This morning was a double dose of awards frenzy as the BAFTA longlists and SAG Awards nominations were both announced within an hour of each beginning at around 6am PT.
BAFTA returned to longlist announcements in all categories last year along with massively revamped voting structures and it brought us longlists that were more international, multi-cultural and multi-racial than they’ve ever been. This year’s list was a huge step back, with zero non-English language films on the Best Film list and only one of 60 longlisted performances not in English.
For the Screen Actors Guild, shocks and surprises are par for the course and today really brought them. Here are the biggest snubs and surprises from this morning’s announcements.
SNUB – Kristen Stewart (Spencer) – SAG
By far the most shocking snub of the morning went to the Screen Actors Guild blanking on Kristen Stewart in Spencer, the critics’ award leader this season. Despite being the overall leader, Stewart failed to nab any of the top awards from either NYFCC, LAFCA or NSFC. Worse, Spencer only managed four BAFTA longlist appearances whereas films with her competition, like Nicole Kidman and Lady Gaga, found widespread love.
SNUB – Penélope Cruz (Parallel Mothers) – BAFTA
Penélope Cruz has struggled with precursors for her brilliant leading turn in Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers, despite winning LAFCA and NSFC. She missed out on Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice nominations and shockingly, was left off the Best Actress longlist of 15 today. A nomination at SAG wasn’t expected so not much of a snub there but this is still a double loss.
SNUB – Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard) – SAG
The Emmy-nominated veteran earned Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice nominations for her turn as Brandy “Oracene” Williams, the mother of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams in King Richard and found a spot on the BAFTA longlist for supporting actress but SAG said no, snubbing her while nominating Will Smith and the film in the Cast category.
SNUB – Peter Dinklage (Cyrano) – SAG
One of the most-nominated actors in SAG history, and a two-time winner, Peter Dinklage seemed like an easy call here. But, considering that 12 of his 15 nominations were for Game of Thrones, voters just didn’t make the leap for him with his titular role in Cyrano. Dinklage was an early film SAG nominee for lead actor with 2003’s The Station Agent but that was not enough for him today.
SNUB – The Belfast Boys, Ciarán Hinds and Jamie Dornan – SAG
After being side by side and landing dual nominations at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice, the father/son pair of Hinds and Dornan were both snubbed at SAG. While it may have been realistic for one to have missed (I had them both getting in but would have put my money on Hinds if there was only going to be one), both is a pretty big surprise for a film that’s a frontrunner for Best Picture. Their co-star Caitríona Balfe got in and the film was nodded for Cast and they both made the longlist for BAFTA. But even if they get in there, will it be enough to get one or both of them to the Oscars?
SURPRISE(S) – Bradley Cooper (Licorice Pizza) and Ben Affleck (The Tender Bar)
A great morning for Cooper as his cameo in Licorice Pizza earned him a BAFTA longlist mention and a supporting actor nomination from SAG. A low-key early in the season frontrunner, Cooper has bounced back in a big way after snubs at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice. As an 8-time Oscar nominee who’s never won, this is exactly the trajectory he needs to turn himself into a winner. This is his third individual SAG nomination but his first in supporting. Ben Affleck proved that his Golden Globe nomination for The Tender Bar was no fluke as he followed it up today with a SAG nod. While many feel his better supporting turn this year was for The Last Duel, this is where the industry is backing him and we’re taking note. This is Affleck’s first individual SAG nomination; he has three as a cast member and two wins as one (for Shakespeare in Love and Argo, both of which went on to win Best Picture).
SURPRISE – House of Gucci – SAG and BAFTA
While it wasn’t too much of a surprise that Lady Gaga was going to show up at SAG today, we also saw the return of Jared Leto after his nomination last year for The Little Things. But the real shock came when the film got the Cast nomination, something most people didn’t see coming. It puts Gaga in a great position as the only SAG leading actress with a film up for the top award. But even before SAG announced, the film exploded at BAFTA too, with 13 longlist mentions, including Adam Driver, Al Pacino, casting, British Film and more joining Gaga and Leto.
SURPRISE – Jennifer Hudson (Respect) – SAG and BAFTA
After missing nominations from the Golden Globes and and Critics’ Choice, Jennifer Hudson is back with a shiny new SAG nomination and BAFTA longlist mention. Is it enough to put her back into the Oscar top five (or keep her, if you already had her there). Considering the dearth of non-white contenders in Best Actress and Hudson’s first major bid at a follow-up nomination after Best Supporting Actress win for 2006’s Dreamgirls, she’s looking very strong now.
SURPRISE – Don’t Look Up – BAFTA
Adam McKay’s star-studded comedy landed an expected SAG Cast nomination (but no individual nod) but blew up BAFTA, tying with West Side Story for the most longlist mentions at 15. The movie got mentions in Best Film, director, in all four acting categories (two in supporting actress – Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep) plus casting, makeup and hair, editing, score and more.
SURPRISE – Cate Blanchett (Nightmare Alley) – SAG
Speaking of Cate Blanchett, the three-time SAG winner added a 16th overall nomination (and 7th individual for film) to her tally. Nightmare Alley has been largely blanked this season outside of top 10 mentions from AFI and NBR and she didn’t even make the BAFTA longlist cut for the film. She did, however, make it for Don’t Look Up. Go figure.