But there were also names we didn’t expect and movies that hadn’t tracked. Here are some of the unexpected lessons and trends from the first big guild announcement of the season.
Christmas blues: Almost all of the major nominees have been out there for weeks or even months -- “Boyhood,” Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” literally, and even “Wild” and “Cake” have been making the fest and screener rounds for some time. Movies entering the season late -- “Unbroken,” “Selma,” “American Sniper” and “Big Eyes” -- were almost completely snubbed. Guilds vote on people they like but also movies members have seen, and those films may not have gotten in front of that audience early enough for their performances to register. Of course, when it comes time for the Oscar nominations, that will all change. In other words, don’t read too much into the snub for “Selma’s”
Transformations pay: Do a different genre or even simply look different and fellow actors will reward you. That’s true for
Extra support: Watts’ SAG nomination pushed out
Workaholics: Aniston's and Watts’ noms are in part a function of them doing this a long time, alongside a lot of other people -- people who remember you when it comes time to vote.
Wes’ world: Wes Anderson has extracted some bold and interesting turns from his performers over the years. But as far as we can tell, no actor in his movie has never been nominated for a SAG Award, and a film of his has certainly never landed a spot on the coveted, best-picture-auguring outstanding cast short list. Partly that’s his indie status and partly that’s his stylized ways: If your actors all are all subsumed into a particular manner of moving and talking, it’s harder for people to see the acting in them. That changed this year, when "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and seemingly the largest cast in history was named for an ensemble award (seriously, you can trace every movie in Hollywood to within two degrees of its 17 nominees). Is the difference a growing recognition that channeling the Anderson spirit is a particular acting skill? The film's period setting? Something else? Either way, this solidifies the chances for an Anderson film to be nominated for a best picture Academy Award for the first time. Let's hope the Oscar stage is colorful enough.