potentially inaccessible The Tragedy of Macbeth, however he has proved himself worthy and with enough accolades will be one of the five nominations. The fifth nomination is still up for grabs and while Javier Bardem was nominated for Being the Ricardos that still just doesn’t seem likely as an Oscar nomination and yet there is not much competition. Peter Dinklage could be getting in for the lesser known Cyrano or the hardly ever overlooked Leonardo DiCaprio in Don’t Look Up.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”)
Olivia Colman (“The Lost Daughter”)
Lady Gaga (“House of Gucci”)
Jennifer Hudson (“Respect”)
Nicole Kidman (“Being the Ricardos”)
Kristen Stewart being snubbed for Spencer is without a doubt the biggest surprise of the year so far. She was teetering on the edge of possibly not winning anyway, but between this and probably not getting a BAFTA nomination (because of the B), made her lack of an Oscar win a certainty. However the buzz she has held for this long makes it still seems almost impossible for her not to get and Oscar
What is most interesting about this snub is that the five ladies nominated could be nominated and deservedly so, with the most surprising SAG nominee and improbable Oscar nominee to be Jennifer Hudson for Respect mainly due to her film being forgettable both in time since release and quality. In terms of the front runner it’s probably Jessica Chastain who is campaigning well, even though Nicole Kidman won the Golden Globe and yet there will be quite the battle.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Ben Affleck (“The Tender Bar”)
Bradley Cooper (“Licorice Pizza”)
Troy Kotsur (“CODA”)
Jared Leto (“House of Gucci”)
Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Power of the Dog”)
This category has not stopped being crazy this year and the SAGs have not made it any better. Some of the good news is Troy Kotsur from CODA has officially secured himself an Oscar nomination and with this category being as crazy as it is, that uncertainty could cause a heartwarming win for Kotsur which much like last year’s wins for Youn Yuh-jung in Minari.
Not to accuse anything illegal going on in SAG but Jared Leto has to have something on his fellow colleagues because him constantly being honored by his fellow actors is a complete mystery, especially for his work in House of Gucci. There may be something that we are not seeing that actors are seeing that make this a special performance, but it just doesn’t seem plausible. It still feels crazy that Jared Leto can get an Oscar nomination for this performance, but his stock has definitely gone up. Another big surprise is the narrative of Kodi Smit-McPhee as a front runner over the past few weeks. However it’s another performer that is getting divisive reception for the performance.
Ben Affleck and Bradley Cooper were Oscar long shots before these nominations came out, however both of them are much more likely to be nominated for Oscars after these nominations. There is a lot of love for Affleck right now and while he’s been honored for his direction and producing this will be his first Oscar nomination for a performance. Cooper meanwhile had such a low amount of screentime his buzz seemed to be all but forgotten but this might be the spark that could lead him to a nomination.
What is most perplexing is that this nomination list no longer includes the Belfast boys; Jamie Dornan and Ciaran Hinds as they have not only been nominated continuously but they are considered frontrunners. There is a chance that they could have canceled each other out in which this is foreboding when the Academy comes along. However, if only one person could rise up to be nominated, it would be the one with more legend, Ciaran Hinds.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Caitríona Balfe (“Belfast”)
Cate Blanchett (“Nightmare Alley”)
Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”)
Kirsten Dunst (“The Power of the Dog”)
Ruth Negga (“Passing)
Cate Blanchett was not bad in Nightmare Alley, but this nomination comes completely out of nowhere and therefore does not seem likely to translate into an Oscar nomination. However Blanchett is criminally stealing a nomination from Aunjanue Ellis in King Richard who drives that film in the best of ways and really does deserve the nomination.
Other than that snub and surprise, all of the other nominees will most likely be the Oscar nominees for this category. Ann Dowd might step in for Mass and Marlee Marlin for CODA but it’s difficult to imagine who they would kick out. In terms of who is going to win, Ariana DeBose has it locked up but there is still plenty of runway left in this season.