2016 SAG Nominations

Well, crap. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) nominations snuck up on me again this year. The Hollywood awards season starts earlier and earlier each year, I swear. I have a lot of movies to catch up on. By the way, Golden Globe nominations will be out tomorrow. Yikes.

(Quick reminder:  Screen Actors Guild nominations are submitted by artists within the SAG-AFTRA union, but they’re good for predicting who will be nominated for the Academy Awards. So, yes, they matter.)

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

  • Beasts of No Nation
  • The Big Short
  • Spotlight
  • Straight Outta Compton
  • Trumbo

I haven’t heard much about The Big Short or Trumbo (the latter of which leads SAG nominations), but Spotlight has been taking home awards from all of the critics awards, Independent Spirit Awards, and Venice Film Festival. Beasts of No Nation wasn’t widely released (In fact, you can find it on Netflix now), but its reviews have been consistently amazing. Straight Outta Compton is the only film with mass recognition, love from critics, and good box office numbers. It’s an interesting mix, and it proves there’s a disconnect between we the moviegoers and Hollywood (but we already knew that).

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

  • Everest
  • Furious 7
  • Jurassic World
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation

I’ve never discussed the “Stunt” category before because it usually gets buried under the other awards for film (and even TV). This year, however, it’s getting more talk. Curious. Perhaps it’s because there were several stunt/action-heavy movies this year that were also award-level good. Why do we separate these films from the other Best Picture contenders? Are they not essentially vying for the same achievement? Should they even be divided? Why can’t an action movie be viewed on the same as a drama if they’re both good?

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

  • Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
  • Johnny Depp, Black Mass
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
  • Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
  • Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Trumbo leads the nominations, so look at that…Cranston. As I said in my review of Black Mass, Depp finally started acting again, and his performance is worthy of recognition. Redmaybe is a given because EVERYONE is talking about The Danish Girl (Do you think he’ll win back to back? He could). Fassbender isn’t a surprise, though he won’t play the game (He hates awards, and he hasn’t even been promoting Steve Jobs). And then there’s poor Leo DiCaprio who’s so thirsty for awards that he’d probably kill a man to get to Oscar (Seriously).

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

  • Cate Blanchett, Carol
  • Brie Larson, Room
  • Helen Mirren, Woman in Gold
  • Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
  • Sarah Silverman, I Smile Back

Blanchett, Larson, and Ronan are obvious choices for this category because all three have been scooping up awards from critics and film festivals leading up to the majors (SAG, Golden Globes, Academy Awards). Personally, I think it’s between Larson and Ronan this year. Mirren’s performance in Woman in Gold was good, but it feels more like a “Yeah, Helen Mirren did stuff, so let’s acknowledge it.” Why not Amy Schumer in Trainwreck instead? Or Charlize Theron for Mad Max: Fury Road? But hey! There’s a good surprise! Sarah Silverman went dramatic in a film for the first time, and it’s paying off.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Christian Bale, The Big Short
  • Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
  • Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
  • Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
  • Jacob Tremblay, Room

Yeah, sure, whatever. There weren’t a ton of strong performances by supporting actors this year, so that’s why this group feels a little grab-bag. I’d like to have seen Stallone on here for Creed, but let’s be honest…SAG isn’t the place where he’ll get a nomination. Golden Globes? More likely. Academy Awards? They do love old white guys.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Rooney Mara, Carol
  • Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
  • Helen Mirren, Trumbo
  • Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
  • Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

This category has some controversy this year. The studios behind  Carol and The Danish Girl decided to release Mara and Vikander as supporting actresses rather than lead actresses, though they’ve both been recognized by critics and film festivals with lead actress awards. Mara was bumped down so she wouldn’t compete with Blanchett, but Vikander’s just doesn’t make sense. It’s not like she’s competing with Redmayne. OH LOOK HELEN MIRREN AGAIN. And McAdams and Winslet aren’t surprises, but I doubt they have any chance against Mara and Vikander (because they’re leads, damn it).

***

I didn’t include the entire list of nominations because they include television, and I only focus on the big film nominations with SAG. But if you’d like to see those, go here. Also, as I mentioned earlier, Golden Globe nominations will be out tomorrow!

The Screen Actors Guild Awards will be live Saturday, Jan. 30th on TNT and TBS at 8pm E/7pm C.

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