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Oscar Watching: 2014 SAG Awards Picks

For those of us who keep up with awards season, we’re at the point where something big happens every day. Therefore, Oscar Watching will become a more frequent endeavor for the time being. On that note, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) announces its annual nominees tomorrow morning; let’s take a look at the film categories.

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Remember, this honor often seems to function as the group’s unofficial best picture award. Selma and Birdman feel safe, while ensemble musicals like Nine (2009) and Les Misérables (2012) picked up bids here, despite spotty reception, so Into the Woods should sneak in. Current front-runner status and the narrative of a dedicated cast should push Boyhood to a nomination, despite a small central cast. Meanwhile, Gone Girl is the biggest hit (thus far) of 2014’s legitimate awards contenders. The Imitation Game has lost some steam, in light of some big misses among the regional and major critics groups, so it might sit this one out. The Grand Budapest Hotel has popped back into the conversation; the wonderful ensemble that fits into Wes Anderson‘s framework would make for a fun, deserved nomination.

1. Selma

2. Birdman

3. Into the Woods

4. Boyhood

5. Gone Girl

6. The Imitation Game
7. The Grand Budapest Hotel
8. Unbroken
9. Inherent Vice
10. Guardians of the Galaxy


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

For various reasons, Julianne Moore, Rosamund Pike, Felicity Jones, and Reese Witherspoon seem assured, which leaves room for one more. Hilary Swank‘s puzzling nod for Conviction would seem to indicate that she can make the cut for The Homesman – and she can – but remember, there’s a different nominating committee each year. Calling Gugu Mbatha-Raw for that last spot, just because. Also, watch out for this year’s apparent critical darling, Marion Cotillard.

1. Julianne Moore for Still Alice

2. Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl

3. Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything

4. Reese Witherspoon for Wild

5. Gugu Mbatha-Raw for Belle

6. Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night
7. Hilary Swank for The Homesman
8. Jennifer Aniston for Cake
9. Amy Adams for Big Eyes
10. Emily Blunt for Into the Woods


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne feel like our best bets here. Beyond them, though, it gets a bit confusing. David Oyelowo leads what could be SAG’s ensemble winner – not to mention Oscar’s best picture winner – so he’s likely in. Both Foxcatcher and, to a lesser extent, Imitation have seemingly taken some unexpected tumbles over the last few weeks, but I still expect Steve Carell and Benedict Cumberbatch to sneak into the lineup. Of course, SAG favors younger actors more than other awards groups, so perhaps Jack O’Connell, Miles Teller, or even Ellar Coltrane can make the cut.

1. Michael Keaton for Birdman

2. Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything

3. David Oyelowo for Selma

4. Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game

5. Steve Carell for Foxcatcher

6. Timothy Spall for Mr. Turner
7. Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler
8. Oscar Isaac for A Most Violent Year
9. Jack O’Connell for Unbroken
10. Miles Teller for Whiplash
11. Ellar Coltrane for Boyhood


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

While guilds and industry groups might be less enthusiastic about Patricia Arqeutte than the critics, she’s still the front-runner for now. Emma Stone and Meryl Streep feel safe, while Jessica Chastain should land here, even if she eventually misses with Oscar. For whatever reason, Keira Knightley has yet to be nominated here, despite an Oscar nod for Pride and Prejudice (2005) and significant buzz for Atonement (2007), which failed to make the grade with SAG at all. I think Imitation lands her that first nod, but Laura Dern could easily take that spot.

1. Patricia Arquette for Boyhood

2. Emma Stone for Birdman

3. Meryl Streep for Into the Woods

4. Jessica Chastain for A Most Violent Year

5. Keira Knightley for The Imitation Game

6. Laura Dern for Wild
7. Kristen Stewart for Still Alice
8. Carrie Coon for Gone Girl
9. Carmen Ejogo for Selma
10. Rene Russo for Nightcrawler


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

This is J.K. Simmons‘ to lose, though Edward Norton or Ethan Hawke might pull off an upset here.

1. J.K. Simmons for Whiplash

2. Edward Norton for Birdman

3. Ethan Hawke for Boyhood

4. Tom Wilkinson for Selma

5. Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher

6. Christoph Waltz for Big Eyes
7. Miyavi for Unbroken
8. Robert Duvall for The Judge
9. Chris Pine for Into the Woods
10. Josh Brolin for Inherent Vice

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Donovan Warren

Donovan Warren

Donovan Warren loves the wonderful world of film and all that comes with it. He specifically loves long takes, fabulous actresses, and keeping up with the Oscar season - even when it's far too early to make sense of anything.