January 25, 2017

Tag Archives: Screen Actors Guild

“Spotlight” takes the top prize from SAG to stay alive in the Oscar race

Over the weekend, the Screen Actors Guild Awards (or SAG, for those who don’t know) did their best provide both questions and answers in regards to the Oscar race. On the one hand, much of what we suspected to the the Academy’s likely favorites remains as such, but on the other…there are certainly some potential upsets brewing. SAG was just one of the precursors over the weekend, as the Art Directors Guild and ACE Eddie announced their winners as well, which you can see below, but the SAG victors are what we’ll be focusing on today. So, let’s chat about that guild’s results!
SAG managed to both clear up and confuse on Saturday. Basically, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Brie Larson wrapped up their Oscar wins in Lead Acting categories, while Alicia Vikander likely became an unbeatable frontrunner as well in Best Supporting Actress. As for Best Supporting Actor, Idris Elba’s surprise win either solidified this category for Sylvester Stallone or threw the whole thing into chaos. Speaking of chaos, Spotlight beating back The Big Short to win Best Ensemble here keeps it in the running for Best Picture. The math still favors The Big Short, but Spotlight now is nipping at its heels and making this a strong two horse race. If either emerges with a Directors Guild win this coming weekend, that will tip it in their favor. If not, this will go right down to the wire, and frankly, we should expect nothing less.

Here is the full list of winners from the Screen Actors Guild Awards:
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
SPOTLIGHT (Open Road Films) (WINNER)
BILLY CRUDUP / Eric MacLeish
BRIAN D’ARCY JAMES / Matty Carroll
MICHAEL KEATON / Walter “Robby” Robinson
RACHEL McADAMS / Sacha Pfeiffer
MARK RUFFALO / Michael Rezendes
JOHN SLATTERY / Ben Bradlee, Jr.
STANLEY TUCCI / Mitchell Garabedian
IDRIS ELBA / Commandant
THE BIG SHORT (Paramount Pictures)
CHRISTIAN BALE / Michael Burry
RYAN GOSLING / Jared Vennett
MELISSA LEO / Georgia Hale
JOHN MAGARO / Charlie Geller
BRAD PITT / Ben Rickert
RAFE SPALL / Danny Moses
JEREMY STRONG / Vinny Peters
MARISA TOMEI / Cynthia Baum
FINN WITTROCK / Jamie Shipley
PAUL GIAMATTI / Jerry Heller
TRUMBO (Bleecker Street)

Updated Academy Award and Screen Actors Guild Predictions

Folks, we have another huge weekend ahead of us. This one, frankly, may very well decide the Oscar race. Yes, the Screen Actors Guild (or SAG) will be having their awards show tomorrow night, with the acting races, as well as Best Picture, potentially set to be decided. With really one exception, I have a strong hunch that what wins at SAG will go on to win with the Academy next month. As such, not only will you see what I think SAG will do, but also what I feel are the current Academy Award results (it is Friday, after all). Busy day, I know.
SAG really will decide if The Big Short is running away with the Academy Awards ceremony or not. Also, it will likely solidify impeding Oscar wins for Leonardo DiCpario in Best Actor and Brie Larson in Best Actress. Furthermore, it could finally provide a Best Supporting Actress frontrunner. The only place it won’t really tell the full story is Best Supporting Actor, where Sylvester Stallone was snubbed. He probably still remains the favorite with the Academy, however. The big category though, is of course Best Ensemble, which is SAG’s version of Best Picture. There, The Big Short could wrap things up with a win, while this could be Spotlight’s last stand. Essentially, if Spotlight doesn’t win here, it can’t win with Oscar, and if The Big Short does win, statistically it’s a done deal. We shall see what happens, but below you can see my advance predictions…

This is how I see the Screen Actors Guild Awards going down:
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Prediction – Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant
Alternate – Bryan Cranston for Trumbo
Dark Horse – Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Prediction – Brie Larson for Room
Alternate – Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn
Dark Horse – Cate Blanchett for Carol
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Prediction – Christian Bale for The Big Short
Alternate – Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies
Dark Horse – Jacob Tremblay for Room
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Prediction – Rooney Mara for Carol
Alternate – Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl
Dark Horse – Kate Winslet for Steve Jobs
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Prediction – The Big Short
Alternate – Spotlight
Dark Horse – Trumbo
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
Prediction – Mad […]

