Fri. Aug 7th, 2020

2020 SAG Nominations: The Biggest Snubs and Surprises

The Screen Actors Guild nominations for Motion Picture and Television have been announced and with them comes the oohs and ahhs of the biggest snubs and surprises of the morning.

While there was a lot to cheer about if you were in the cast of Lionsgate’s Fox News exposé Bombshell, there was a quiet lull if you were a part of Sony’s Little Women or Netflix’s The Two Popes.

In television, there was a lot of marvelous for Mrs. Maisel and Schitt’s Creek may have finally found its paddle as it enters its final season. But what about Succession? Watchmen? SAG doesn’t have supporting categories for television (come on, guys, you really need them) or a Cast/Ensemble category for Limited Series so we often get supporting performers bumped up to lead and bumping off leads of other shows.

As I always talk about, visibility is key to a SAG nom as the nominating committee is a randomly chosen group of about 2,000 out of 160,000 SAG-AFTRA members. Those that don’t live in Los Angeles, San Francisco or New York City are dependent on screeners to help decide these nominations. If your film isn’t seen, it’s not getting nominated.

The 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards will be held on January 19, 2020. Let’s dig in to see what the morning’s biggest snubs and surprises were.

Snub: Little Women

While Saoirse Ronan was able to earn Critics Choice and Golden Globe nominations as Jo March in Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel, she nor Florence Pugh or the cast found any love from SAG this morning. Ronan was previously nominated for Brooklyn and Lady Bird but it seems that the film simply wasn’t seen by enough voters. It’s also missed out on other crucial guild nomination already, too.

Surprise: Bombshell everywhere

So I foolishly thought there would be a limited ability for Bombshell at SAG, including predicting a Charlize Theron snub, but they went all the way in the opposite direction and not only did Theron and Margot Robbie get in but so did Nicole Kidman. Plus, the Cast nomination. Wild for such a late-breaker. Interesting that John Lithgow didn’t make the cut in supporting actor but that is a dead-locked race.

Snub: The Farewell

Awkwafina earned a Critics Choice and a Golden Globe nomination and Zhao Shuzhen was nominated for Critics Choice but SAG left them out in the cold today. This was an important get for Awkwafina and now I think her Oscar chances hang in the balance. For Zhao Shuzhen it would have been a surprise for her to show up here but it would have boosted her chances as immensely.

Surprise: Parasite gets Ensemble nod

Probably the biggest surprise of the morning (but one that had been bubbling under) was Parasite grabbing a lone Ensemble nomination. The South Korean hit has been racking up guild nominations as well as Golden Globe and Critics Choice noms and multiple critics’ Best Picture awards. But this is the first time since 1998’s Life is Beautiful that a foreign language film has been nominated here. This is a huge get and vaults it into the Best Picture winner conversation like never before.

Snub: Marriage Story misses Cast

Despite getting three individual nominations (Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern), the Netflix divorce drama couldn’t quite close the deal. Does that hurt it’s Best Picture hopes? Yes and no. Traditionally it used to. You virtually couldn’t win the Best Picture Oscar without at least a nomination here. But in the last three years, two films snubbed here (The Shape of Water and Green Book) bucked that stat to create a new trend.

Snub: The Two Popes

It’s been a mixed bag for Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins this season so far. Hopkins has Critics Choice and Golden Globe nominations. Pryce has a Globe nod. The film is nominated for the Globe Drama. But today, SAG will have to say three Hail Marys to repent for this sin of omission.

Snubs: Eddie Murphy, Robert De Niro, Adam Sandler, Antonio Banderas

This is how stacked the Best Actor category is when you only have five slots. Any number of the five men that made the SAG cut (Christian Bale, Adam Driver, Joaquin Phoenix, Leonardo DiCaprio and Taron Egerton) could easily be swapped out come Oscar time. Every snubbed actor today has earned a nomination somewhere else, be it Critics Choice or the Globes but this was an important one. BAFTA will tell us a lot.

Surprise: Schitt’s Creek

After finally earning Emmy cred with Comedy Series, Actor and Actress nominations, SAG has woken up too and nominated the show and Catherine O’Hara. It’s a perfect way to set up for the show’s final season, which starts in January.

Snub: Succession

After a breakthrough second season, both in viewership and awards attention, you’d think that SAG would take notice but nope. The global media saga of the obscenely wealthy Roy family didn’t click with voters. Anti-1% sentiment? Maybe, but part of the allure of Succession is the foils and failures of this diabolical crew.

Surprise: The Handmaid’s Tale

Still going strong in its third season, The Handmaid’s Tale earned an Ensemble nod and one for Elisabeth Moss and probably held the door for shows like Watchmen, Succession and This Is Us, who were standing out in the cold.

Surprise and Snub: Big Little Lies

AW television predictor Amanda Spears had an inkling about this and it kinda came true. The second season of Big Little Lies moved categories to Drama Series (its first competed in Limited Series before a second season was greenlit) and the show only managed a Drama Series Ensemble nod. No Kidman. No Witherspoon. No Streep, even.

Surprise and Snub: The Morning Show

Another show we weren’t quite sure what SAG would do with. It hit three individual nominations (Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell and Billy Crudup – sorry, Reese) but couldn’t grab an Ensemble nod.

Snub: Veep

A total shutout for Veep’s final season (unlike the final season of Game of Thrones) for a show that has performed extremely well here. It follows the Golden Globe shutout with a whimper for its close. The Emmys nominated the show for nine awards but it went home empty-handed in September.

Snub: Pose and Billy Porter

Billy Porter just made Emmy history in September as the first openly LGBTQ person to win Best Actor in a Drama Series (and only the third black actor ever, after James Earl Jones in Gabriel’s Fire and Sterling K. Brown in This Is Us) but SAG shut him and Pose out.

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