Gold Standard: SAG Awards predictions: A ‘Black Panther’ cast win will shift the Oscar best picture race
The motion picture academy’s recent membership drive has increased its voting numbers to 7,902. But that’s a drop in the bucket compared with the 120,782 dues-paying SAG-AFTRA members eligible to vote for this year’s SAG Awards winners.
That kind of volume lends itself to naming winners with broad appeal. Let’s look at who might benefit this year.
CAST IN A MOTION PICTURE
The nominees: “Black Panther,” “BlacKkKlansman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” “A Star Is Born”
And the winner is: “Black Panther.” Get ready for a bunch of Oscar pundits to update their best picture predictions.
Unless: “A Star Is Born” and “BlacKkKlansman” figure to get some votes, but their casts aren’t as deep as “Panther’s.” And quantity (not necessarily over quality) usually matters with SAG Awards voters in this category.
FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
The nominees: Emily Blunt, “Mary Poppins Returns”; Glenn Close, “The Wife”; Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”; Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”; Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
And the winner is: The last six women to win this trophy have gone on to take the Oscar, a streak that will probably end this year because this category is so competitive. Here, I’ll lean toward Gaga for her star turn in a show-biz tale.
Unless: There’s going to be a fair amount of sentiment for Close, who has never won a SAG Award on the film side. (She took the lead actress miniseries/movie award in 2005 for “The Lion in Winter.”) A Close victory would be akin to Julie Christie winning for “Away From Her” in 2008. Colman, another highly regarded veteran, is a possibility too.
MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
The nominees: Christian Bale, “Vice”; Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”; Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”; Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”; John David Washington, “BlacKkKlansman”
And the winner is: Cooper. Actors will find it hard to resist rewarding one of their own for going all multi-hyphenate with a passion project.
Unless: Bale becomes the first actor to win lead and supporting SAGs. (He took the supporting honor for “The Fighter.”)
FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
The nominees: Amy Adams, “Vice”; Emily Blunt, “A Quiet Place”; Margot Robbie, “Mary Queen of Scots”; Emma Stone, “The Favourite”; Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”
And the winner is: You probably know that Adams has never won an Oscar. She’s also come up empty five times at the SAG Awards. Look for that to change in a big way this year, with wins here and for her lead turn in the HBO limited series “Sharp Objects.”
Unless: Weisz and Stone are both so good in “The Favourite” that there’s no clear choice between them. That’s probably going to scuttle their chances throughout this awards season. I’ll go with Blunt as an alternate.
MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
The nominees: Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”; Timothée Chalamet, “Beautiful Boy”; Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”; Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”; Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
And the winner is: The well-liked Grant earns some overdue career love for his winning turn in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Unless: “A Star Is Born” runs the table, carrying Elliott, another industry favorite, to the podium.
ENSEMBLE IN A TV DRAMA SERIES
The nominees: “The Americans,” “Better Call Saul,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Ozark,” “This Is Us”
And the winner is: “This Is Us” repeats, appealing again to this voting body’s more mainstream tastes.
Unless: Everyone comes to their senses and rewards “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Side note: As this is the first nomination for “The Americans,” I’m not holding my breath for a proper sendoff. But “Ozark” could prevail based on SAG Awards voters’ historic love for all things Netflix.
ENSEMBLE IN A TV COMEDY SERIES
The nominees: “Atlanta,” “Barry,” “GLOW,” “The Kominsky Method,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
And the winner is: “Mrs. Maisel” follows its Emmy win, prevailing on its first try.
Unless: Again, never underestimate the spell Netflix has on this group. So maybe “GLOW” for a second season that improved on its first.
FEMALE ACTOR IN A TV DRAMA SERIES
The nominees: Julia Garner, “Ozark”; Laura Linney, “Ozark”; Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”; Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”; Robin Wright, “House of Cards”
And the winner is: I’m going with Oh, though SAG Awards voters tend to be a year or two behind the curve in their television choices.
Unless: SAG Awards voters are a year or two behind the curve and reward Moss, who should have won last year.
MALE ACTOR IN A TV DRAMA SERIES
The nominees: Jason Bateman, “Ozark”; Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”; Joseph Fiennes, “The Handmaid’s Tale”; John Krasinski, “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”; Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
And the winner is: Bateman. “Ozark” is going to win something.
Unless: Brown repeats.
FEMALE ACTOR IN A TV COMEDY SERIES
The nominees: Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”; Alison Brie, “GLOW”; Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”; Jane Fonda, “Grace and Frankie”; Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”
And the winner is: Brosnahan and Borstein both won Emmys, as Borstein was slotted in the supporting category. Go with the woman who plays the title character.
Unless: They really like Borstein!
MALE ACTOR IN A TV COMEDY SERIES
The nominees: Alan Arkin, “The Kominsky Method”; Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”; Bill Hader, “Barry”; Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”; Henry Winkler, “Barry”
And the winner is: The SAG Awards don’t have supporting categories for television, which is why three of the nominees here — Arkin, Shalhoub and Winkler — aren’t leads. You have to go back 13 years to find the last supporting actor to win this category (Sean Hayes for “Will & Grace”), so Douglas seems like the logical pick.
Unless: Voters remember how great it was seeing Winkler win an Emmy and want to repeat that high.
FEMALE ACTOR IN A TELEVISION MOVIE OR LIMITED SERIES
The nominees: Amy Adams, “Sharp Objects”; Patricia Arquette, “Escape at Dannemora”; Patricia Clarkson, “Sharp Objects”; Penelope Cruz, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”; Emma Stone, “Maniac”
And the winner is: As mentioned earlier, it’s going to be a great night for Adams and loyalists who have long lamented her lack of awards recognition.
Unless: Arquette pulls a surprise for her almost unrecognizable, series-stealing turn in “Escape at Dannemora.”
MALE ACTOR IN A TELEVISION MOVIE OR LIMITED SERIES
The nominees: Antonio Banderas, “Genius: Picasso”; Darren Criss, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”; Hugh Grant, “A Very English Scandal”; Anthony Hopkins, “King Lear”; Bill Pullman, “The Sinner”
And the winner is: Probably Emmy-winner Criss, both for the work and the simple fact that it is easily the most-seen performance.
Unless: Between his baddie in “Paddington 2” and the oily charmer he plays in “A Very English Scandal,” Grant had a very good year. He’d get my vote.
From the Emmys to the Oscars.
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