Chasing the Gold: 2022 SAG Predictions
The SAG Awards are tonight and it may just be more important than ever to win this for the Oscar contenders. With the question of relevancy for the Golden Globes, the jury system of the BAFTAs and the pushed date for the Critics Choice, this will be the time that frontrunners are determined for the acting races. So, who am I predicting to win big tonight? Read below for my predictions and analysis on each of the six movie categories.
BEST CAST ENSEMBLE – BELFAST
With the omission of The Power of the Dog, the Best Cast Ensemble race is an interesting one that may help push some bubble contenders forward in the Best Picture race. Think back to the 2019/20 season in which Parasite won Cast Ensemble without an acting nomination, giving the film a major platform and push to eventually win the Best Picture race.
This is a race that could be anybody’s to win. If the guild wants to do what they did last year for The Trial of the Chicago 7 and go for the film with the biggest cast, that could be a compelling argument for Don’t Look Up. Of course, that film failed to even bag a nomination for Leonardo DiCaprio, so a case can be made that the guild in general did not have much passion for the acting within that film. CODA and King Richard both scored one acting nomination outside of Cast Ensemble, but there is a strong chance that both of those performances will win in their respective categories. With that, there may not need to be a push to award the entire cast as they will already be represented within the show.
I actually think the competition is close between Belfast and House of Gucci. Gucci scored the most nominations on SAG morning, alongside The Power of the Dog, which is not even listed here. On top of that, with the poor performance at the Oscars and the growth of the SAG voting body including influencers, it may be enough to push a film with stars such as Lady Gaga and Jared Leto to victory. However, I am going to play it safe and predict the current Best Picture runner-up in Belfast. Sure, it only got one nomination for Caitriona Balfe in Supporting Actress, but both Hinds and Dornan would have been close in Supporting Actor and this would be a way to reward that film, making it potentially a closer race than we expect come Oscar night.
BEST MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE – WILL SMITH, KING RICHARD
Yes, there are people out there who are predicting either Andrew Garfield or Benedict Cumberbatch to pull a surprise and start their campaign off at SAG. Yes, I could see the argument for either of those cases to come to fruition tonight. However, I personally think it would be dumb to predict against Will Smith when King Richard is the only film in this category to also secure a Cast Ensemble nomination. Smith already has the Golden Globes, he managed to break into the Actor category at BAFTA over Andrew Garfield, and he is the favorite to win the Oscar. Winning the SAG would not only give him a chance to make a speech for the first time this season, but solidify his place as the frontrunner in this race as he has been since the film was announced.
BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE – NICOLE KIDMAN, BEING THE RICARDOS
The Lead Actress race, like last year, is going to have the chance to be interesting. With Kidman winning the Golden Globes, Stewart back in the running for Oscar without a SAG nomination and with Gaga scoring a SAG nomination but no Oscar nomination, this could either make the race incredibly boring or extremely close. This is the toughest race to call, and because of that I am simply playing it safe and sticking with the current frontrunner.
Jennifer Hudson has the hardest hill to climb, not getting recognition anywhere else and with little buzz for Respect. Chastain needs to get the SAG win for her campaign to kick off for The Eyes of Tammy Faye, and yet I also question whether her film has been seen widely enough to climb the rankings. Colman is someone that should never be ruled out, especially when her film overperformed at the Oscars, but I still wonder if she has the star power within SAG to top Gaga or Kidman. To me, Gaga and Kidman are the top two and while influencer and snub power could be enough to get Gaga the win here and cause chaos within the category, the best bet is to go with the actress that already has a major win and brought Javier Bardem tagging along into the Leading Actor category by predicting Kidman to win.
BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – TROY KOTSUR, CODA
I know I have said to stay safe with the first three predictions, but the Male Actor in a Supporting Role category is where I am taking a swing. If you want to play it safe, predict Kodi Smit-McPhee to win for The Power of the Dog. It seems weird to predict that the Best Picture frontrunner would walk away empty handed and he has dominated the season with critic wins and the Golden Globe win, and that logic makes complete sense.
There is something about Smit-McPhee’s win that just does not feel right when looking at the Oscar’s past, and he would have to miss SAG or BAFTA for that pathway to start revealing itself. CODA has four nominations at the Oscars and the easiest chance it has to pick up a win would be for Troy Kotsur for Supporting Actor. He is campaigning like nobody else this year and Apple TV has the budget to focus specifically on his campaign, unlike with Netflix and Smit-McPhee. It would be an award for the history books and a way to reward CODA for the representation of the deaf community, and it just feels right. It isn’t the safe bet, but I am allowing myself one risk this year.
BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – ARIANA DEBOSE, WEST SIDE STORY
If The Power of the Dog was to secure a win and it was not with Kodi Smit-McPhee, there is a world in which Kirsten Dunst is finally rewarded by her peers and wins here. She is a clear number two in this race with Aunjanue Ellis missing the nomination and there has been more publicity done for her individual campaign than with Smit-McPhee. However, this is a case like with Male Actor in a Leading Role where it would be dumb to predict anyone other than Ariana DeBose for West Side Story.
Yes, she is the only representative for that film and the film did miss out on the Cast Ensemble nomination. However, it was made clear that there were screener issues with West Side Story and she still managed to get in despite Ellis missing out. That should highlight the strength of both her performance and her place in the race, and I do not see anyone overtaking her this award season.
BEST STUNT ENSEMBLE – NO TIME TO DIE
Stunt Ensemble is seemingly a two-horse race this year between Best Picture contender Dune and the last Bond film of Daniel Craig’s era, No Time to Die. It may seem obvious to go with the Best Picture frontrunner and something that scored ten nominations total at the Oscars, and yet the betting odds have No Time to Die out at front and that is what I am going with here.
No Time to Die is still a blockbuster success at the worldwide box office and will most likely score at least one Oscar win for Billie Eilish’s “No Time to Die” in Original Song. It is also clear that the SAG branch likes the stunt work in the Bond films, awarding Skyfall the award in 2012. Sure, the stunt work in Dune is better than that in Best Picture contenders such as The Trial of the Chicago 7, Ford v Ferrari, or The Irishman, but I still think the final farewell to Craig’s Bond will be something that cannot be ignored when it comes to the stuntwork.