This year’s SAG nominations are all over the place

Just a few short minutes ago this morning, the Screen Actors Guild unveiled their 2015 awards nominations, giving us the first major precursor to really sink our teeth into. At the same time, they really went in a whole other direction than expected. Yes, SAG actually bucked the trend of just trying to get out in front of the Academy Awards and more or less just nominated who they pleased. This of course makes them a lot less of a factor when it comes to future Oscar predictions than expected, but at the same time, it did make the nominations a whole lot more interesting, that’s for sure…
Believe it or not, when all was said and done, Trumbo led the nominations on the film side of things, though keep in mind that it only scored three nominations. That was kind of indicative of SAG this year, however. Voters here spread the love around, really favoring no one particular title, snubbing others across the board. For example, Creed (mainly in terms of Sylvester Stallone) and The Martian were completely shut out, Spotlight only had Rachel McAdams individually nominated (though it got an Ensemble nod and still seems the solid frontrunner there), true ensembles like The Big Short and Straight Outta Compton joined Spotlight and Trumbo in the big Best Ensemble field, and room for smaller contenders like Beasts of No Nation and even I Smile Back found spots to shine. Also keep in mind that only some voters got to see The Hateful Eight, as it was limited to those who attended in person screenings. A lack of screeners being sent out in time might have also kept Joy from showing up anywhere. Regardless, there were surprises all over the place. It was an impossible precursor to have accurately predicted, which is really saying something. I got 18 out of 30 if we include alternates in all of the film categories, and honestly…I feel lucky to have broken the 50% mark.
Here now is the full list of nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Awards:
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
BRYAN CRANSTON / Dalton Trumbo – “TRUMBO” (Bleecker Street)
JOHNNY DEPP / James “Whitey” Bulger – “BLACK MASS” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
LEONARDO DiCAPRIO / Hugh Glass – “THE REVENANT” (20th Century Fox)
MICHAEL FASSBENDER / Steve Jobs – “STEVE JOBS” (Universal Pictures)
EDDIE REDMAYNE / Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe – “THE DANISH GIRL” (Focus […]

Final SAG awards predictions

The very first guild of the season announces tomorrow folks. Yes, the Screen Actors Guild will reveal their nominations in less than 24 hours, which is pretty exciting if I do say so myself. This is one of the biggest precursors, since voters here are also potentially members of the Academy. It doesn’t necessarily lock in anyone for Oscar nominations, but a citation here goes a very long way. This year they’ll have very little help from the early critics groups, as no acting contender has emerged as a consensus pick yet. Their Ensemble prize might be a different story, especially if they treat it more like a Best Picture substitute than just an acting award, but more on that in a bit…
What you really want to look out for is if, among other things, The Hateful Eight is shut out. There’s been an effort in the last few days to make sure pundits like myself know that SAG members haven’t been able to see this via screener, since it’s encouraged to see this in the 70mm roadshow version. That limits the amount of folks who have seen it, so will that result in no citations? This is the thing I’ll be most interested to see, along with how the Best Ensemble category goes. Will it just be the members of SAG trying to guess five of the nominees that Oscar will have for Best Picture, or will they actually go the route of looking at true ensembles? If it’s the former, the list might be a bit bland, but if it’s the latter, you could see a surprise like Trainwreck pop up. Either way though, it still looks pretty good for Spotlight, so there’s that.
Other than that, these categories seem to be more or less straightforward, at least in terms of not being likely to have someone that we haven’t been at least somewhat mentioning. That’s been the case throughout the precursors so far, as while no consensus frontrunner has emerged in any spot, the expected contenders have been the one being cited. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it does make for kind of a limited pool to pull from. Perhaps SAG will buck that, but frankly I doubt it. We’ll more than likely see a surprise or two, but nothing outwardly shocking. That’s my hunch, at least.
Anyway, as with any of these sorts of pieces…enjoy talk. It’s […]

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 […]

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