The Screen Actors Guild is an interesting group because they only have five major film categories (plus one for stunt ensemble) and no official Best Picture prize, just one awarding the best ensemble. While that’s been helpful to propel films like Parasite and CODA to Best Picture wins, other eventual Oscar winners like Nomadland didn’t even factor into the conversation. Weirder still, a bunch of stacked ensembles that felt like sure things have been snubbed in the past, including The Power of the Dog, West Side Story, Mank, Green Book, The Favourite, and The Shape of Water. What near-locks will just miss this year?
Best Male Actor in a Leading Role
This category has three actors whose omission would be a shock: Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), and Brendan Fraser (The Whale). But besides that, it’s hard to know who will be strong enough to merit a spot. Golden Globe drama nominees Bill Nighy (Living), Hugh Jackman (The Son), and Jeremy Pope (The Inspection) are all in films without much buzz or that need some true enthusiasm to get enough attention. Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick) is likely to earn an Oscar nomination, but will other actors reward his nostalgia-heavy turn? Similarly, Paul Mescal (Aftersun) is seeing his film do very well, but will his peers be the ones to propel him to his first Oscar nomination? It’s possible that Globe comedy nominees Diego Calva (Babylon), Daniel Craig (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery), or Ralph Fiennes (The Menu) could also show up depending on how their films are received by this group. And watch out also for Tom Hanks (A Man Called Otto), who would be a cool inclusion.
Predictions: Butler, Calva, Cruise, Farrell, Fraser
Best Female Actor in a Leading Role
This category has six major contenders all nominated for Critics Choice prizes with three nipping at their heels. The Golden Globes failed to recognize Danielle Deadwyler (Till) and Naomi Ackie (I Wanna Dance with Somebody), and the former feels likely to show up while the latter’s chances remain more of a question mark. Cate Blanchett (Tár) and Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once), and Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans) should be too. Margot Robbie (Babylon) and Viola Davis (The Woman King) both may not earn Oscar nominations in the end, but SAG nominated Robbie for Mary, Queen of Scots and gave Davis a win for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, suggesting strong support for both actresses. And then there are two other Globe nominees who might join the race too: one Oscar winner with plenty of acclaim but not that much for this film, Olivia Colman (Empire of Light), and one star of a controversial, mostly poorly-received film who may still be popular enough, Ana de Armas (Blonde). Even without either of them crashing the party, a surprise snub feels likely here, which may be Williams.
Predictions: Blanchett, Davis, Deadwyler, Robbie, Yeoh
Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role
This category has two surefire nominees who will be battling for the win: Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once) and Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin). Gleeson’s costar Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin) feels pretty safe at this point too. From there, things get trickier. Golden Globe voters chose Eddie Redmayne (The Good Nurse) and Brad Pitt (Babylon). The Critics Choice Association selected Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway), Paul Dano (The Fabelmans), and Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans). And Ben Whishaw (Women Talking) was supposed to be a major player this award season, and this group not naming him could be the final nail in his coffin and the film’s. Tom Hanks (Elvis) also might be selected if his film goes over as well as expected, and Mark Rylance (Bones and All) is another possibility. It’s hard to know what mix voters will come up with, especially considering the scenario where Williams doesn’t get nominated but her costars do.
Predictions: Dano, Gleeson, Keoghan, Quan, Whishaw
Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role
This category is a true question mark. Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin) feels like the only safe choice, followed potentially by Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) and Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere All at Once), the only other honorees cited by both Golden Globe voters and the Critics Choice Association. I’m hopeful that Curtis’ costar Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once) makes the cut but less secure in that prediction. The Globes chose Dolly De Leon (Triangle of Sadness) and Carey Mulligan (She Said), while the Critics Choice Association selected Janelle Monáe (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery) and Jessie Buckley (Women Talking), who, with her costar Claire Foy (Women Talking) have not been awards season staples and need some last-minute support here. There’s also Hong Chau (The Whale), who mysteriously missed with both groups, and Keke Palmer (Nope), who has been feted by other awards bodies.
Predictions: Buckley, Chau, Condon, Curtis, Foy
Best Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Some frontrunners here include The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, and The Fabelmans. There’s absolutely no excuse for Women Talking missing here, but its awards season performance has been thoroughly disappointing, so it’s unfortunately possible. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery seems like a good bet despite is predecessor not being nominated, while Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is less likely even though its predecessor won this prize. Babylon would be a worthwhile choice if voters liked the film, while Elvis, She Said, Tár, The Woman King, or Top Gun: Maverick would indicate strong support for any of those films.
Predictions: Babylon, The Banshees of Insiherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, Women Talking
Come back soon for our TV predictions. Nominations will be announced on Wednesday, January 11th.
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