The nominations for the 22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards are tomorrow morning and we have the FINAL predictions from The Gold Rush Gang.
In the top category, Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, we have eight films vying for five spots. We all agree that The Big Short, Brooklyn, The Martian and Spotlight are locked in but the other two have varying support within the GRG and include four votes for Room, three for Steve Jobs and a pair of single votes; one for Bridge of Spies and one for Carol. As it is every year, and probably this year more than ever, in-hand screeners are going to be the deciding factor on who and what gets nominated. With a nominating committee of 2,000 SAG members, there is no assurance that the SAG screenings that take place in Los Angeles and New York will be seen by these voters. Those screenings are good for post-nominees, to be sure, but if you have a nominating committee member that lives outside of those big cities then an in-hand screener is crucial. Very end of year releases like Joy and The Revenant are likely to be hurt the most here. We do know that screeners of both films were indeed sent, just very late. We expect to see the stars of each of those films, Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) and Jennifer Lawrence (Joy) to be nominees tomorrow morning but not their films or co-stars. In 2012, The Wolf of Wall Street was too late for SAG and DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and the film were nowhere to be seen but all showed up at the Oscars. In 2013, American Hustle showed up in Cast and Supporting Actress for Lawrence and actually WON the Cast award here. It ended up with 10 Oscar nominations. So, Joy could show up here more than we’re expecting, especially since the deadline to turn in ballots was yesterday, the day Joy reviews dropped. They were, divisive to say the least. There were no screeners released for The Hateful Eight so it is not expected to show up here.
In the Lead categories the entire Gold Rush Gang (save Long, who didn’t turn in his ballot in time) are in 100% agreement; Matt Damon (The Martian), Johnny Depp (Black Mass), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs) and Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl). A scary thing, since that opens the door for everyone to be totally right or totally wrong. Early support for Ian McKellen (Mr. Holmes) was there. He’s been touring the country with his movie and Q&As and he had an early screener. He’s very much a possibility to spoil. But who would he replace? Strangely enough, everyone here has a vulnerability. The Martian could just be a Cast mention. Depp could falter in the face of Michael B. Jordan’s Creed being a strong player. Michael Fassbender could suffer from Steve Jobs‘ poor box office (that didn’t hurt him winning LAFCA though). Eddie Redmayne has been overshadowed by his co-star. Then there’s Leo. Although screeners went out in time, he could miss out like he did with WOWS. Despite how locked that category looks, it’s anyone’s to miss. One thing to think about; Matt Damon and Michael Fassbender are the only actors on this list with a corresponding film in the Cast conversation. That is, unless Black Mass and its huge cast show up there, or The Big Short‘s Steve Carell spoils the race here. Look out also for Michael Caine (Youth), Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) or Will Smith (Concussion) to possibly show up.
For the actresses it’s a bit more scattered. We all think Cate Blanchett (Carol), Brie Larson (Room), Jennifer Lawrence (Joy) and Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) are in. That’s four with a 5th spot up for grabs. Our votes are spread out among Blythe Danner (I’ll See You in My Dreams), Carey Mulligan (Suffragette) and Lily Tomlin (Grandma). Danner and Tomlin benefit from being the first two screeners released this season and Mulligan by virtue of how open the category is. That said, Lawrence is still vulnerable here. And what of Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years? Could she show up? Then there’s the case for Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road. The film has been doing gangbusters with critics awards but will SAG voters go for her? And would she have been put in Lead or Supporting?
Supporting Actor almost had a locked five until James popped in with a vote for Benicio Del Toro (Sicario). A multi-nominee and winner with SAG, he’s a good bet to be sure. But other than him the votes all go for the Spotlight guys (Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), Sylvester Stallone (Creed) and 9-year old Jacob Tremblay (Room). SAG likes to go for kids here so he seems like a good shot, but we’ll see if James proves us wrong. What about Paul Dano (Love & Mercy)? He’s making quite a run with some critics awards…in Lead. Still, he was submitted as supporting here and could nab a spot. Speaking of critics awards, what about Michael Shannon in 99 Homes? He just won the LA critics award and is nominated for an Indie Spirit for the film. Although he’s never been nominated for an individual SAG (he has two Cast noms and one win for TV’s Boardwalk Empire) he had one of the biggest surprise Oscar nominations ever with Revolutionary Road back in 2009. Also, if DiCaprio does end up in Lead, there’s a good chance we’ll see Tom Hardy here. If Stallone makes it here, his run for the Oscar begins.
Since studios are required to submit their actors in specific categories, both Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) and Rooney Mara (Carol) will end up here. That petition was denied by The Golden Globes, however, and they are in Lead there. It will be interesting to see if both The Weinstein Company (who has Carol) and Focus Features (who has The Danish Girl) continue the supporting push for the Oscar or if one or both pivot and attempt a lead nomination. Elsewhere here, Oscar winners Jane Fonda (Youth) and Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs) should be pretty safe. Fonda, even for a 6-minute cameo, is a classic SAG nominee. Since the awards are just over 20 years old there’s never been a chance to reward someone of her stature (see Gloria Stuart, Ruby Dee) and if nominated she could even end up winning. Evan and Kenneth are counting on 10-time SAG nominee (and a winner just last year) Helen Mirren (Trumbo) to charm the voters once again. Single votes for Joan Allen (Room) and Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) and a strong showing of support for Rachel McAdams (Spotlight) to coattail on her film’s success would give Spotlight four nominations tomorrow, a likely field best. If Brooklyn is very strong, we could see Julie Walters show up here.