September 18, 2015
        "Black Mass" could get Johnny Depp back in the Oscar game                J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve: Ten potential first time writer/director nominees for Oscar in 2015                Roger Deakins offers up some of his very best cinematography in "Sicario"                "The Martian" launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival                "Steve Jobs": Oscar predictions for September                "Sleeping with Other People" is one of the most charming films of 2015                Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for "Our Brand is Crisis"                Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film "Spectre"                Richard Gere is an under the radar Best Actor contender for "Time Out of Mind"                Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race                “The Hateful Eight”: Looking at potential Best Original Screenplay Contenders                David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?                Telluride Announces 2015 Lineup - Steve Jobs, Black Mass, Suffragette                “Sicario”: Ten Films to see in September                Will Smith crusades for Best Actor in the "Concussion" Trailer        

Tag Archives: Screen Actors Guild

Did “Birdman” just soar into the lead of the Oscar race?

Barely more than 48 hours ago, it seemed like almost a foregone conclusion that Richard Linklater’s Boyhood was going to basically walk away with the top Academy Awards this year. Then, the guilds began to chime in and boy do we now have an Oscar race. Over the weekend, the Producers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild bestowed their top prizes not on Boyhood, but on Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman. This sets up a new dynamic in the awards race, as the guilds have favored Birdman over Boyhood. The season is far from over, but the impending Directors Guild of America pick will perhaps say a lot about if Iñárritu and Birdman are now in the lead for Oscar. Simply put…we’ve got a race.
How did we get here? Well, it basically is just the change in season. We’ve gone from critics groups and non Academy related voting bodies like the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (only one voter for the Golden Globes casts a vote for the Oscars) to guilds that have a high crossover with Oscar. Both PGA and SAG could have basically made this a coronation for Boyhood, but they’ve chosen to throw their weight behind Birdman, making for a much closer race. While the early stages of the season saw Boyhood take almost everything, all but burying The Imitation Game and Selma in the process (while seeing American Sniper and The Grand Budapest Hotel have late breaking surges), the past week has shown a sea change. Boyhood is still heavily in it, but Birdman might very well be slightly in front now. They’ve put everyone else in their rearview mirror, making for a two horse sprint to the finish.
Sure, you can make a case that in the big category American Sniper and The Imitation Game are still hanging in there, along with a long shot for The Grand Budapest Hotel, it’s really down to Birdman or Boyhood. You can cross off Selma (barring essentially a protest vote that I don’t see happening), The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash from having any chance. What makes this interesting is how unusual these contenders are and how non-traditional they would be as Best Picture winners. That’s pretty cool in my book, beyond seeing just how close this Oscar race has gotten as we finish up with the guilds and begin the waiting game for the Academy Awards to finally […]

Screen Actors Guild predictions

On Sunday night, the Screen Actors Guild will hand out their prizes, beginning the portion of phase two for the awards season where the guilds chime in. SAG is a particularly noteworthy one due to how they don’t just attempt to clear up the acting categories…they also can be a Best Picture harbinger as well. Their Best Ensemble category is basically their Best Picture, so sometimes they opt to try and crown a frontrunner there as opposed to solely focusing on the best cast of the year. This year, there’s the potential for SAG to really crown the person to beat in Best Actor, so between that and Picture, there’s plenty to look at here.
For comparison’s sake, here’s what they did last year. There was heavy and almost total crossover between SAG and Oscar, as Matthew McConaughey won both Best Actor prizes for Dallas Buyers Club, Cate Blanchett won both Best Actress prizes for Blue Jasmine, Jared Leto won both Best Supporting Actor prizes for Dallas Buyers Club, and Lupita Nyong’o won both Best Supporting Actress prizes for 12 Years a Slave. The only difference was that Best Ensemble saw American Hustle upend eventual Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave. I expect something similar to happen this time around, with the acting winners lining up and perhaps the Ensemble/Picture situation not being the same.
This year, the Best Actor category is one of the most competitive for SAG. One can probably assume that Jake Gyllenhaal is out of the running for Nightcrawler, but aside from that, there’s potential for everyone else. Steve Carell (Foxcatcher) and Benedict Cumberbatch (for The Imitation Game) will likely come up short, so it’s a dead heat essentially between Michael Keaton for Birdman and Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything. It’s almost a coin flip, but right now I think Keaton is ever so slightly in the lead. The winner here becomes our frontrunner for Oscar.
Best Actress is a slam dunk. Julianne Moore is winning this one for Still Alice, plain and simple. One can argue about if Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) or Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) is the main runner up, but they’ll be surely joining fellow nominees Jennifer Aniston (Cake) and Reese Witherspoon (Wild) in applauding as Moore hits the stage to pick up her statue, on her way to doing the same at the Academy Awards.
In Best Supporting Actor, […]

