Reel Talk: New nominations, new me


Jillian Leiby, JagWire opinions editor

Another year, another list of fantastic performances that will be nominated for awards. On one hand, this is what I live for. On the other, quality should not necessarily be based off of the awards something wins. And yet, here I am, dissecting both the Golden Globe nominations (which were announced today) and the Screen Actors Guild award nominations (announced yesterday).

For those that don’t know, the SAG awards are based off the votes of actors that have SAG cards (most do). So, the categories are more acting-centric and the “best picture” category is actually best ensemble.

The Golden Globes, on the other hand, are similar to the Oscars, in that an elite group of journalists called the Hollywood Foreign Press Association votes on the winners. The Golden Globes also reward TV, which the Oscars don’t do. The SAG awards are known to hold more clout in terms of acting, but the Golden Globes are also a good prediction of nominations for the Oscars. Although sometimes the Academy decides to go in a completely different direction.

The closeness in nomination announcements is pretty rare, although they both are usually before the Oscars. I liked the Golden Globe nominations better, so I’ll just mention some similarities or differences with the SAG nominations. I won’t be predicting, because it is so early and there is time for people’s chances to win to go up. Also, I’m sticking with movie nominations because television can be pretty repetitive.

This year’s acting nominees are going to be pretty white — that’s just how it’s going to be. So, while I congratulate Will Smith and Idris Elba (the only actors of color in the mix), I don’t see the Academy (for of course the ultimate goal is the Oscar) rewarding them with nominations. The entire acting field is just too thick. I do think Idris Elba has a better chance for his turn in “Beast of No Nation,” which is streaming on Netflix now and could be the first time a streaming service is nominated for an Oscar.

Best Picture — Drama


“Mad Max: Fury Road”

“The Revenant”



What a good category. I’m honestly happy with every choice. While I personally would have liked to see “Steve Jobs” nominated, seeing “Mad Max: Fury Road” on the list is so gratifying and exciting. I don’t really know if it will win (it probably won’t) but it’s nice to see it in the mix. Now, can “Carol” come out in theaters around here so I can see it?

Best Picture — Comedy or Musical

“The Big Short”


“The Martian”



What an odd category, with some “comedies” that aren’t even that funny. Seeing “Spy” here is kind of nice because it was so funny. I just like the difference in movies in this category. I don’t think any of them stand a chance against “The Martian.” I am surprised not to see “Straight Outta Compton,” which was able to be entered in as a musical, especially after its SAG nomination the day before.

The SAG awards only nominates five films from both categories for outstanding performance by a cast, and they were pretty different — I personally didn’t like them. So, I’m not going to talk about them.

Best performance by an actress — drama:

Cate Blanchett, “Carol”

Brie Larson, “Room”

Rooney Mara, “Carol”

Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”

Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”

Another great category that doesn’t really mean anything to the Academy. Both Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander will be in the supporting actress category at the Oscars, as that was how their distribution company promoted them, so either of their wins would only cement their wins in the other category. This does, however, open up the Oscar category for lesser-known performances to be nominated. (Maybe Charlize Theron for “Mad Max: Fury Road”?)

For the SAG nominations, the two empty slots were filled by Helen Mirren (for “The Woman in Gold”) and Sarah Silverman (for “I Smile Back), which were both terrible choices and unlikely picks for the Academy.

Best performance by an actor — drama:

Bryan Cranston, “Trumbo”

Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”

Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs”

Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl”

Will Smith, “Concussion”

Another great category. I’m surprised that Bryan Cranston is getting this much attention for a movie that kind of flew under the radar, but his Oscar nomination is probably going to be eclipsed by Matt Damon (whose own nomination is relegated to the comedy category). I’m still not liking Smith’s chances for an Oscar, but the Golden Globes would do anything to get him in the room.

The only difference in SAG nominees is Johnny Depp for “Black Mass” instead of Smith. Depp has lost a lot of momentum in his Oscar campaign, so I don’t see him getting it over Smith or Cranston.

Best performance by an actress — comedy or musical

Jennifer Lawrence, “Joy”

Melissa McCarthy, “Spy”

Amy Schumer, “Trainwreck”

Maggie Smith, “The Lady in the Van”

Lily Tomlin, “Grandma”

Honestly, I like this category as well. I’m not a fan of Jennifer Lawrence’s nomination (especially after “Joy” was panned by critics), but the Golden Globes want her there so that she can be quirky, I guess. I will be super upset if she wins, especially over performances from the other actresses in the category. I think everyone deserves it over her, but I’m rooting for Tomlin’s for her great performance in “Grandma.” Still, I don’t see Lawrence getting another Oscar nomination out of this one.

Best performance by an actor — comedy or musical

Christian Bale, “The Big Short”

Steve Carell, “The Big Short”

Matt Damon,”The Martian”

Al Pacino, “Danny Collins”

Mark Ruffalo, “Infinitely Polar Bear”

The only actor in this category that matters is Matt Damon, unless I am completely wrong. This means that every other actor nominated will both not win the award and will not be nominated for an Oscar. I see Damon taking this category (and battling Smith for an Oscar nomination).

The SAG awards only nominate five female and male actors from all genres. So, all of the people that were nominated in the comedy and musical categories were snubbed. That probably means something for their chances.

Best performance by an actress in a supporting role

Jane Fonda, “Youth”

Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight”

Helen Mirren, “Trumbo”

Alicia Vikander, “Ex Machina”

Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs”

Honestly, most of these were expected. I’m glad to see Kate Winslet for her role in “Steve Jobs.” I’m happily surprised to see Vikander nominated again for her role in “Ex Machina,” which I really enjoyed (and wrote a review of late last year). It will be interesting which performance the Academy goes for, but I still see her being nominated in this category for “The Danish Girl.”

The SAG awards actually made the speculation easy, nominating Vikander and Mara for the “lead” roles in the supporting category. The only outlier is Rachel McAdams for “Spotlight,” and she will be battling it out with Leigh and Fonda for that last slot, although Mirren could be taken out of the mix for having a good performance in two mediocre to bad movies.

Best performance by an actor in a supporting role

Paul Dano, “Love & Mercy”

Idris Elba, “Beasts of No Nation”

Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”

Michael Shannon, “99 Homes”

Sylvester Stallone, “Creed”

This category is incredibly up in the air right now, as the actors that a lot of people expected to be nominated were not. The only difference in actors from the SAGs was Sylvester Stallone, and I’m sure a lot of people are surprised by that nomination, even with the amount of critical praise “Creed” got. I honestly can’t say quite yet who would win or even be nominated for an Oscar, and I kind of like that about this category.

Instead of Stallone and Dano, we have Christian Bale (moved from the lead actor at the Globes) and Jacob Tremblay (the kid from “Room” who has been getting a lot of Oscar buzz). Once again, making this category for confusing.

Best director — motion picture

Todd Haynes, “Carol”

Alejandro G. Inarritu, “The Revenant”

Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight”

George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Ridley Scott, “The Martian”

So excited to see George Miller, so indifferent about seeing Ridley Scott. Many have predicted that Scott will win, but I see Tom McCarthy or Todd Haynes beating him out for “Spotlight” or “Carol,” respectively. But, if they want to give an achievement-type award to Miller, I would be all for that.

The SAG awards don’t nominate directors.

Wow, I wrote a lot. While I have been watching a lot of movies, the award season still feels like it came out of nowhere. I will be doing predictions for all the awards and categories listed above when the time comes, so I should probably go hibernate until January. See you then.

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