Oscars 2020: Early SAG 2020 Nomination Predictions

Who will win big with SAG?

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood movie
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One awards ceremony that I look forward to every year is the Screen Actors Guild Awards. It’s a chance for actors to recognize actors, and true, this is done every year when the actor’s branch chooses their nominees at the Oscars, but the committee of actors working with SAG’s nominating branch tend to change the race and help solidify what contenders are really hot and which ones may be overhyped.

There are five televised film categories every year, and it’s always interesting to see how everyone at SAG is thinking and which films they like. Here are my predictions for which films and performances they will nominate this year.


Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Annette Bening – The Report
Laura Dern – Marriage Story
Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers
Margot Robbie – Bombshell
Maggie Smith – Downton Abbey

While I have been high on the Jennifer Hudson horse for a while (and it may end up happening), I am not predicting her to be included among the nominees at SAG. Instead, I have Laura Dern out front for Marriage Story. Going with the idea that Jennifer Lopez runs in supporting for Hustlers, I think she actually stands the best chance of upsetting Dern for the win here.

Next up is Annette Bening, who will probably be the lone nominee for The Report. Another potential lone nominee is Maggie Smith, who I think makes the cut for Downton Abbey. She was nominated five times while the series ran, and won once. Even if the film doesn’t play as well to the film voters as the series did, it’ll be a cat-nip like nominee that they won’t resist.

My fifth nominee is Margot Robbie for Bombshell, though she faces some tough competition from herself in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I’d also throw out the names Scarlett Johannson (Jojo Rabbit), Florence Pugh (Little Women), Da’Vine Joy Randolph (Dolemite is My Name) and Shuzhen Zhou (The Farewell) as likely possibilities.


Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Alan Alda – Marriage Story
Jamie Foxx – Just Mercy
Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Joe Pesci – The Irishman
Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

My feeling on this category is the same as it is with the Golden Globes and Oscars: it’s extremely open. Jamie Foxx is my lead contender here for Just Mercy, followed by Tom Hanks for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Joe Pesci for The Irishman, Alan Alda for Marriage Story, and Brad Pitt for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

This category has tended to be where the major upset nominees have entered, with Steve Carell in Battle of the Sexes, Jacob Tremblay in Room, James Gandolfini in Enough Said, and Daniel Bruhl in Rush being examples in the last five years.

That means we could see Al Pacino nominated for The Irishman, or Willem Dafoe for The Lighthouse, Anthony Hopkins for The Two Popes (again, as long as he isn’t considered a co-lead with Jonathan Pryce), Sterling K. Brown for Waves, or someone like Aldis Hodge for Clemency pop up. All dark horses are on the table for SAG.


Best Actress in a Leading Role

Awkwafina – The Farewell
Scarlett Johannson – Marriage Story
Saoirse Ronan – Little Women
Charlize Theron – Bombshell
Renee Zellweger – Judy

The lead categories also tend to throw in a nominee or two who differs with the general consensus. I think this year will follow suit, but the four safe contenders are Renee Zellweger in Judy, Saoirse Ronan in Little Women, Scarlett Johannson in Marriage Story, and Charlize Theron in Bombshell.

I have that fifth slot going to Awkwafina in The Farewell over Cynthia Erivo in Harriet, who I think has that fifth Oscar slot, but I also have her out at the Golden Globes. So there is a possibility her nomination is usurped by Awkwafina, especially if The Farewell becomes a stronger Best Picture contender.

A few surprises who may be nominated over Awkwafina, or who will totally shock us if any of the other four fall short, are Lupita Nyong’o (Us), Julianne Moore (Gloria Bell), Helen Mirren (The Good Liar), Alfre Woodard (Clemency), and Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen and Slim).


Best Actor in a Leading Role

Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Adam Driver – Marriage Story
Eddie Murphy – Dolemite is My Name
Robert De Niro – The Irishman
Joaquin Phoenix – Joker

I have a similar feeling for this category as Best Actress, where the general consensus will be shaken up a bit. Again, four contenders feel safe: Joaquin Phoenix for Joker, Leonardo DiCaprio for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Adam Driver for Marriage Story, and Robert De Niro for The Irishman.

Eddie Murphy is my fifth pick for Dolemite is My Name, and like Awkwafina, I have him falling short at the Oscars to Antonio Banderas for Pain and Glory. There’s a chance Eddie misses, but I have a feeling that as we approach the day of nominations, Murphy goes up a slot or two, and someone like De Niro or DiCaprio falls short in favor of both Banderas and Murphy.

Otherwise I’d look out for Jonathan Pryce in The Two Popes, Christian Bale in Ford v Ferrari, Taron Egerton in Rocketman, Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems, Michael B. Jordan in Just Mercy and Mark Ruffalo in Dark Waters for this category.


Best Ensemble

Dolemite is My Name
Jojo Rabbit
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

The ensemble category is always tough, and especially when the competition is as stiff as it is this year. I won’t lie, this is the hardest category to predict this year, not just for the SAG show, but for now it’s the hardest category to predict all awards season.

One film I can’t see missing is Marriage Story. It’s such a tour-de-force of acting that even if it falls short for a solo nominee, like Alan Alda, the whole ensemble will be recognized. This would be the biggest shocker of the season in my book.

Another nominee I would be shocked to see miss out, surprisingly, is Dolemite is My Name. Netflix almost always lands a spot in this Ensemble category, with non-Best Picture nominees Mudbound and Beasts of No Nation landing spots previously. Add to that, both of those films featured a heavily African or African-American cast (or were split with white actors), which means that Dolemite is also in better shape here than, say, Best Picture, where it’s on the outside looking in.

After these two, I’m really not bold enough to call anything else a lock. There are so many scenarios playing out in my head, but all of them end with both Dolemite and Marriage Story being included. My other three predicted ensembles are Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Little Women, and Jojo Rabbit.

To defend these three over some more obvious potential nominees (mainly The Irishman), I say Hollywood has a large ensemble of young and old actors (and popular ones at that), Little Women boasts a cast that’s very female driven, and will be a plus for voters. Jojo Rabbit, whose ensemble is a bit smaller, feels a lot like previous nominees Bohemian Rhapsody, The Big Sick, Get Out, Captain Fantastic, and Straight Outta Compton. All of those films were popular in one way or another, or struck voters as unique, and that may fit the bill well for Jojo.

So yes, ensembles like The Irishman I see missing the cut, as well as Downton Abbey, The Farewell, Hustlers, Bombshell, Waves, and Knives Out. All the films have a shot, and some may be bigger players than others throughout the awards season, but again navigating this field and trying to perfectly predict these five nominees will be a trying and difficult task. It’s one category that may indeed leave many jaws on the floor.

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