SAG and Golden Globe nominations: My thoughts and predictions

Regina King and Judy Greer announced the nominees for the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards last Wednesday.

You know Hollywood’s getting down to the wire of awards season once the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) announce their SAG Award and Golden Globe Award nominees, which occurred last week. The two big televised award shows before the Oscars (Which also honor the best in television, but for this blog’s coverage, we’re focusing on film for this part of the season) can be telling of what may be taking home the gold on Feb. 26, but definitely not always–Historically, if a film’s ensemble can win the SAG’s highest honor as well as the non-televised Directors Guild and Producers Guild awards, the Best Picture Oscar is usually guaranteed. As for the Globes, the tastes of the HFPA tend to honor the unconventional. It can be a good thing if you’re sick of what the Academy usually chooses as the best. It’s not worth getting your knickers in a bunch if your favorite doesn’t win or get nominated, but anyone or anything that does score at the Globes is not guaranteed anything for the big ceremony in late February either. Did you already forget about the Globes’ love affair with James Cameron/Avatar and David Fincher/The Social Network and how the Oscars went with Kathryn Bigelow/The Hurt Locker and Tom Hooper/The King’s Speech instead?

All in all, for both of this year’s races, I don’t feel that there are any real surprises–except maybe about Ryan Gosling being this year’s Johnny Depp with his double nomination at the Globes (Though more justified, since at least Crazy, Stupid, Love was a comedy)–but I’m thrilled to see a few names that I’m not sure we’re going to see come Feb. 26. Just remember if the wins or losses get to you: The guilds are always the important ones and the Globes are just for stars to get drunk and for Ricky Gervais to be horrible to everyone again.

Now let’s look at those nominees and see which performers and films are most likely to pull out wins, and which ones are just seatwarmers (Usually my personal favorites):

SCREEN ACTORS GUILD (SAG) AWARDS: January 29

BEST ACTOR
Demian BichirA Better Life
George ClooneyThe Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprioJ. Edgar
Jean DuJardinThe Artist
Brad PittMoneyball
Even though I’ve read articles and various perspectives about J. Edgar being a mess and DiCaprio being just as messy in it, I still maintain that the film was great and that DiCaprio was terrific, and hope that a nomination here would help him secure a place with the Academy’s choices. But it seems with every passing end-of-the-year honors, all Best Actor races will come down to two of the Sexiest Men Alive: Clooney and Pitt. I haven’t seen The Descendants yet to judge Clooney’s performance–Pitt in Moneyball is impressive but not the best of the year. However, the important folks disagree with me and the love they have for Pitt as Billy Beane hasn’t stopped flowing. I haven’t seen The Artist yet or A Better Life but from what I’m gathering on the Web, the strength of The Artist seems to be built on the entire cast rather than an individual performance and Bichir’s surprise nomination in this field may be just that.
WHO WINS: BRAD PITT

BEST ACTRESS
Glenn CloseAlbert Nobbs
Viola DavisThe Help
Meryl StreepThe Iron Lady
Tilda SwintonWe Need to Talk About Kevin
Michelle WilliamsMy Week With Marilyn
This is a pretty strong category around the watercooler. Streep and Swinton are said to be the frontrunners but Williams is building up as the critics’ darling. Davis recently picked up a win at the Satellite Awards and even a few people have chimed in with Close being a surprise winner. But I’m going to say that it’ll be a challenge to overcome the iron lady.
WHO WINS: MERYL STREEP

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Kenneth BranaghMy Week With Marilyn
Armie HammerJ. Edgar
Jonah HillMoneyball
Nick NolteWarrior
Christopher PlummerBeginners
This is my favorite category! This is my favorite category because Branagh, Hammer, and Nolte were some of the most exceptional pillars in their respective films and all three of those men had me captivated and raving in my reviews. While I don’t have much doubt that Branagh will be back for the Oscars, I do have doubt for Hammer and Nolte just because it’s such a tight race and there are a lot of contenders, so it’s nice that I can bask in these nominations for them. But Plummer has been tough to beat in the early circuits and of course, Beginners is the only film in this particular category that I have not seen yet.
WHO WINS: CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Berenice BejoThe Artist
Jessica ChastainThe Help
Melissa McCarthyBridesmaids
Janet McTeerAlbert Nobbs
Octavia SpencerThe Help
I haven’t seen The Help yet but it’s hard to ever bet against the ubiquitous Chastain. A win for The Help wouldn’t just honor her one role in that film, but all the many remarkable others in 2011: The Tree of Life, Take Shelter, Coriolanus, and The Debt. No other actress has had as successful of a breakout year and one full of promise for the years ahead.
WHO WINS: JESSICA CHASTAIN

BEST ENSEMBLE
The Artist
Bridesmaids
The Descendants
The Help
Midnight in Paris
I love the fact that the delightfully crude yet touching Bridesmaids has made this category, as well as the sweet time-traveling gem of Midnight in Paris. The Help has a very strong chance of winning this but I don’t visualize the Best Picture win for it in February, if history repeats itself. But I think I know which film might…
WHO WINS: THE ARTIST

GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS:  January 15

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
The Descendants
The Help
Hugo
The Ides of March
Moneyball
War Horse
Despite my initial hunch that The Ides of March would get some love somewhere, I am surprised to see how much recognition it’s getting from the Golden Globes. Seems like they’re really loving on both Clooney and Gosling this year. Hugo and War Horse are a couple of late releases that definitely have chances to make the Best Picture race in February but even if they do, I can’t see either of them winning. As always, Moneyball being a contender is not surprising. I think it will come down between The Descendants and The Help, and I feel sort of a surprise win coming for The Help. It’s simply based on a gut feeling (As are most of these other predictions!).
WHO WINS: THE HELP

