SAG Nominations Announced: The Snubs And Surprises In Film

Lots of surprises with this morning’s Screen Actor’s Guild nominations. The SAG awards are voted on by members of SAG-AFTRA. These awards, unlike all the others, are voted on by other actors. Judging by these nominations, it’s going to be a really interesting night and an even more confusing award season.

Let’s start off with Best Actor. The nominations for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture were as follows.

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Johnny Depp, Black Mass
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

There are a few shocks to consider here. Many had written Bryan Cranston out of the race for Trumbo. In fact, he was considered on the outside of the race, which meant that he had a slight possibility if the guilds were going to go with a surprise, but his chances were slim. This shakes up the race and really plants a question mark on names like Will Smith (Concussion) and Matt Damon (The Martian) who were once considered shoe-ins.

Michael Fassbender was once a favorite to win, and he still has a good chance considering this guild doesn’t pay attention to box office returns, but perhaps they’re drinking the Cranston kool-aid? He’s been a favorite in the past for his series Breaking Bad.

Then again, a lot of actors really admire Leonardo DiCaprio, and since there doesn’t seem to be a leading contender, this might just be his year. He certainly deserves it for other performances. The result is that this year there’s no lead contender which is usually unheard of for such a huge category.

A few other surprises and snubs were found in Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture.

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Helen Mirren, Woman in Gold
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Sarah Silverman, I Smile Back

Blanchett and Larson were always going to get nominations because they’ve been circling award season for some time now. That said, Jennifer Lawrence got rave reviews and a lot of buzz for Joy, so it’s a bit of a surprise that a leading contender was snubbed. Then again, it’s not known if Joy was screened for the guild in time, and if it wasn’t, it would make sense.

A delightful surprise that came from this category was Sarah Silverman, who gave a stunning performance in the film I Smile Back. Silverman was on absolutely no one’s radar despite giving an enormous performance. This may not change the race, but it certainly gives a spotlight to Silverman. She might find herself nominated for other awards now.

Helen Mirren was always on the outside of this race, so it’s a bit of a surprise to see her name in there as opposed to Charlotte Rampling or Carey Mulligan, who were both snubbed. So far, this seems like Larson’s to lose.

With Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, many suspected that the men of Spotlight (Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton) would give each other some serious competition, but they were nowhere to be found on this list.

Instead, the SAG nominations went for a little bit of variety. A huge surprise but one that was deserved was 7-year-old Jacob Tremblay’s nomination for Room. A disappointment to many is Sylvester Stallone’s lack of nomination for Creed. Then again, I wouldn’t count him out just yet as he still has the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards nominations. The box-office buzz and all around positive response about Creed, which will probably carry into the holiday season, will probably do him well.

Another shock is Paul Dano’s snub for Love & Mercy.

Here are this year’s nominees for Supporting.

Christian Bale, The Big Short
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Jacob Tremblay, Room

It’s official SAG is in love with Trumbo. For Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, here are the nominees.

Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Helen Mirren, Trumbo
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Kate Winslet always had a chance of getting in for Steve Jobs. In fact, many see Winslet as a frontrunner this awards season. The real surprise in this category is Rachel McAdams for Spotlight. Her male colleagues were shut out, and given that she’s the only female in the film, it’s interesting that she found herself with a nomination. I wouldn’t count out Alicia Vikander either, as this might be her year as well.

The only real big snub was The Martian for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. One surprise in this category was Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation, but it’s a deserved nomination, as is Straight Outta Compton, which has been shut out of all previous awards. The Trumbo love continues, but it almost doesn’t matter because as far as stats go it looks like Spotlight will take this one.

Beasts of No Nation
The Big Short
Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton
Trumbo

As a side, it should be noted that as far as the “year of the woman” goes, with the exception of their own categories, women are barely represented this year in the nominations. For instance, the Cast nominations, which reflect Best Picture later on in the award season, all have men in the lead roles. It would have been nice to see Suffragette in there.

What’s your opinion on the film portion of the SAG nominations?

[Photo by Open Road Films]