SAG Awards Predictions: Will Win/Should Win

There is one month to go until the Oscars and the SAG Awards are the next stop on the campaign trail. We’ve assembled our crew for SAG Awards predictions and picks. We’re all over the map this year. (Again.) Although we have some consensus on who will win, many of the “should win” votes are even splits. Will the actors be similarly divided?

Here are That Shelf’s SAG Awards predictions and picks. All contributors to the site were invited to cast their ballots. Votes were cast by Akash Singh, Bil Antoniou, Emma Badame, Pat Mullen, and Rachel Ho.

 

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

The nominees: Belfast, CODA, Don’t Look Up, House of Gucci, King Richard

This year’s race is a bit of an oddity. The only realistic contender for the Best Picture Oscar nominee that’s up for the top prize at the SAG Awards is Belfast. Kenneth Branagh’s drama needs a win here if it’s expected to go for Oscar gold. Belfast is an “actors’ movie,” and they’re the branch likeliest to support it. With that said, it arguably underperformed at the Oscars in the acting categories. Although Ciarán Hinds and a completely random Judi Dench were nominated, voters left Jamie Dornan and presumed frontrunner Catríona Balfe off the final ballot. The Power of the Dog, meanwhile, scored four acting Oscar nominations despite missing the ensemble category with the actors. (Only three films–Braveheart, The Shape of Water, and Nomadland–have won Best Picture with a SAG ensemble nomination.)

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It’s a bit weird that SAG voters omitted Power of the Dog here in favour of King Richard, which is mostly a showcase for Will Smith with a clip-reel-worthy scene or two from Aunjanue Ellis. Nominating House of Gucci for any acting prize outside of Lady Gaga’s performance, meanwhile, is flat-out ridiculous. Jared Leto’s performance alone is a hate crime against cinema and Italy. Don’t Look Up could crash the party, however, with its massive cast. Like, nearly half the guild is in it. Plus: Meryl!

Should win:

Belfast: Akash, Rachel

CODA: Emma

Don’t Look Up: Pat

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House of Gucci: Bil

Will win:

Belfast: Akash, Emma, Pat

CODA: Rachel

Don’t Look Up: Bil

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This for that:

Emma says: Swap out House of Gucci and Don’t Look Up for Power of the Dog and Mass

 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

The nominees: Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye; Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter; Lady Gaga, House of Gucci; Jennifer Hudson, Respect; Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos

The SAG screenings for Being the Ricardos kicked off the Oscar campaign for Nicole Kidman, so expect a win here. Word from critics who attended the screenings reported that the film played through the roof with the actors. Kidman’s sort of assumed a default “I guess she can win this” kind of vibe since winning the Golden Globe, while Kristen Stewart’s bid for Spencer went unrecognized by her fellow actors. Lady Gaga and Olivia Colman could pull this off, although Colman’s been rewarded recently for The Crown, but never as an individual. But that silly ensemble nomination for House of Gucci means that the actors really dug its camp value. Moreover, don’t underestimate the relatively young membership of the guild compared to the dusty branch at the Academy. Gaga could pull a huge upset, especially if her Oscar snub disappointed the little monsters in the SAG.

Should win:

Jessica Chastain: Emma

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Olivia Colman: Akash

Lady Gaga: Bil

Nicole Kidman: Pat

Will win:

Olivia Colman: Rachel

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Nicole Kidman: Akash, Bil, Emma, Pat

This for That:

Akash says: Swap out Lady Gaga and Nicole Kidman for Kristen Stewart in Spencer and Tessa Thompson in Passing

Pat says: Swap out Jennifer Hudson for Kristen Stewart in Spencer!

Rachel says: Swap out Nicole Kidman for Jodie Comer in The Last Duel

 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

The nominees: Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos; Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog; Andrew Garfield, tick, tick…BOOM!; Will Smith, King Richard; Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth

It’s generally been Cumberbatch versus Smith all season with Garfield and Washington along for the ride. The ensemble nod for King Richard suggests more support for Smith, but it’s also a fairly predictable role, whereas many of the other nominated performances are challenging and surprising. Garfield’s feat in tick, tick…BOOM! is a joy to behold, while Washington takes a part that many actors in the branch have probably studied at some point in their careers and reinvented it anew. Bardem, frankly, simply indicates how well Ricardos played with the voters.

Should win:

Benedict Cumberbatch: Akash, Emma

Andrew Garfield: Pat

Denzel Washington: Rachel

Will win:

Will Smith: everyone

This for That:

Bil says: Swap out Denzel Washington for Simon Rex in Red Rocket

 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

The nominees: Catríona Balfe, Belfast; Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley; Ariana DeBose, West Side Story; Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog; Ruth Negga, Passing

We’re all putting Ariana DeBose for our SAG Award predictions, but, oddly, not one of us would give her the prize. Her chance of winning, to an extent, depends on how much voters adore Rita Moreno’s performance that won an Oscar for the same role 60 years ago. Mind you, two actors have won for player the Joker (lol), so voters have made far worse decisions when it comes to honouring lesser takes on a character. Besides DeBose, only Kirsten Dunst is Oscar-nominated, and her subtle performance in Power of the Dog is quite remarkable, and a reminder of how little credit she has been given as a dramatic actress since breaking out in Interview with the Vampire in 1994.

Balfe, the lone Belfast nominee, could pull an upset even though she missed the Oscar nomination. Pundits generally attribute Balfe’s loss with the Oscars to the Academy’s rule that members choose where to place an actor in lead or supporting. She likely split the vote.