BEST ACTRESS – DRAMA
Glenn CloseAlbert Nobbs
Viola DavisThe Help
Rooney MaraThe Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl StreepThe Iron Lady
Tilda SwintonWe Need to Talk About Kevin
Pretty basic field – not different from the SAGs, just that Williams is nominated in the Comedy/Musical category instead and Mara from this week’s release of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo fills spot number five. Most of the things I’m hearing about the film and Mara’s performance isn’t living up to the initial hype, so American but still Swedish Lisbeth Salander might just be fodder, just in case TGWTDT doesn’t get anything from the Oscars. Either way, I don’t think her inclusion will make much of a difference here. This is still Streep’s for the taking.
WHO WINS: MERYL STREEP

BEST ACTOR – DRAMA
George ClooneyThe Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprioJ. Edgar
Michael FassbenderShame
Ryan GoslingThe Ides of March
Brad PittMoneyball
This field is made perfect with the inclusion of Fassbender, whose performance in Shame was flawless and should be the winner here. This is another surprise for me, since I expected the Globes to be all fluffy and nominate an actor from a film that wasn’t rated NC-17. Alas, the only person who can topple the mighty Pitt is Mr. Clooney.
WHO WINS: BRAD PITT

BEST FILM – COMEDY/MUSICAL
50/50
The Artist
Bridesmaids
Midnight in Paris
My Week With Marilyn
First of all, yay for 50/50 because this is probably the only big nomination it will get this awards season (Along with the Spirit Awards and its accolades from critics)! But this is actually a tricky category to predict. I’m inclined to say The Artist because of how well-received it has been thus far, but I think the Globes might go with an unconventional route for this one–For me, I would say it’s between Bridesmaids or Midnight in Paris. The performances in My Week With Marilyn seem to be picking up the recognition, but the balance of performance, story, and script in Bridesmaids and Midnight in Paris is winning. I’m going to choose Bridesmaids because a film of that crude caliber won’t see Oscar, but it really lives up to the Globe category and hey, they did choose The Hangover in 2009 after all.
WHO WINS: BRIDESMAIDS

BEST ACTRESS – COMEDY/MUSICAL
Jodie FosterCarnage
Charlize TheronYoung Adult
Kristen WiigBridesmaids
Michelle WilliamsMy Week With Marilyn
Kate WinsletCarnage
Ah, another interesting category! I haven’t seen Carnage yet, but I’m going to go on a limb and say that either Foster or Winslet wins it, though I’m not sure which one yet, exactly. There is lots of buzz building around that film. Williams can easily take it too and Theron could land a surprise win. Don’t see Wiig taking this one, but her writing has a strong chance of taking it elsewhere.
WHO WINS: JODIE FOSTER / KATE WINSLET

BEST ACTOR – COMEDY/MUSICAL
Jean DuJardinThe Artist
Brendan GleesonThe Guard
Joseph Gordon-Levitt50/50
Ryan GoslingCrazy, Stupid, Love
Owen WilsonMidnight in Paris
Yet another interesting category, because I don’t know who will take this one. JGL was top-notch but he was more affecting in the dramatic aspects of 50/50, and though they were both delightful, Gosling and Wilson as leading men in these films are a little weak to be in this category. I would say either of the two performances I haven’t seen yet will win here, probably the guy from that black-and-white film.
WHO WINS: JEAN DUJARDIN

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Berenice BejoThe Artist
Jessica ChastainThe Help
Janet McTeerAlbert Nobbs
Octavia SpencerThe Help
Shailene WoodleyThe Descendants
I can’t help it–Everytime I see Chastain’s name, I feel sorry for everyone else. She just wins for being.
WHO WINS: JESSICA CHASTAIN

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Kenneth BranaghMy Week With Marilyn
Albert BrooksDrive
Jonah HillMoneyball
Viggo MortensenA Dangerous Method
Christopher PlummerBeginners
Brooks will win. He’s the only one that can and will likely beat Plummer here and at the Oscars if he’s nominated.
WHO WINS: ALBERT BROOKS

BEST DIRECTOR
Woody AllenMidnight in Paris
George ClooneyThe Ides of March
Michel HazanaviciusThe Artist
Alexander PayneThe Descendants
Martin ScorseseHugo
It’s either Hazanavicius or Scorsese’s win. I feel that they could split–one taking the Globe, the other taking the Oscar. Maybe Scorsese for this one while The Artist basks in all the Academy’s glory.
WHO WINS: MARTIN SCORSESE

BEST SCREENPLAY
Michel HazanaviciusThe Artist
Nat Faxon, Alexander Payne, Jim RashThe Descendants
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau WillimonThe Ides of March
Woody AllenMidnight in Paris
Aaron Sorkin, Steve ZaillianMoneyball
Sorkin should easily follow up with his win last year for The Social Network with his slick, intelligent, and emotional co-write with Zaillian. It’s a tough task to transform a stats-laden book and incorporate that into a screenplay that translates into a thoroughly engaging film. Pitt will continuously hear the cha-ching for Moneyball as will the screenwriters.
WHO WINS: AARON SORKIN, STEVE ZAILLIAN

Click the links to see all of the nominations and comment to share your thoughts and predictions!

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