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  • by Jeff Beck

Surprises and Takeaways from the Screen Actors Guild Nominations

If you've seen this morning's Screen Actors Guild nominations, then you know there was quite a major shakeup involving several shocking snubs and surprise appearances, so let's take a look at the biggest ones and what it means for the rest of awards season.

First off, "The Favourite" was shockingly left out of Best Cast (in favor of the undeserving "Bohemian Rhapsody") after having won a multitude of awards in this category for the past few weeks. Now, it's always possible that the SAG nominating committee merely felt that the cast consisted primarily of Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone, and that they didn't constitute an ensemble in the strictest sense, but everyone else thus far has felt that it was certainly an ensemble and awarded them accordingly.

So, should we count "The Favourite" out of the Best Picture race due to this awful snub? Well, you may recall that, just last year, "The Shape of Water" also had three individual nominations, but no nod for Best Cast, and it went on to win the Best Picture Oscar, so I would say that we shouldn't count it out quite yet, especially when it just might be picking up one or both of its awards.

Second is the terrible snubbing of Ethan Hawke for his amazing performance in "First Reformed." It's a performance that has won him just about every Best Actor award among the critics so far, so it's more than a little surprising to see him left out like this. However, given that it's practically impossible to win the Oscar after having been snubbed by SAG, it looks like we'll have to turn to a runner-up winner, but who would it be? Viggo Mortensen and Christian Bale have already picked up awards for their performances, so it would appear to be between those two, with a slight edge going towards Bale for his transformative performance.

Then you also have the equally shocking snubbing of Regina King for her outstanding work in "If Beale Street Could Talk." King has been the incredibly clear frontrunner for the category, practically taking every Supporting Actress award thus far, so trying to find a runner-up is rather difficult. Both Weisz and Stone have won awards for their performances in "The Favourite," so my guess would be that Weisz (who has the meatier part) will be the winner, but again, this is merely a guess with almost all of the awards having gone to King.

Finally, astute readers may have noticed that Alfonso Cuaron's "Roma" didn't get a single mention after having been the clear frontrunner for Best Picture for the last few weeks. Does this mean its chances are greatly diminished? I wouldn't say that. I don't think anyone expected it to make an appearance here today, and again, we had a film win Best Picture just last year that didn't get nominated for Best Cast while not receiving a single award. However, with no nominations, it will have to do exactly what "Braveheart" did, and persevere straight through to the Oscars, though "Roma" will certainly still be a strong contender with the Producers Guild and the Directors Guild.

So do we assume that "A Star is Born" will win Best Cast by default with its three individual nominations? Perhaps. Unfortunately, the award won't mean anything regardless thanks to the SAG nominating committee's careless exclusion of the single best cast of the year, but at least the other awards will point us towards who might be seeing Oscar gold in the near future, so that's something to look forward to.

The 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be presented on January 27th, 2019.

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