“Birdman” leads the 21st Screen Actors Guild nominations

Well folks, we have our first truly major precursor announcement…the Screen Actors Guild awards nominations The guilds are where we truly see how Academy members might go with their votes, so earlier today’s announcement has some real impact on the Oscar race. For certain candidates, they’ve now closed in on locked nomination spots, while others saw their hopes all but fade away. It’s getting to be a critical time in the awards season, this precursor has arrived at basically the perfect time to help in assessing the race. Now, let’s dive in and see who and what the Screen Actors Guild (or SAG) nominated!
SAG went hard for Birdman, which led the way with four citations. Next in line were the likes of Boyhood, The Imitation Game, and The Theory of Everything, with three each. Pn the flip side, Selma was shut out entirely, including David Oyelowo in Best Actor. Despite some interesting citations like Jennifer Aniston in Best Actress and Jake Gyllenhaal in Actor, it seems like SAG more or less went with the usual suspects here, as opposed to really trying to shake up the race in an especially interesting way. This won’t be the final word on the acting races (or Best Picture), but it’s definitely going to impact the perception of certain candidates quite a bit. The actors and actresses who vote on SAG have certainly had their say.
Overall, the 21st annual SAG nominations gave much needed boosts to the likes of Aniston, Steve Carell, Robert Duvall, Gyllenhaal, and Naomi Watts, not to mention The Grand Budapest Hotel, while dealing blows to the aforementioned Selma/Oyelowo, along with Gone Girl and Interstellar as well, not to mention Amy Adams Jessica Chastain, Bradley Cooper, Oscar Isaac, and Shailene Woodley. The race has now taken a turn, that’s for sure. In the next few weeks we’ll see a bigger push for The Grand Budapest Hotel in Best Picture, Aniston really try to lay claim to the fifth Best Actress slot, and Selma attempt to make up for a few early snubs, all while Boyhood continues to further stake out its position as the major frontrunner of the season. If nothing else, the precursors are keeping things from being boring!
Here now are the full Screen Actors Guild nominations from a few hours ago, including the television categories:
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in […]

A look at Screen Actors Guild predictions

I’ve been tackling Academy Award and Golden Globe predictions for a substantial portion of the year now, but there are of course other awards and/or precursors worth mentioning. Over the rest of the season, I’ll be trying to figure those out too, with today marking the starting point as I attempt to decode what the Screen Actors Guild might do. SAG is one of the most important precursors, mainly because it shows off what the acting branch of the Academy might be thinking. This year, with such a wide open race in almost all categories, you have to imagine that SAG will be one of the biggest guild announcements of the year.
Below you’ll see my predictions in all of the SAG categories, but keep in mind that it’s early and they’re completely subject to change. For example, I’ve hung back on some films like Selma while going out on a few limbs that make more sense now than they likely will during crunch time. In any event…here you go:
Best Actor is so packed this year, whomever is snubbed in this category could find their chances crippled. Last year, SAG went three out of five (nominating Bruce Dern, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey, and Forest Whitaker…Hanks and Whitaker were swapped out for Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio in Oscar’s lineup), so they clearly help. McConaughey won here on his road to the Academy Award win, so that’s worth noting as well. At this point, it’s wide open…
Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Joaquin Phoenix – Inherent Vice
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Prediction: Michael Keaton
With Best Actress, we’re going to have to look to see which direction voters go, though last year won’t provide any help. Last time around SAG went four out of five with Oscar (only having to sub out Emma Thompson for Amy Adams, as Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Judi Dench, and Meryl Streep all made the cut), so I’d expect a close relationship between the two awards. Still, it’s going to be hard for them to resist the veteran here.
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon – Wild
Shailene Woodley – The Fault in Our Stars
Prediction: Julianne Moore
Best Supporting Actor is a slam dunk this year, so unless SAG pulls a shocker, we know who’s winning. Much like last year, there’s basically […]

