There’s been much frenzied conversation in the aftermath of the Golden Globes, where both Andra Day and Jodie Foster pulled off surprise victories. Neither earned a corresponding Screen Actors Guild nomination, but that hasn’t stopped many from hastily adding them in to their predictions and even declaring them sure things. The question is – how important is it to have a SAG nomination in order to make the cut with Oscar?
Getting in with the Screen Actors Guild, which has handed out acting prizes since 1994, is theoretically a better indicator of success since some of its members are also Academy voters, while the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is a completely separate group. But groupthink and general support indicate a rubber stamp that makes chances seem even more certain, though there’s always at least one unexpected – or predictable – snub that leaves off someone who did hit those two precursor marks, like Jennifer Lopez, Taron Egerton (who won the Globe), and Christian Bale last year.
The good news is that, at least statistically speaking, it’s extremely rare that Globe winners don’t make the cut at Oscar even without SAG endorsement – at least in the drama and supporting categories. Even though that isn’t as much the case for the comedy/musical lead acting races, which aren’t always taken as seriously by Oscar voters, they have still managed to send an impressive 32 of their 52 Globe winners since 1994 to the Oscars, with 10 of them winning. Out of those 32 successes, 6 of them missed out with SAG along the way – Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge!), Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Amy Adams (American Hustle), Matt Damon (The Martian) and Jennifer Lawrence (Joy).
Looking at the supporting categories, a Globe win, SAG snub, and Oscar nomination have actually happened concurrently a number of times. Brad Pitt (12 Monkeys), Edward Norton (Primal Fear), Ed Harris (The Truman Show), Meryl Streep (Adaptation.), Clive Owen (Closer), Natalie Portman (Closer), Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained), Sylvester Stallone (Creed), and Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) all managed to pull it off, though only two of them won the Oscar: Waltz and King. Just once has a Globe winner ended up without an Oscar nod after missing at SAG: Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals), whose 2016 victory was considered a real shock.
The lead drama categories offer even fewer examples. Both actresses who didn’t get cited by SAG, Sharon Stone (Casino) and Isabelle Huppert (Elle), still scored Oscar nominations. The only actor who wasn’t celebrated by his peers wasn’t so lucky: Jim Carrey (The Truman Show), who had the added misfortune of winning a comedy Globe for Man on the Moon the next year, getting in with SAG, and then still getting snubbed by Oscar voters.
There are plenty of additional factors to consider, like who it is that got in with SAG in place of the absent Globe winners, how the films are perceived, and how much time there is between the Globes ceremony and Oscar voting. But, for the moment, Day and Foster shouldn’t worry too much because the stats are distinctly on their side. And if not, at least Foster already has two Oscars and this is only Day’s first major film role, so she’ll likely have another chance to be acknowledged in the future.