Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Chasing the Gold: Final SAG Predictions!

Awards season is in full swing with BAFTA now in the rearview mirror and SAG just hours away. What is going to win in the top five film categories at SAG? Here are my final predictions!

Best Supporting Actor

The easiest category to predict this year at SAG is Best Supporting Actor, which doesn’t look to have any potential spoilers who can beat Robert Downey Jr. for Oppenheimer. He has dominated this season thus far at the televised ceremonies for his performance in Christopher Nolan’s beloved epic, and there’s nothing to suggest he would lose at SAG. 

It seems unfair for Ryan Gosling’s acclaimed performance in Barbie to not win any major prizes—I have always assumed he has been in second place at every televised ceremony—but he just can’t overcome the steamrolling in the category Downey Jr. has accomplished these past few weeks. Robert De Niro for Killers of the Flower Moon and Willem Dafoe for Poor Things are just happy to be hhere, especially Dafoe who didn’t receive an Oscar nomination. And although Sterling K. Brown has won at SAG before on the television side for This is Us, his turn in American Fiction unfortunately won’t put him over the edge.

Anyone but Robert Downey Jr. winning in this category at SAG will be a jaw-dropping shocker. 

FINAL PREDICTION: Robert Downey Jr., Oppenheimer

Best Supporting Actress

Another obvious prediction to make going into SAG is Da’Vine Joy Randolph for The Holdovers. This is a performance that hasn’t missed anywhere this awards season at the televised ceremonies—like Downey Jr., she won at Golden Globes, Critics Choice, and BAFTA, and she won almost every critic’s prize as well. She has had such immense strength in this category that it will be difficult for anyone else to overtake her.

For many weeks I have wondered if Emily Blunt could surprise at SAG for Oppenheimer since she had that shocker victory in 2019 in A Quiet Place, her performance that year not even nominated at the Oscars. Oppenheimer has been dominating enough this season that Blunt seems the likeliest choice for a dark horse spoiler, and remember, Jamie Lee Curtis won at SAG last year for Everything Everywhere All at Once after not winning anything else beforehand. So Blunt has an outside shot, while Danielle Brooks for The Color Purple, Jodie Foster for Nyad, and especially Penelope Cruz for Ferrari don’t have enough strength for a victory.     

Ultimately, based on everything that’s happened since January, a win for anyone but Randolph would be a huge surprise. 

FINAL PREDICTION: Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers

Best Actor

This is, by far, the most difficult category to call, both at SAG and the Oscars. It appears to be a three-way race between Cillian Murphy for Oppenheimer, Paul Giamatti for The Holdovers, and Bradley Cooper for Maestro. Yes, I said Bradley Cooper. Even though he has lost every televised prize thus far, if there is anywhere he could pull off a shocker win, it’s at SAG. His role in Maestro is big and transformative, the kind of performance awards voters usually go for, especially other actors. Although a Cooper victory at SAG is a longshot, he could be a potential upset.

Cillian Murphy won in Best Actor at BAFTA and in the Motion Picture Drama side at the Golden Globes, and he could easily take the SAG prize as well. He is the lead of the year’s most celebrated film, and with Downey Jr. likely taking Best Supporting Actor, SAG voters might reward Murphy, too. I worry that Murphy’s performance isn’t showy enough to win at this particular ceremony, so he’s not my choice here, although I still think if Murphy loses at SAG he could still win at the Oscars. Colman Domingo for Rustin and Jeffrey Wright for American Fiction are just happy to be here, although Wright has a slightly better chance at a shocker upset given his film got into Best Supporting Actor and Best Cast. 

In a very competitive category, Paul Giamatti is probably going to win Best Actor at SAG. He gives a big, showy performance that leans into both comedy and drama in The Holdovers, and he won the Golden Globe Award in the Comedy or Musical category and beat Cillian Murphy at Critics Choice. SAG has also recognized Giamatti before, first in the Best Cast category for Sideways and second for Best Supporting Actor in Cinderella Man. It’s not a sure thing, but this year, I do think SAG voters are going to reward him again for The Holdovers.

FINAL PREDICTION: Paul Giamatti, The Holdovers

Best Actress

After the Golden Globe Awards, this category seemed like it was going to be a showdown all season between Emma Stone for Poor Things and Lily Gladstone for Killers of the Flower Moon. However, Stone beat Gladstone at Critics Choice, and then Stone won at BAFTA in a category Gladstone didn’t even receive a nomination in. 

There has been some chatter about how Gladstone could be this year’s Michelle Yeoh. Remember, last year Yeoh lost at Critics Choice and BAFTA and then went on to win at SAG and the Oscars for Everything Everywhere All at Once. We have learned in recent years that you can miss in a couple places and still take the SAG prize. But a few things hurt Gladstone, including her film losing steam the last few weeks, along with her quiet and reserved performance being put up against Stone’s giant bravura turn in Poor Things. Carey Mulligan for Maestro, Margot Robbie for Barbie, and Annette Bening for Nyad all give great performances but have almost no chance in a last-minute surprise. 

It’s not impossible for Gladstone to overtake Stone at SAG, but I am highly doubting it at this point, especially since Stone gives the bigger and more transformative performance in a role that has been winning everything thus far. 

FINAL PREDICTION: Emma Stone, Poor Things

Best Cast

So there are two ways you can look at the Best Cast category this year. You can go with the Best Picture frontrunner Oppenheimer, which is very likely to win here given the immense ensemble cast of tremendous actors and performances. Or you can go with a surprise win for American Fiction, Barbie, The Color Purple, or Killers of the Flower Moon

If there’s one major televised prize this season Oppenheimer could potentially lose, it’s this one. I don’t see The Color Purple or Killers of the Flower Moon beating it, but American Fiction and Barbie could absolutely do it. These are two of the finest ensemble casts of the year, in films that received multiple Oscar nominations. Although Oppenheimer has a good chance of winning this, something tells me SAG voters might turn against rewarding a film that’s mostly white men in suits and go with a more diverse cast. It’s not a confident pick by any means, but I think SAG in Best Cast is going to choose American Fiction

FINAL PREDICTION: American Fiction

The 30th Screen Actors Guild Awards airs live on Netflix on Saturday, February 24 at 5pm PT / 8pm EST. 

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