Thursday, December 10, 2015


SAG just came out with their film nominees for 2015.  I don't pay too much attention to critics' picks, but the Screen Actors Guild awards tell you something.  The main voting group for the Oscars are actors, so this is a good indication where the Academy Awards may be heading.

Here they are, with my comments:

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Johnny Depp, Black Mass
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Depp makes a comeback, and Fassbender is remembered for a flop.  Redmayne won last year, but I don't see back-to-back.  DiCaprio has never won.  Cranston is a multi-Emmy winner, but has never been big in movies, so it'll be interesting to see he makes it.  Some though Matt Damon might make it, but overall, nothing from The Martian.  I also see Will Smith in Concussion isn't making waves.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Helen Mirren, Woman in Gold
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Sarah Silverman, I Smile Back
Helen and Sarah are surprises--is the pool so shallow they had to reach for them?  The other three are where the race is.  Guess people will have to learn to pronounce Saoirse.  I doubt the Oscars will duplicate this--will they have room for, say, Jennifer Lawrence or Charlotte Rampling?

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Mark Rylance, Bridge of SpiesMichael Shannon, 99 Homes
Jacob Tremblay, Room

No one paid any attention to Beasts Of No Nation, but I guess SAG cares.  Tremblay is a kid--not sure if he's got what it takes to win, but the nomination is enough.  You would have thought at least one choice from Spotlight, but maybe the men in it canceled each other out.  And what about Sylvester Stallone?  Benicio Del Toro?

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel MacAdams, Spotlight
Helen Mirren, Trumbo
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Big year for Vikander, so I wonder if all her films will help her.  Lotta love for Jobs, which the audience ignored.  Mara was practically the lead, so I can see it, but what's the deal with McAdams, who didn't particularly stand out in an ensemble, and Mirren, who gave a one-note performance.  And I've been hearing so much about Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight, I'm surprised she didn't get a nod.

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Beasts of No Nation
The Big Short
Straight Outta Compton

Spotlight everyone expects, and Compton is interesting (no individual nominations), but who would have guessed Beasts Of No Nation or Trumbo?  And notice nothing for The Hateful Eight--the title practically begs for an ensemble awards. (I've heard the security-conscious movie didn't send out screeners.)

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
Fast 7
Jurassic World
Mad Max: Fury Road
Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation

I guess they're members of SAG, but really, how do you judge this?

As long as we've started, let's look at TV.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”
Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot”

Good choices. Dinklage is really supporting--there's no clear lead in Game Of Thrones--but SAG either gives you an award of not for being there.  Mr. Robot has made it, but the rest are the usual suspects.  I see no one is going to give anything to The Leftovers.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Viola Davis, “How To Get Away With Murder”
Julianne Marguiles, “The Good Wife”
Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

Women seem to be doing better in TV than movies.  Everyone likes Maggie Smith, but really, she just gets to sit in the corner and sling smart lines--she could probably do it in her sleep. There were enough choices that they didn't need Taraji P. Henson--if Empire's going to get any notice, it would be for her. 

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
“Downton Abbey”
“Game of Thrones”
“House of Cards”
“Mad Men”

Unlike movie ensembles, no surprises here.  I didn't expect The Leftovers to make it, but what's the deal with the total snub of Fargo?  Some also like The Americans and The Affair, but I can't say since I don't watch them.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
Louis C.K., “Louis”
William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”

Burrell would be considered supporting, but we'll see how he stands up here.  Quite a burn on the rest of his cast.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Uzo Aduba, “Orange Is The New Black”
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
Ellie Kemper, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
Amy Poehler, “Parks & Recreation”

Once again, four leads and Aduba's supporting turn.

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
“The Big Bang Theory”
“Key & Peele”
“Modern Family”
“Orange Is The New Black”

Six choices.  As a sketch show, Key& Peele is odd man out.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Idris Elba, “Luther”
Ben Kingsley, “Tut”
Ray Liotta, “Texas Rising”
Bill Murray, “A Very Murray Christmas”
Mark Rylance, “Wolf Hall”
So Mark Rylance makes it on TV and in the movies.  I haven't really seen any of these, but what's the deal with the Bill Murray goof--I like the guy too, but is it really a major performance?

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Nicole Kidman, “Grace of Monaco”
Queen Latifah, “Bessie”
Christina Ricci, “The Lizzie Borden Chronicles”
Susan Sarandon, “The Secret Life Of Marilyn Monroe”
Kristen Wiig, “The Spoils Before Dying”

Once again, didn't see any except for Wiig.  I thought Grace Of Monaco was supposed to be weak.

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series
“The Blacklist”
“Game Of Thrones”
“The Walking Dead”

Some good work here, but isn't this where Dead should take it, even though it didn't get any other nominations?

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