Chavez Film: The Producer Strikes Back

The producers of a new biopic about the late labor leader Cesar Chavez are rushing to tamp down a flickering controversy appearing on Latino social media over whether unionized workers were fired and non-union personnel employed on the film.
The allegation is being vigorously disputed by lead producerPablo Cruz, who said the production complied with all union regulations andthat all the actors, either those from the U.S. or from Mexico, were unionmembers. He did concede, however, that extras hired in Mexico were non-unionsince there is no equivalent of an extras union in Mexico.
‘If there was a union for extras (in Mexico), we would havehad them, but there wasn’t one,’ Cruz said.
Cesar Chavez, which is directed by Diego Luna and stars Michael Pena, America Ferrara, Rosario Dawson and John Malkovich,is scheduled to be released March 28 in more than 600 theaters by Pantelion Films.
The movie was shot predominately in Sonora, Mexico, for reasons that had to do with the grape-picking season and how differently grapesare harvested today in the Central Valley of California, as opposed to decades ago when Cesar Chavez was organizing farm workers.
Cruz also rejected claims that they were a ‘runaway’ production. ‘We are a Mexican production company. We are the company who managed to finance this film. We are not a U.S. company.’
If the union/non-union issues are not satisfactorily dealt with, they could impact the film’s perception, especially in the Latino community, where Chavez’s struggle to organize California farm workers lifted him in many eyes into the Latino equivalent of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The controversy, which has been around for a few years, erupted anew earlier this week when the website Latino Rebels published a story under the headline: ‘Critics of New Chavez Movie Allege Producers Used Non-Union Workers and Outsourced Workto Mexico.’
The source of this allegation was an L.A. activist namedChamba Sanchez, who wrote on his Facebook page that he had received an emailasking if he would help promote the film. He derisively questioned why he would want Luna to get rich?
‘Furthermore,’ Sanchez posted, ‘I am currently researching into allegations that people behind this movie fired unionized workers and outsourced part or the entire production to Mexico. This is quite disturbing. If this is the case, Cesar Chavez must be spinning in his grave. And a bigger question: Why his family would agree to this?’
‘We never fired anybody to hire a non-union […]

Oscars®: Get to know a Best Picture nominee: “12 Years a Slave”

12 Years a Slave
Directed by: Steve McQueen
Written by: John Ridley
Main cast members: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Scoot McNairy, and Alfre Woodard
Number of Oscar nominations in total: Nine
Other nominations besides Best Picture: Best Director (McQueen), Best Actor (Ejiofor), Best Supporting Actor (Fassbender), Best Supporting Actress (Nyong’o), Best Adapted Screenplay (Ridley), Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, and Best Film Editing
Notable precursor wins: Tied for Best Picture at the Producers Guild of America Awards, won Best Drama at the Golden Globe Awards, won Best Supporting Actress at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, won Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards and and USC Scripter Award.
Chances at winning Best Picture: One of the top three contenders and main frontrunners for the award
Chances at other Academy Award wins: Frontrunner in the Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay races

12 Years a Slave is the first film in my “get to know a Best Picture nominee” series, and it’s one of the main contenders in the category. The film is about the true life tale of Solomon Northrup, a free black man who was tricked into slavery and kept for the dozen years that gives the movie its name. Ever since it was announced that the film was being made, pundits like myself speculated that it was going to be an awards juggernaut. Well, it didn’t disappoint and after being the most cited flick among the precursor season, it’s now one of the most nominated films by the Academy and deep in the fight for Best Picture.
Working in 12 Years a Slave’s favor is that it is basically a universally beloved film. There might be more passionate support for other contenders, but it’s almost impossible to find someone who doesn’t think that the movie is at least very good, if not great. That creates a situation where voters are basically assured of placing it high up on their ballot. Consensus is the key to victory in this category, and this is a flick that will not want for number one votes. The question is simply if the other two main competitors (American Hustle and Gravity) can amass a wider range of Academy members to vote for them as opposed to this one.
If you’re looking for something that’s not in this film’s favor, it’s […]

Screen Actors Guild Awards 2014 Winners Are…

SAG-AFTRA presented its coveted Actor® statuette for the outstanding motion picture and primetime television performances of 2013 at the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® in ceremonies attended by film and television?s leading actors, held Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center. The 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® was simulcast live coast-to-coast by TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. (ET) / 5 p.m. (PT). A live stream of the SAG Awards® was also available for viewing online at and, as well as through the Watch TBS and Watch TNT apps for iOS or Android. An encore presentation was telecast on TNT at 10 p.m. (ET)/7 p.m. (PT).
More than 100,000 active members of SAG-AFTRA nationwide were eligible to vote for the recipients. Honored with individual awards were Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto, Matthew McConaughey and Lupita Nyong?o for performances in motion pictures and Ty Burrell, Bryan Cranston, Michael Douglas, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Helen Mirren and Maggie Smith for performances in television. The Screen Actors Guild Awards originated awards for the outstanding performances by a motion picture cast and by television drama and comedy ensembles. The Actor® for a motion picture cast performance went this year to ‘American Hustle,’ while the Actors® for television drama and comedy ensemble performances went this year to ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Modern Family.’
The honors for outstanding action performances by a stunt ensemble in film and television were awarded to ‘Lone Survivor’ and ‘Game of Thrones.’ The stunt ensemble honors were announced during the SAG Awards Red Carpet Pre-show which was webcast live on, and
Morgan Freeman presented Rita Moreno with the union’s highest honor, the 50th Annual Life Achievement Award, following a filmed salute. Tom Hanks introduced a filmed ‘In Memoriam’ tribute to the members lost in the past year.
PEOPLE magazine and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) hosted the Screen Actors Guild Post-Awards Gala for the 18th year. This exclusive event, immediately following the SAG Awards on the back lot of the Shrine Exposition Center, honors the philanthropic causes and good works of the members of SAG-AFTRA. The gala benefits the SAG Foundation.
The complete list of recipients of the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® follows:
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY / Ron Woodroof ? ?DALLAS BUYERS CLUB? (Focus Features)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading […]

