Gold Standard

After SAG Award nominations, an early peek at the crystal ball

The Gold Standard's @GlennWhipp looks at likely winners from the Screen Actors Guild Award nominations

The Screen Actors Guild Award nominations were announced five minutes ago, and the awards won't be announced for another month. But why procrastinate? Let's pick the winners ... now!. Because of the size of the voting body (111,228 eligible members and counting!), the prizes typically go to consensus candidates. (Sorry, Jake. This isn't the Spirit Awards.) Here's our (really) early look at the races:

CAST IN A MOTION PICTURE

The nominees: "Birdman," "Boyhood," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "The Imitation Game," "The Theory of Everything"

And the winner is: "Boyhood." Actors love the back story on this movie. The commitment! The passion! And no age makeup!

Unless: Voters often go for volume in this category, rewarding the biggest cast five years running until "American Hustle" upset the apple cart last year. Should they return to that thinking, "Grand Budapest" could pull off an upset, though "Birdman" logically should be the next in line.

MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

The nominees: Steve Carell, "Foxcatcher"; Benedict Cumberbatch, "The Imitation Game"; Jake Gyllenhaal, "Nightcrawler"; Michael Keaton, "Birdman"; Eddie Redmayne, "The Theory of Everything"

And the winner is: Redmayne. It's a transformative piece of acting. And the physical aspect of it, playing a man afflicted with motor neuron disease, puts him over the top.

Unless: There's a growing consensus that Keaton deserves it for his brave, funny "Birdman" turn and the breadth of his career.

FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

The nominees: Jennifer Aniston, "Cake"; Felicity Jones, "The Theory of Everything"; Julianne Moore, "Still Alice"; Rosamund Pike, "Gone Girl"; Reese Witherspoon, "Wild"

And the winner is: Moore. No, she doesn't have an Oscar, but Moore has won at SAG for her work in the HBO movie "Game Change." Still, that won't put much of a dent in the "it's her time" groundswell.

Unless: It really isn't her time and "Theory's" surprising ensemble nod snowballs into a big night for its leads.

MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

The nominees: Robert Duvall, "The Judge"; Ethan Hawke, "Boyhood"; Edward Norton, "Birdman"; Mark Ruffalo, "Foxcatcher"; J.K. Simmons, "Whiplash"

And the winner is: Simmons. He will need a second mantle after this awards season.

Unless: Video surfaces revealing that the real Simmons isn't far removed from his "Whiplash" character. And even then ...

FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

The nominees: Patricia Arquette, "Boyhood"; Keira Knightley, "The Imitation Game"; Emma Stone, "Birdman"; Meryl Streep, "Into the Woods"; Naomi Watts, "St. Vincent"

And the winner is: Arquette. Like Simmons, she'd better have a lot of acceptance speeches prepared.

Unless: Streep, as the witch in "Woods," puts voters under her spell again.

ENSEMBLE IN A TV DRAMA SERIES

The nominees: "Boardwalk Empire," "Downton Abbey," "Game of Thrones," "Homeland," "House of Cards"

And the winner is: "House of Cards." It's the most obvious choice for a voting body that's always behind the curve with its television awards.

Unless: They're really behind the curve and finally recognize "Homeland," which, given the great quality of this fourth season, would actually be the best choice among the nominees.

ENSEMBLE IN A TV COMEDY SERIES

The nominees: "The Big Bang Theory," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," "Modern Family," "Orange Is the New Black," "Veep"

And the winner is: "Orange Is the New Black." It's hard to pick against four-time winner "Modern Family," but it feels like it's time to anoint something new.

Unless: Zzzzzzzz. Same old same old.

MALE ACTOR IN A TV DRAMA SERIES

The nominees: Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire"; Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones"; Woody Harrelson, "True Detective"; Matthew McConaughey, "True Detective"; Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards"

And the winner is: "All right! All right! All right!"

Unless: Voters can't remember what the psychosphere smelled like and go with Spacey.

FEMALE ACTOR IN A TV DRAMA SERIES

The nominees: Claire Danes, "Homeland"; Viola Davis, "How to Get Away With Murder"; Tatiana Maslany, "Orphan Black"; Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"; Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey"; Robin Wright, "House of Cards"

And the winner is: Wright. But who knows? Smith won here last year, so probably any of the vets (sorry, Viola!) could take the prize.

Unless: Danes or Margulies, no strangers to walks up to the stage, prevail.

MALE ACTOR IN A TV COMEDY SERIES

The nominees: Ty Burrell, "Modern Family"; Louis C.K., "Louie"; William H. Macy, "Shameless"; Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"; Eric Stonestreet, "Modern Family"

And the winner is: Parsons. Alec Baldwin won this seven years running before finally losing last year to Burrell. Hard to imagine him starting a new streak, so let's say it's finally Parsons' time.

Unless: Start a new streak!

FEMALE ACTOR IN A TV COMEDY SERIES

The nominees: Uzo Aduba, "Orange Is the New Black"; Julie Bowen, "Modern Family"; Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep"; Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation"

And the winner is: Louis-Dreyfus won her first SAG Award for "Veep" last year, and, given voters' propensity for rubber-stamping, we like her chances to repeat.

Unless: After finally winning a Globe last year, Poehler adds a SAG Award to the trophy case.

MALE ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES

The nominees: Adrien Brody, "Houdini"; Benedict Cumberbatch, "Sherlock: His Last Vow"; Richard Jenkins, "Olive Kitteridge"; Mark Ruffalo, "The Normal Heart"; Billy Bob Thornton, "Fargo"

And the winner is: Thornton. Voters have no shortage of choices, but we're guessing they'll remember Thornton — for the bangs, if nothing else.

Unless: SAG members have a strong desire to reward Cumberbatch somewhere and give him this prize.

FEMALE ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES

The nominees: Ellen Burstyn, "Flowers in the Attic"; Maggie Gyllenhaal, "The Honorable Woman"; Frances McDormand, "Olive Kitteridge"; Julia Roberts, "The Normal Heart"; Cicely Tyson, "The Trip to Bountiful"

And the winner is: McDormand. This award has gone to an HBO movie seven years running, and McDormand won wide acclaim for her turn.

Unless: SAG voters right the Emmys' wrong and give it to Tyson.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
62°