After a surprise omission at the SAG Awards, what are Michelle Williams’ chances at scoring an Oscar nomination for The Fabelmans?
Now that the SAG Awards nominations have been announced, we have a slightly clearer picture of the acting races as we get closer to Oscar nomination morning. I use the word “slightly” because there’s always room for surprises. In fact, last year saw four acting nominees earn Oscar nominations without any precursor citations from the Golden Globes, Critics Choice and SAG Awards.
At this stage of the awards race, we have two questions to ask. Which actor with nominations from all three groups will be snubbed by Oscar? Which actor can sneak in without these precursors?
Data from 2003 through 2021 Oscars
Yes, more precursor nominations from the central three awards bodies – Golden Globes, Critics Choice and SAG Awards – means an actor has a greater chance at earning an Oscar nomination. Roughly nine out of ten actors who receive this triple crown of nominations go onto the Oscars. Now we apply that to this year’s crop of hopefuls. Thirteen actors have managed to earn nominations from all three awards bodies. Based on this data, one actor will be the big snub of Oscar nomination morning.
Likewise, if we apply the success rate of each of the precursor performances, we can see that 18 actors cited by these three awards groups will move onto the Oscars. That means two slots will come from actors who have not received any of these high profile nominations.
If anything, the Oscars have tended to skew more towards these shocking acting nominees than in years past. Last year, a whopping four acting nominees earned Oscar nominations without corresponding precursor nominations:
Best Actress – Penelope Cruz – Parallel Mothers (2021)
Best Supporting Actor – Jesse Plemons – The Power of the Dog (2021)
Best Supporting Actress – Jessie Buckley – The Lost Daughter (2021)
Best Supporting Actress – Judi Dench – Belfast (2021)
Which Frontrunner Will Be Snubbed?
Since we’ve already determined at least one nominee will be snubbed, let’s figure out who that might be. Since 2003, there have been 25 people who have been snubbed after receiving three major precursor nominations. We’ve divided them into four categories (seen below):
Data from 2003 through 2021 Oscars
The most consistent type of snub comes from a “This Had Oscar Buzz” contender, where a movie’s Oscar chances were solely for a singular performer (think Jennifer Aniston in Cake). Following that, a famous actor in an Oscar underperformer (think Lady Gaga in House of Gucci) is tied with an Anomaly from a Best Picture nominee (think Amy Adams in Arrival) for second place. In essence, if your movie is not going to be a major Best Picture player, you may find yourself snubbed.
Of the thirteen people who have scored the hat trick this year, here are the following performers that may fall into the This Had Oscar Buzz/underperforming film category:
Viola Davis (The Woman King)
Brendan Fraser (The Whale)
Bill Nighy (Living)
Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever)
After winning the Golden Globes last night, Angela Bassett feels more secure in her path towards an Oscar nomination. Likewise, it would be a major shock for Brendan Fraser to miss a nomination for The Whale, since he is still in the hunt for a win. That means that either Viola Davis or Bill Nighy would be the most likely snubs for Oscar.
However, we shouldn’t ignore the possibility that someone from a Best Picture nominee finds themselves missing on Oscar morning. There’s little rhyme or reason, as few predicted Amy Adams missing for Arrival or Tom Hanks missing for Captain Phillips. In both cases, they were not at the top of the pack to win. Realistically, that only hurts Barry Keoghan for The Banshees of Inisherin, since Supporting Actress is wide open enough that both Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere All At Once) and Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin) have paths to win.