For months, the only consensus about this year's awards race has been that there is an overall lack of consensus. But the
Alejandro G. Iñárritu's "Birdman" — a gonzo portrait of a washed-up movie star (Michael Keaton) trying to regain his artistic credibility — came out on top with four nominations, including one for its ensemble cast as well as individual nods for Keaton and supporting stars Edward Norton and
"Boyhood," director Richard Linklater's experimental coming-of-age film that was shot over 12 years on a shoestring budget, followed with three nominations for its ensemble cast and for
The major studios got shut out from the critical ensemble category, with
Jake Gyllenhaal, who scored a surprising nomination for his disturbing turn in the noirish indie "Nightcrawler," thinks it's no surprise that smaller films scored big.
"There's an intimacy that the audience goes into the dark for," he said after the nominations were announced. "When you make an independent film, there's not pressure to please the audience. You can ask the complex questions."
There were other unexpected picks as well.
According to SAG, 2,200 of the guild's 165,000 members were randomly selected to serve on the film nominating committee this year. Actors make up the largest voting bloc of the motion picture academy, which is why many prognosticators look to the SAG nominations as one of the best predictors of the
A few films expected to be major players in the awards season — some of which have not yet opened — were largely ignored by the guild. Paramount Pictures did not send out screeners of its civil rights drama "Selma" because director Ava DuVernay had not locked the final cut of the film, which is due in theaters on Christmas Day. Though widely considered a strong Oscar contender for best picture and star
There were no African Americans among the 51 film actors recognized by the guild — a sharp contrast from last year, which saw black-led films like "12 Years a Slave" and
Three other films also set for release on Dec. 25 —
But the day provided much-needed boosts for two films that have received less attention from pundits. Though director
"I think that movie is pretty deserving," said Wilson, a regular in Anderson's movies going all the way back to his feature debut,
Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher" — the dark, true-life story of a wrestler (
With only one nomination separating the top two SAG contenders and a few bigger films such as "Unbroken" likely to have stronger showings down the road, the awards race is still very much in flux. That lack of clarity has been a boon to a film like "Boyhood," which came out last summer and has proved the proverbial little engine that could.
"There's certain movies that the second you do them, people think you're hunting for awards," said Hawke. "Some of these movies come out and you can smell it on them. 'Boyhood' was the most artistically pure experience I've had for over a decade."
"Theory of Everything" producer Lisa Bruce, whose film got three nominations, was pleased that both