I can’t believe I managed to miss the nominations this morning. Got too busy, I guess. Anywhere, here they are. There are a lot of winners and losers with this list, so, as I usually do, I’m going into each category individually, starting with the individual acting categories.
Best Actor: Tom Hanks took a major hit in the Oscar derby by failing to get a citation here. There are few actors as beloved as he and no nomination suggests that either voters didn’t get to see the film or they just didn’t love it. Also hurt by these nominations, Jake Gyllenhaal who needed a high profile nomination to make up for the random citations he’s received so far. Helped by these nominations are James Franco, Daniel Kaluuya, and Denzel Washington. None of them were considered slam-dunk Oscar nominees, but they’ve been showing up periodically during the precursors. Franco desperately needed this for validation for a film that seemed destined not to play. Kaluuya seems like a solid potential Oscar contender and Washington may have benefited from leftover goodwill from last year as his film was widely rebuked.
Best Actress: How could they not nominate Streep after her umpteen other nominations? I’m beginning to suspect that The Post didn’t get out soon enough and thus didn’t get seen like it needed to. Annette Bening, Jessica Chastain, and Kate Winslet also needed representation here as their films have been doing disappointingly so far this Oscar season. The only real winner in this bunch, as she was the only one whose star had faded in recent weeks was Judi Dench. Her campaign had been on life support, but now gets a solid bump going into the final push.
Best Supporting Actor: The Call Me by Your Name boys, Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg, were injured by these selections, especially with Steve Carell coming out of nowhere for a nomination. Carell may have benefited from his vast television presence considering the heavy TV population of the SAG voting membership. Patrick Stewart, Idris Elba and the supporting cast of Mudbound also suffered setbacks. None were exactly on the tips of prognosticators tongues, but a highly visible citation like this might have given them a boost. Carell did get a jolt in the arm from this, but I suspect the bigger winner is Woody Harrelson. Sam Rockwell has been on nearly every list this season, but Harrelson has only gotten sporadic attention. That, coupled with his film’s Best Cast nomination suggests he could be securing another Oscar nomination.
Best Supporting Actress: Tiffany Hadish suffers another setback. If the Golden Globe snub wasn’t enough, the Girls Trip star had certainly needed the SAG nomination to bolster her flagging campaign. Now, she’s likely dead in the water. The same could be said of Melissa Leo in Novitiate. The film has gotten mediocre recognition and would have been boosted by a nomination here. It wasn’t to be. Acting legends Lois Smith and Michelle Pfeiffer also got bad news from this announcement. Mary J. Blige, Hong Chau, and Holly Hunter have been seen throughout the season, but until now, their candidacies seemed almost ephemeral. All of them move into solid positions for Oscar nominations. The same couldn’t be said for Octavia Spencer. Spencer has been in the mix for some time, but got left off suggesting her film wasn’t as beloved as the critics have suggested it is.
Best Cast: Some chide about referring to this as the Screen Actors Guild’s Best Picture category, but a nomination here can often presage Oscar consideration where it might not have otherwise been. As such, the current Best Picture contenders that are damaged by a failure to be cited here (among those with sizable casts): The Post, Call Me by Your Name, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, and The Shape of Water all missed out on potential nominations while The Big Sick made a huge comeback and the cases for Best Picture nominations for Get Out, Lady Bird, and Three Billboards have solidified. Mudbound is the only film that no one thought had a reasonable chance at an Oscar nomination. Its chances are still weak thanks to the makeup of Academy membership versus the makeup of SAG membership and their relative levels of embrace for Netflix. It could prove to be a major spoiler this year or it could go to show that Netflix still has a long way to go to earn Hollywood’s respect.
Best Stunt Cast: There aren’t a lot of films that could have competed here and done better than these, so I can’t say any particular film was surprisingly excluded, though Blade Runner 2049 and Thor: Ragnarok do come to mind.
(4) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
(3) Lady Bird
(2) The Big Sick, Get Out, I, Tonya, Mudbound, The Shape of Water