Screen Actors Guild Awards Are Back!

Screen Actors Guild Awards® Committee Chair JoBeth Williams announced today that the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, honoring the outstanding performances of calendar year 2013, has been scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. The 2014 SAG Awards® ceremony will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT, marking the 17th consecutive year the SAG Awards have been telecast on television’s destination for drama and the 9th year on cable’s top-rated comedy network. Timing for the 20th Annual SAG Awards nominations announcement and the full calendar of key dates for the 20th Annual SAG Awards will be announced in the coming months.
The Screen Actors Guild Awards® commend the year’s finest achievements in acting in film and television, including the distinctive ensemble awards, which honor the collaborative performance by a cast in a motion picture and by the ensemble casts of both comedy and dramatic television series. Honors lauding the work of television and film stunt ensembles are announced just prior to the Actor® ceremony.
Recipients are selected solely by SAG-AFTRA members. ‘Actors take great pride in being honored by their peers and look forward each year to the opportunity to celebrate together,’ says Williams.
Nominees for the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the honors for outstanding action performances by stunt ensembles are chosen by separate film and television nominating committees, each composed of 2,100 SAG-AFTRA members from across the United States, randomly selected anew in the spring each year. The entire active SAG-AFTRA membership is given the opportunity to vote for the recipients.
The 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® is presented by SAG-AFTRA. For more information about the SAG Awards, SAG-AFTRA, TNT and TBS, visit, ‘like’ us at, follow us at, follow us SAG Awards on Google+ at, on Instagram by following @sagawards, and on Tumblr at
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Get ‘Les Misérables’ Soundtrack signed by Cast and ‘Life of Pi’ Poster signed by Director Ang Lee- Do some good today!

‘Les Misérables’ Soundtrack signed by Cast, ‘Life of Pi’ Poster signed by Director Ang Lee Still Available in SAG Awards® Auction.
Select items from the SAG Awards® Ceremony Auction benefiting the Screen Actors Guild Foundation?s Children?s Literacy and Emergency Assistance programs are still available online on the SAG Awards Auction website. The items will be available until tomorrow, Friday, February 8, at 6 p.m. PT.
Up for bids:
‘Les Miserables’ soundtrack signed by Hugh Jackman, Eddie Redmayne and Director Tom Hooper
‘Life of Pi’ package: “The Making of Life of Pi” book and movie poster signed by Director Ang Lee
Champagne Taittinger 6L bottle signed by 19th Annual SAG Awards recipients
‘Chocolate Me!’ children’s book and T-Shirt (Size M) Signed by author Taye Diggs
Two bottles of Mercury Geyserville Alexander Valley Wines: 2008 Messenger and 2005 Rocket
6L bottle of JUSTIN Vineyard’s ISOSCELES
Proceeds from the SAG Awards Ceremony Auction will benefit the SAG Foundation to help sustain their award-winning children’s literacy programs: BookPALS (Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools), reading to over 60,000 children monthly in classrooms and hospitals nationwide, and Storyline Online, reaching an average of 750,000 global views each month. The auction also supports the Foundation’s Catastrophic Health Fund and Emergency Assistance, including the Superstorm Sandy Relief Fund; video preservation of the creative legacy of performers; scholarships for performers and their children; valuable casting seminars; and related professional workshops. The Foundation also operates The Actors Center and Don LaFontaine Voice-Over Lab. For additional information, please visit
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Jennifer Lawrence Great New Photos

Oscar nominee, Jennifer Lawrence, great new photos taken at multiple award events. From People’s Choice awards, Critics Choice Movie awards, Golden Globe awards, to Screen Actors Guild awards.
Jennifer, as always, did a great job in her new film “Silver Linings Playbook,” directed by David O. Russell and starring Braley Cooper. As you know, this year she was nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Actress. We are keeping our fingers crossed. Below a photo gallery of Jennifer Lawrence. Enjoy it.

Photos by
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