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How Will the Screen Actors Guild Awards Factor Into the Oscars This Year?

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (2020) Chadwick Boseman as Levee. Cr. David Lee/NETFLIX

On Sunday, the Screen Actors Guild Awards will be had, and with that, we’ll have finished with another major Guild. Usually, SAG is a pivotal moment in the awards season, with major Oscar implications. This time around? Barring some upsets, likely not as much. The big category especially is probably not going to change the Best Picture race at all. The Academy Awards could look to SAG a bit, but they won’t be waiting for the results with baited breath. That’s just how this year has gone down. Still, it’s a huge precursor, so we’ll be watching. It’s just what we do, isn’t it?

To be sure, other years have featured more hanging in the balance in the lead up to SAG. This year, however, very little seems as though it will move the Oscar needle. Cast Ensemble doesn’t feature either of the likely Best Picture players in Nomadland and Promising Young Woman. The four acting categories could easily match not only the Academy Award winners, but what’s largely been predicted for months. While some years have been tense affairs this one is likely to be more yawn-inducing than anything else.

Warner Bros.

The male races are pretty clear cut this year. It’s almost 100% assured that Chadwick Boseman will take Best Actor and Daniel Kaluuya will win Best Supporting Actor. Anything else would be a shock. Boseman (for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) and Kaluuya (for Judas and the Black Messiah) are deserving winners, and will see these wins translate to Oscar victories, too. The former has some token opposition from Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) and Anthony Hopkins (The Father), but the latter is all but running unopposed, at this point.

As for the ladies, one category potentially confirms a frontrunner, while the other may make sense of a wholly unpredictable race. Best Actress could cement Carey Mulligan as the one to beat, but depending on who else wins, some chaos could ensue. Mulligan is likely still in the pole position for her Promising Young Woman turn, but if Frances McDormand picks up a Nomadland win, watch out. In Best Supporting Actress, however, there’s a tight three-horse race going on between Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), and Youn Yuh-jung (Minari). Whomever wins here likely can claim to be the new frontrunner. The win would especially legitimize Bakalova. If she pulls it off her, she likely will with Oscar, as well.

Focus Features

So, that brings us to Best Ensemble. Without the Academy contenders, what do we make of the category? Well, this is the last stand for The Trial of the Chicago 7. If it can’t win at the Screen Actors Guild, you can fully stick a fork in it at Oscar. What seems like an easily victory here is definitely threatened by the other film nominated at the Academy Awards in Best Picture. That, of course, is Minari, and it may well be about to pull the SAG rug from under The Trial of the Chicago 7. Nothing else seems likely, but then again, SAG does sometimes go for things you don’t expect. It’s a real close race here, but I think the safer pick finally gets on the board.

You can see the SAG complete predictions here, but below, take a gander at just my predicted winners for the film categories. These are safe picks, but will they be the right ones? We shall see in just a few short days…



Cast: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Actor: Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Actress: Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

Supporting Actor: Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah

Supporting Actress: Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Stunts: Da 5 Bloods

‘Da 5 Bloods’ Directed by Spike Lee Cinematography by Newton Thomas Sigel

Stay tuned to see what happens on Sunday night with the Screen Actors Guild Awards!


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[…] is some of what I said earlier in the week, when I did final SAG predictions (here). Take a […]


[…] previously mentioned here, it’s not likely to be a night that does a whole lot to change the Oscar landscape. At the […]



Written by Joey Magidson

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