It seems like every year you think you have the award season under control, things just get crazier as the Oscars approach. The SAG nominations were announced and some really big questions come out of it. First of, where is "Atonement", "Michael Clayton", and "Sweeney Todd"? No ensemble nomination? That's surprising.
You look at the five nominees: "3:10 to Yuma", "American Gangster", "Hairspray", "Into the Wild", and "No Country for Old Men". It's a bit of a joke lineup in my opinion. That's my one gripe about the SAG awards. Everyone thinks the ensemble award is a best picture category. It's not! That pisses me off more than anything. That became a common myth two years ago when "Crash" won, but it's literally an ensemble piece. The only really good thing about a nomination at the SAGs is that the actors do make up the largest branch of the Academy.
That does translate to good news for the nominees. A film like "Into the Wild" was a huge winner, but is that a "huge" surprise? Actors love Sean Penn and well, he's an actor. Why not award him for a film he's directed? "No Country" has wrapped up a nomination, but that was common knowledge before the nominations. Although, I'm not crazy about that cast. Yeah, it's a great film, but the cast did not blow me away. Does Javier's performance that much weight? We'll find out because I think it's actually the frontrunner for the SAG.
As for the other films, it's interesting. I still see all three getting shut out of best picture. I read today that "3:10" was shipping out thousands of screeners today. Okay? Every film sends out screeners, I don't buy that this film is alive and well. Yes, I haven't seen it, but I know from word of mouth that this film will probably be just a great film with no nominations. Honestly, it's not the end of the world if you don't get the recognition. The ensemble for the other two films, "American Gangster" and "Hairspray", will help it garner more support for nominations from some of its stars, notably Denzel and John Travolta respectively.
The big concern on my face was that three heavyweights had bad days. Although, it's not killer since SAG awards probably hold the least amount of weight to the Oscars compared to say the DGA awards. Let's look at the three films I mentioned earlier.
"Atonement": That film has a great ensemble cast. Add on top of that no nomination for Knightley or McAvoy. Even Saoirse Ronan and Vanessa Redgrave got left out. This film is more of a writer's piece, but it looks grim for their stars to get Oscar love if they can't get it from their own guild.
"Michael Clayton": This film is loaded with heavy hitters who have got great praise from Clooney, Tilda Swinton, and Tom Wilkinson, but got left off the ensemble list. That doesn't make any sense. How can you nominate all three for individual awards, yet not as an ensemble?
"Sweeney Todd": This might have been the biggest surprise of them all. This film got no love from SAG like "Atonement". Yes, even Johnny Depp got shut out. This is the same Johnny Depp that won the SAG a couple years ago, beating out the likes of Bill Murray and Sean Penn. I also can't believe you lost the nomination out to performances from Ryan Gosling, Emile Hirsch, and Viggo Mortensen.
One other film I slightly want to touch upon is "There Will Be Blood". I'm not really worried about this film since it is a one man show film and I didn't anticipate it to do well with SAG nominations. With no nomination, Paul Dano is pretty much dead in the supporting actor race. Day-Lewis could also really use the win to cement himself as the frontrunner.
I'll have some updated Oscar predictions over the weekend. As for now, I'm going to bed.