Actors will tell you that the SAG Awards are important because it’s recognition from actors to actors. Those in the industry will tell you it’s important because the awards season has been tame since the writer’s strike began. In reality, the SAGs really aren’t important. In most instances, studios won’t even go as far to print it on the DVD box.
But hell, it will be the first time in too long that we’ve seen Angelina Jolie in a dress, so here at WHAP, it’s enough to pretend like it matters. So, in that vein, how about some predictions?!?
Like all the different award shows this year, we are all but guaranteed to be unsurprised when the winner is announced in two different categories:
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
GEORGE CLOONEY / Michael Clayton – “Michael Clayton”
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS / Daniel Plainview – “There Will Be Blood”
RYAN GOSLING / Lars Lindstrom – “Lars And The Real Girl”
EMILE HIRSCH / Christopher McCandless– “Into The Wild”
VIGGO MORTENSEN / Nikolai – “Eastern Promises”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
CASEY AFFLECK / Robert Ford – “The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford”
JAVIER BARDEM / Anton Chigurh – “No Country For Old Men”
HAL HOLBROOK / Ron Franz – “Into The Wild”
TOMMY LEE JONES / Ed Tom Bell – “No Country For Old Men”
TOM WILKINSON / Arthur Edens – “Michael Clayton”
Yes, right now, it would be pretty shocking if Daniel Day-Lewis and Javier Bardem don’t have the opportunity to make acceptance speeches on Sunday. I suppose Clooney and Holbrook have outside chances, but let’s be honest here, they really don’t.
So, really, for the first time in the history of award shows, the female races promise to be more exciting than the male races. Except for whatever awards show they have for Pornos, I suppose. The big award for SA, Best Actress, has the five names that have been bandied about the most this awards season, or at least until Laura Linney up-ended Jolie in the Oscar nominations:
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
CATE BLANCHETT / Queen Elizabeth I – “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”
JULIE CHRISTIE / Fiona – “Away From Her”
MARION COTILLARD / Edith Piaf – “La Vie En Rose”
ANGELINA JOLIE / Mariane Pearl – “A Mighty Heart”
ELLEN PAGE / Juno MacGuff – “Juno”
Similarly to my Oscar preview, this race really is between Julie Christie, Marion Cotillard and Ellen Page, and it seems at this point even Page is an underdog. Now I look at the last five winners, and it changes everything for me: Helen Mirren, Reese Witherspoon, Hilary Swank, Charlize Theron and Renee Zellweger. That list has two that sang (Witherspoon, Zellweger) and the rest had very visual changes undertaken for the role. Given that, I am predicting Marion Cotillard wins. Maybe Christie wins for good feeling, as Annette Bening did over Hilary Swank in 2000, but I’m going Cotillard.
Here are the nominations for our other female award:
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
CATE BLANCHETT / Jude – “I’m Not There”
RUBY DEE / Mama Lucas – “American Gangster”
CATHERINE KEENER / Jan Burres – “Into The Wild”
AMY RYAN / Helene McCready – “Gone Baby Gone”
TILDA SWINTON / Karen Crowder – “Michael Clayton”
I think the SAGs did better at getting the right five than the Oscars — mostly because I’m a Keener fan. But Keener, Dee and Swinton are all underdogs in a race that has been dominated by Blanchett and Amy Ryan. I think when deciding here, you need to value how much the particular award show values visibility. Now last year, Jennifer Hudson came from nowhere to win, but it was a pretty tame class. Before that, the previous four were all quite visible: Rachel Weisz, Cate Blanchett, Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones. Because of that, and because the SAGs do seem to love Cate, I’m going with Bob Dylan here.
Last, and certainly most importantly, we have the Ensemble award:
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
3:10 TO YUMA
INTO THE WILD
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
This is akin to the Oscar’s Best Picture for this meaningless awards show, so this will be the moment with the fakest amount of tension. But really, Hairspray is in the category, so we shouldn’t be taking ourselves too seriously. What’s interesting is that a few movies are recognized here but not much elsewhere: 3:10 to Yuma and Hairspray don’t have specific actors that gained nominations, and American Gangster has just Ruby Dee. Now, I checked, and I’m telling you: outside of “Lord of the Rings”, these are not the movies that win. So I’m narrowing the race to two: “Into the Wild”, which has three specific actors named, and “No Country for Old Men”, which has two and a formidable performance from Josh Brolin. I’m going outside the box, though, and I’m going to say like last year, when “Little Miss Sunshine” won despite Arkin and Breslin losing, that “Into the Wild” sees losses from Hirsch, Holbrook and Keener, but they get the big one. Because for those that love “No Country”, the screenplay and directing seems to get even more praise than the acting.
Official WHAP Predictions for SAG Awards
Best Actor: Daniel-Day Lewis
Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem
Best Actress: Marion Cotillard
Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett
Best Ensemble: Into the Wild