Thursday, December 18, 2008

SAG Nominations

Outstanding Performance by a Cast

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Doubt
  • Frost/Nixon
  • Milk
  • Slumdog Millionaire
I've already said my piece about the Slumdog Millionaire nomination for best ensemble, but it bears repeating. RIDICULOUS. Did it really need this nomination? Especially since this is not an actorly movie at all, whatsoever? Especially since it would have gotten a best picture nomination regardless? It's best ensemble, people. Not best picture. Where the hell is Rachel Getting Married. Like it or not, it's true ensemble work, n'est pas? (broken record). This indicates major support for this movie from the acting branch, who make up a large part of the Academy. It only solidifies what we've already known. Slumdog is simply too big to lose right now. A best picture nod is assured. A win is likely.

Predicted Winner: Milk. I'm hoping SAG realizes that of the five nominees, this is the truest ensemble piece. Benjamin Button could also win. If Slumdog Millionaire wins...oh Lordy.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

  • Richard Jenkins - The Visitor
  • Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
  • Sean Penn - Milk
  • Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler
Thoughts: Brad Pitt lands a SAG nod, even though I was predicting he would miss. Whatever. He still doesn't feel like a lock. Richard Jenkins needed this boost, and he gets in over DiCaprio AND Eastwood, which is a good sign. What does this mean? Well, Rourke, Langella and Penn are locked for nominations at this point. But that has been known for some time. Pitt is nearing lock status, but could easily miss. I just don't see him pulling a lot of #1 placements on the weighted Academy ballot, which could end up screwing him in the end. So we essentially have four actors (Jenkins, Dicaprio, Pitt and Eastwood) vying for two remaining slots. I see Eastwood as the most vulnerable. For a mega star like him to miss both the Globes and the SAG means something, doesn't it? It would make me so happy to NOT hear his name called on nomination morning. True, he did manage best actor nods for Million Dollar Baby and The Unforgiven, but those came on the coattails of best picture juggernauts...and if Gran Torino gets nominated for best picture...let's not even go there.

Predicted Winner: Sean Penn, easily. If Eastwood had been nominated, he would have been a threat. I'd be very surprised to see anyone else win this.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

  • Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
  • Angelina Jolie - Changeling
  • Melissa Leo - Frozen River
  • Meryl Streep - Doubt
  • Kate Winslet - Revolutionary Road
Thoughts: Wow. Compare this to two years ago, when it was clear for months that it was going to be Cruz, Dench, Mirren, Streep and Winslet. This race is so volatile. I LOVE it. I knew Leo's name was going to pop up here, but I thought it'd be in place of Jolie. Scott Thomas misses this. Can she still get in? If she had a BFCA nod, I'd say yes. But missing BFCA and now the SAG? She's treading on dangerous ground. Some critics need to rally around her and fast. After a rough start, love from the Globes and now the SAGs makes Winslet's lead actress nod seem likely. But she's not a lock. Cate Blanchett is out. Kaput. Done. Ditto Kate Beckinsale, who received a throwaway BFCA nod for Nothing But the Truth. What of Sally Hawkins, who missed here? I still think she could make it. She's been a critical darling thus far, moreso than Leo. Streep and Hathaway are the only true locks in this category, so that leaves three spots being vyed for by five actresses (Hawkins, Jolie, Leo, Scott Thomas,Winslet). This is going to be a bumpy race.

Predicted Winner: Anne Hathaway (just a hunch). Obviously Streep is the safer choice.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Josh Brolin - Milk
  • Robert Downey Jr. - Tropic Thunder
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
  • Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
  • Dev Patel - Slumdog Millionaire
Thoughts: This race is becoming clearer. I can see this lineup repeating, minus Dev Patel (more on that later). But who takes his place? Well, James Franco for Milk is still likely. He's only got a lone BFCA nod, but I could see them double dipping here for Milk. Michael Shannon for Revolutionary Road? Maybe. Word is he's good enough, or rather, good in the way that Oscar typically rewards. But I just don't see enough Revolutionary Road support for that nomination to happen. Leo couldn't even manage a nomination in lead! As for Patel....Okay. I'm trying to gather my wits about this. But there are a lot of fine supporting male performances this year that bear honoring. Emile Hirsch in Milk, Bill Irwin in Rachel Getting Married, Eddie Marsan in Happy-Go-Lucky to name a few. I have a sinking feeling in my gut that Dev Patel's nom in supporting here will give birth to a Keisha Castle Hughes situation (another performance I wasn't fond of), where he gets a surprising LEAD nomination at the Oscars, thereby stealing a slot in an already crowded category. It's unlikely, I know. I just found Patel's performance to be incredibly vacant, even for someone his age. If they're going to nominate a supporting performance from Slumdog, it should be Ayush Mahesh Khedekar, mentioned in my review of the film. But they shouldn't do that either.

Predicted Winner: Heath Ledger. If he loses the Golden Globe, it's anyone's game...

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Amy Adams - Doubt
  • Penelope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
  • Viola Davis - Doubt
  • Taraji P. Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Kate Winslet - The Reader
Thoughts: Logic would say that it's time to put the toetag on Rosemarie Dewitt's Oscar chances for Rachel Getting Married. After this egregious snub (again, I thought SAG of all voting bodies would go for this film), her chances seem very grim. But I just won't give up. I still say she gets in (how do you watch Rachel Getting Married and NOT vote for DeWitt?) Henson is looking much more likely, after a BFCA nod and now a SAG nod. She's sitting pretty. Does Doubt really need 4 acting nominations? I'll have to do some research, but I'm fairly certain Network was the last film to achieve such a feat (edited to add: It was actually Chicago. Damn, I was WAY off). It's not likely, is what I'm saying, and of the four possibly acting nods for Doubt (Streep, Adams, Hoffman and Davis), Amy Adams is the weakest link. I still think Tomei is in. And what of Kate Winslet? I understand that this is egregious category fraud of the highest order. Let's put it this way. If there were no Revolutionary Road, Kate would certainly be getting nominations for The Reader in lead where she likely belongs. I still think the AMPAS will cave and give her the double nomination. She's also my predicted winner here.

Predicted Winner: Kate Winslet.

No comments: