Beyond the Golden Globes, the most unpredictable of the major awards historically, in terms of nominations, has been the Screen Actors Guild. Their nominations will be announced on January 11th which is just a few days away. The nominating committee rotates each year so it’s never the same group of people doing the judging. Sometimes they’ll spring for a performance no one (at all) saw coming (“Naomi Watts in St Vincent” / “Sarah Silverman in I Smile Back”) and sometimes they’ll stump for a major star and give us false hopes that their delicious work won’t be too outré for Oscar voters (hello, “Nicole Kidman in The Paperboy”). Sometimes they seem a month or two behind the general Oscar buzz or contrarian and other times they fall right in line like they’ve been studying prediction charts from pundits. In short, which kind of year will it be for them?
You won’t want to hear this but our crystal ball keeps saying “Babylon” despite its harsh reviews and tepid box office. Is this thing broken? Anyway, ON TO THE PREDICTIONS…
THE WOMAN KING
Cate Blanchett – TÁR
Viola Davis – The Woman King
Danielle Deadwyler – Till
Margot Robbie -Babylon
Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All At Once
Why this five: I’m predicting Viola Davis over Michelle Williams because SAG loves Viola even more than Oscar does. Though I still believe Michelle is more likely than Viola for the evental Oscar nod. It’s possible that Ana De Armas shows here again after her Globe nomination for Blonde.
If there’s a major surprise: Given what SAG sometimes does for Best Actress (Helen Mirren in Woman in Gold anyone?) it could really be anyone as a “surprise” (if there is one) but wouldn’t it be fun if it was someone like Emma Thompson in Good Luck to You Leo Grande instead of, say, more recent awards favs like Jennifer Lawrence (Causeway) or Olivia Colman (Empire of Light)?
Austin Butler – Elvis
Tom Cruise – Top Gun Maverick
Colin Farrell – Banshees of Inisherin
Brendan Fraser – The Whale
Gabriel Labelle – The Fabelmans
Why this five: I think Bill Nighy will easily snag an Oscar nomination but I’m not predicting him here. For the fifth slot, given the bevvy of possibilities but little true buzz for any of them, I wanted to choose a total surprise (for fun and bragging rights should the unpredictable happen) so I’m going with Gabriel Labelle in The Fabelmans. Why the hell not?
SUPPORTING ACTRESS predictions
Angela Bassett – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Kerry Condon – Banshees of Inisherin
Jamie Lee Curtis – Everything Everywhere All At Once
Janelle Monae – Glass Onion
Carey Mulligan – She Said
Why this five: Predicting Carey Mulligan here over either Women Talking choice (Foy or Buckley) because Category Fraud has utterly defeated us. Here at TFE we’ve tried for 20 years to fight the good fight against it but other critics and journalists and awards bodies just won’t join the noble cause… except with random lip-service early in the year until it comes time for them to fill out their ballots (sigh). Also this category continues to be an utter mess of possiblity, so we’re going with the biggest names in the mix with the exception of Kerry Condon. If none of the huge stars can muster up a ‘here’s why I should win’ narrative, Condon could even take the future Oscar.
I don’t think Dolly De Leon (Triangle of Sadness) or Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere) are big enough names to factor into nominating committee minds as they’re voting here; SAG is usually a fairly mainstream voting body, which tends to mean that fame really matters.
If there’s a surprise: I’m seeing two previous SAG nominees as possibilities if there’s a curveball when the nominations are read: Hong Chau for The Whale who had a good year (see also The Menu) or even Kate Hudson (Glass Onion) which would be a total hoot… and not entirely unlike SAG.
SUPPORTING ACTOR predictions
Paul Dano – The Fabelmans
Brendan Gleeson – Banshees of Inisherin
Brian Tyree Henry – Causeway
Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All At Once
Brad Pitt – Babylon
Why this five: Going out on a slight limb with Brian Tyree Henry. It’s true there’s no buzz for the film but he’s an actor’s actor that a lot of people are rooting for. The other ones have Oscar traction already or are massive stars (i.e. I dont actually think Brad Pitt is landing a fifth Oscar acting nod for Babylon but the Globe nom wasn’t shocking in any way and this wont be either should it come to pass)
If there’s a big surprise: Was tempted to predict Tom Hanks in Elvis just for the utter chaos effect though Mark Rylance (Bones and All) would also work in that regard. Still, my crystal ball says if Judd Hirsch has any real Oscar shot for The Fabelmans, as we once believed, he’ll pop up here.
OUTSTANDING CAST predictions
Banshees of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All At Once
Probably dumb to leave these two out? The Woman King would not be shocking at all as a nominee. It’s easy to picture that happening in fact. The Fabelmans could also easily place here though we don’t think an omission would be a surprise (or reflect Oscar trouble) given the surprisingly mixed feelings about the fabulous movie that are out there. Yes, I’m editorializing with that “fabulous” but seriously… how are people not seeing the quality of this movie? Is it just the natural consequence of high expectations or assumed frontrunner position from its inception as a project?
Why this list: There are no certainties beyond possibly Everything Everywhere All At Once (we’d be SHOCKED if it missed the Cast nomination) so we’re going with the most obvious ensembles save for Babylon. Chazelle’s poison apple gift to the hand that feeds him met harsh critical reception and tepid box office BUT SAG is often a month behind the buzz and in the end it is still a huge glitzy starry entertainment about the industry so we think it still has a good shot with SAG voters.
It might be risky to predict Women Talking for a sole nomination here given snubs in Supporting Actress prediction. Yet it’s probably sunk in that it’s a whole cast type of film. The Banshees of Inisherin would be an arguably odd choice given how small the cast would be “officially” (with SAG’s single title card rule) but SAG doesn’t mind overkill of double nominations for everyone solo and everyone together and the film is superbly acted.
If there’s a big surprise: The Menu or Triangle of Sadness would be really fun choices. Black Panther Wakanda Forever does have the possible advantage of being the sequel to a film that won this category.