August 31, 2015
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SAG Analysis: What do these noms mean? – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell OK, now that we’ve had a moment to process this morning’s SAG nominations (and if you haven’t seen them yet, they are up on the site), let’s step back and try to figure out what all of this means.

It’s much easier to focus on the snubs, and we’ll certainly get to those momentarily. But having absorbed the various selections of regional critics’ groups over the past few days and analyzed the CCMA – BFCA’s Critics’ Choice noms in addition to SAG, here are a few positives that jump out at me:

– “The Artist,” “The Descendants” and “The Help” aren’t going away. They likely will be in the final group of pictures competing for the Best Picture. What films they compete against (and how many get into the race at all) remains to be seen. Legitimate contenders appear to include “Midnight in Paris” and “War Horse.” Everything else – from “Drive” to “Moneyball” to “Hugo” – feel more like longshots (but still possibilities, for sure).

– Leonardo DiCaprio has a very good chance of getting into the Best Actor race for “J. Edgar,” even though the film appears to have lost some of its awards steam. SAG and CCMA/BFCA (Critics Choice Movie Awards) nods help DiCaprio’s odds.

– After missing out on a CCMA/BFCA nom, Glenn Close is back in the picture for “Albert Nobbs.” Glad to see Tilda Swinton’s also still in the picture for “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” The other Best Actress nominees were givens.

– This “Melissa McCarthy for the Oscar” campaign isn’t as far-fetched as some might have thought. At this point, I’ll be more surprised if we don’t hear her name when the Oscar nominations are announced.

– Ditto Nick Nolte for “Warrior” (again, SAG and CCMA/BFCA nods help his cause).

– Demian Bichir’s nom for “A Better Life” is very nice. But I don’t think it gets him anywhere with the Oscar.

– Ditto Armie Hammer for “J. Edgar,” who did excellent work. Maybe I’m wrong?

OK, let’s take a look at the noticeable snubs.

– Did SAG not screen “Young Adult,” because I don’t’ see the film anywhere on this list?

– Same with “Drive.” No Albert Brooks? That’s a total shock.

– Same with “Shame.” No Fassbender? No Mulligan? For shame, SAG.

– Shailene Woodley’s absence in the Best Supporting Actress category is glaring.

– “Hugo” isn’t represented, either.

– And finally, one Oscar prognosticator pointed out on Twitter that the absence of “War Horse” means the Oscar race will boil down to “The Artist” versus “The Descendants.” Possible, but I disagree. “Horse” is exactly the kind of Best Picture contender that gets by on factors other than its ensemble. I can see why SAG would overlook it, but can also understand why the Academy may embrace it with open arms. We shall see.

And because we never tire of sharing Viola Davis’ moving acceptance speech at our Hollywood Film Awards gala, here’s the SAG-nominated actress speaking on behalf of her “Help” ensemble in October:

Click to see more acceptance speeches at the HOLLYWOOD FILM AWARDS GALA. Enjoy

Awards Alley brings you the best Oscar coverage. Click below to read our exclusive interviews with:
Harvey Weinstein
– The cast of “The Artist.”
Sir Ben Kingsley and Chloe Grace Moretz for “Hugo.”
Tilda Swinton for “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for “The Help.”
Gary Oldman and Colin Firth for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”
Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody for “Young Adult.”
Steve McQueen for “Shame.”
Glenn Close for “Albert Nobbs.”
Seth Rogen and Will Reiser for “50/50.”

For complete Oscar and Film Festival coverage, visit our Awards Alley for the latest news items, reviews and interviews all season long.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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