The Screen Actors Guild (or SAG) Awards have decided on their nominees for this year's festivities. The SAGs are widely regarded as the closest thing to the Oscars when it comes to the acting categories. This year there are a few great and a few terrible surprises. Let's take a look.
Actor in a Leading Role
Bradley Cooper - "Silver Linings Playbook"
Daniel Day-Lewis - "Lincoln"
John Hawkes - "The Sessions"
Hugh Jackman - "Les Miserables"Denzel Washington - "Flight"
None of these nominees is a surprising nominations, since they are all supposed to be pretty good in their movies and have garnered a lot of buzz around themselves. The surprise here is the omission of one of the most talked-about and greatest performances of the year: Joaquin Phoenix in 'The Master'. Now, Joaquin did dizz awards groups a couple months ago saying the whole thing was ridiculous and he didn't want to take part of it. It could be that voters are reacting to those comments, because otherwise, how could they have watched that performance and not put it in the top five?
Actress in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain - "Zero Dark Thirty"
Marion Cotillard - "Rust and Bone"
Jennifer Lawrence - "Silver Linings Playbook"
Helen Mirren - "Hitchcock"
Naomi Watts - "The Impossible"
I haven't seen most of these nominees, but I can say that without insulting fine actresses like Mirren and Watts, their nominations seem very boring when compared with what could have been in this list. Granted, Quvenzhane Wallis from 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' was ineligible because the little 9-year-old isn't a guild member, but any kind of reasonable mind who watches Emmanuelle Riva in 'Amour' will tell you she more than deserved a spot.
Actor in a Supporting Role
Alan Arkin - "Argo"
Javier Bardem - "Skyfall"
Robert De Niro - "Silver Linings Playbook"
Philip Seymour Hoffman - "The Master"
Tommy Lee Jones - "Lincoln"
Looking at the names alone, this category seems pretty boring. Upon further inspection it is not as traditional as one would have thought, but not being a fan of Bardem's villain in the lastest James Bond movie, I am pretty unenthusiastic about this list of nominees. Also, where are the supporting actors from 'Django Unchained'? They all had a lot of buzz, seems like the late arrival of the film hurt their chances for a nomination here.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Sally Field - "Lincoln"
Anne Hathaway - "Les MIserables"
Helen Hunt - "The Sessions"
Nicole Kidman - "The Paperboy"
Maggie Smith - "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"
Now here's a good one. Among all the typical awards performances nominated today, Nicole Kidman's completely bonkers performance in Lee Daniels' 'The Paperboy' stands out as a fresh reminder that sometimes, award bodies will recognize a great performance even when the movie isn't well received.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Silver Linings Playbook
SAG treats this award more as a Best Picture category than a place designed to truly award the best ensemble performances. And thus, Argo, Les Miz, Lincoln and SLP all become official front-runners for the Best Picture nomination. For the fifth spot they went with 'Marigold Hotel', which is undoubtedly an ensemble piece that featured fine acting, but I can't feel a little sad since I was hoping for the outstanding ensemble work done in Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom' to be recognized here.
So this is what the SAG chose at the best (some would say thinks will get nominated at the Oscars). Tomorrow is the announcement of The Golden Globe Awards will hopefully will resurrect life into some other deserving contenders now that this awards season has more than started.