Should win:

Catríona Balfe: Rachel

Cate Blanchett: Pat

Kirsten Dunst: Bil, Emma

Ruth Negga: Akash

Will win:

Ariana DeBose: everyone

This for that:

Emma says: Swap out Cate Blanchett for Ann Dowd in Mass

Pat says: Swap out Ariana DeBose for Meryl Streep in Don’t Look Up

 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

The nominees: Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar; Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza; Troy Kotsur, CODA; Jared Leto, Haus of Gucci; Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Every member who voted for Jared Leto should have his or her guild card revoked. Barf. This one’s a toss-up between CODA MVP Troy Kotsur and Dog’s silent weapon Kodi Smit-McPhee. Whichever of them wins gains some real momentum in the run up to the Oscars.

Should win:

Bradley Cooper: Bil

Troy Kotsur: Akash, Emma, Pat, Rachel

Will win:

Troy Kotsur: Akash

Kodi Smit-McPhee: Bil, Emma, Pat, Rachel

This for that:

Emma says: Swap out Jared Leto for Jesse Plemons in The Power of the Dog

Pat says: Swap out Jared Leto and Ben Affleck for Colman Domingo in Zola and Robin de Jesús in tick, tick…BOOM!

 

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

The nominees: Black Widow, Dune, The Matrix Resurrections, No Time to Die, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

It’s a bit silly that House of Gucci missed here, unless I’m misinterpreting the term “stunt casting.”

Should win:

Dune: Pat, Rachel

The Matrix Resurrections: Akash

No Time to Die: Bil, Emma

Will win:

Dune: Akash, Bil, Emma

No Time to Die: Pat

Shang-Chi: Rachel

 

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

The nominees: The Handmaid’s Tale, The Morning Show, Squid Game, Succession, Yellowstone

We’re all in for the Roys, and voters gotta be too.

Should win:

Succession: everyone

Will win:

Succession: everyone

 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

The nominees: Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show; Jung Ho-yeon, Squid Game; Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale; Sarah Snook, Succession; Reese Witherspoon, The Morning Show

Aniston is the defending champion after winning for the first season of The Morning Show two years ago. Her biggest challenger is Succession’s Sarah Snook, who relished a beefed-up role this season.

Should win:

Jung Ho-yeon: Akash

Sarah Snook: Emma, Pat, Rachel

Will win:

Jennifer Aniston: Emma

Sarah Snook: Akash, Pat, Rachel

 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

The nominees: Brian Cox, Succession; Billy Crudup, The Morning Show; Lee Jung-jae, Squid Game; Kieran Culkin, Succession; Jeremy Strong, Succession

Could the Succession lads cancel each other out? Billy Crudup squeaked them out in the Emmy race, while the amount of love for Squid Game should presumably pan out to a win somewhere, right?

Should win:

Brian Cox: Emma

Lee Jung-jae: Akash

Kieran Culkin: Pat, Rachel

Will win:

Lee Jung-jae: Akash

Kieran Culkin: Pat, Rachel

Jeremy Strong: Emma

 

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Comedy Series

The nominees: The Great, Hacks, The Kominsky Method, Only Murders in the Building, Ted Lasso

Ted Lasso’s been gobbling up all these prizes and is arguably the most ensemble-y of the mix.

Should win:

Hacks: Emma, Pat

Only Murders in the Building: Akash, Rachel

Will win:

Ted Lasso: Akash, Emma, Pat, Rachel

 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

The nominees: Elle Fanning, The Great; Sandra Oh, The Chair; Jean Smart, Hacks; Juno Temple, Ted Lasso; Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso

Jean Smart’s turn in Hacks is a career-best, and actors surely will recognize the bravery and comedic chops in this performance. Sandra Oh, however, offers a much different turn than we’ve come to expect from her, while either Lasso lass could ride the coattails of the show’s love.

Should win:

Sandra Oh: Akash, Emma, Rachel

Jean Smart: Pat

Will win:

Jean Smart: Akash, Emma, Pat, Rachel

 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series

The nominees: Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method; Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso; Steve Martin, Only Murders in the Building; Martin Short, Only Murders in the Building; Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso

Anyone other than Sudeikis would be a huge surprise here.

Should win:

Martin Short: Akash, Rachel

Jason Sudeikis: Emma

Will win:

Jason Sudeikis: Akash, Emma, Pat, Rachel

 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series

The nominees: Jennifer Coolidge, The White Lotus; Cynthia Erivo, Genius: Aretha; Margaret Qualley, Maid; Jean Smart, Mare of Easttown; Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown

Here’s a fun one. Kate Winslet could be the no-brainer for giving one of her best performances ever in Mare of Easttown. However, Jennifer Coolidge made The White Lotus pop and she’s never really been given the appreciation she deserves.

Should win:

Jennifer Coolidge: Akash

Cynthia Erivo: Emma

Kate Winslet: Pat, Rachel

Will win:

Jennifer Coolidge: Akash

Kate Winslet: Emma, Pat, Rachel

 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series

The nominees: Murray Bartlett, The White Lotus; Oscar Isaac, Scenes from a Marriage; Michael Keaton, Dopesick; Ewan McGregor, Halston; Evan Peters, Mare of Easttown

Possibly the most low-key category of the night, but Michael Keaton generally earned the best notices amid the mixed response for Dopesick.

Should win:

Murray Bartlett: Akash

Oscar Isaac: Emma, Pat

Michael Keaton: Rachel

Will win:

Murray Bartlett: Akash

Oscar Isaac: Rachel

Michael Keaton: Emma, Pat

 

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series 

The nominees: Cobra Kai, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, Mare of Easttown, Squid Game

Everyone should get at least one point in their SAG Award predictions with this one.

Should win:

Loki: Emma

Squid Game: Akash, Rachel

Will win:

Squid Game: Akash, Emma, Pat, Rachel

 



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