Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Look at this Year's Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards Nominations

Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything
Awards season continues to roll along. After the Gotham Awards last week, the big ones are starting to roll out. While tomorrow brings the much hailed Golden Globe nominations, today brings the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominations. What films made the cut in this year's race? For those putting money on Birdman, it may be shaping up to be your season. For those betting on Selma, you'll be disappointed with this year's nominees. After the jump, check out the films that made this year's cut as well as a few thoughts on the nominees and potential winners.

Robert Duvall in The Judge
Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall - The Judge
Ethan Hawke - Boyhood
Edward Norton - Birdman
Mark Ruffalo - Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons - Whiplash

Overall Thoughts: There's a few returning players on here that pretty much will be around for most of the awards season. While I was skeptical early on of Edward Norton's chances, he actually has shown up on enough lists to make me feel like he can get that Oscar nomination. Even Ethan Hawke's presence is nice, even though it is bothersome how overlooked Ellar Coltrane has been for Boyhood. However, this has been J.K. Simmons' race to beat for awhile now. His performance in Whiplash is supposed to be phenomenal and puts him as the front runner. On the flip side, it is strange to see The Judge make the cut simply because it felt like a trite Oscar-bait movie that wouldn't get anywhere.

Naomi Watts in St. Vincent
Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette - Boyhood
Keira Knightley - The Imitation Game
Emma Stone - Birdman
Meryl Streep - Into the Woods
Naomi Watts - St. Vincent

Overall Thoughts: I'm getting the impression that somebody out there really likes Naomi Watts. She received an Oscar nomination for The Impossible despite that film pretty much going under everyone's radars. From the batch, there's a lot of familiar names, including Emma Stone and Patricia Arquette (who I am personally rooting to take the award). While I loathe the presence of Meryl Streep, it has yet to be seen how her performance will actually turn out. A decent category, though St. Vincent is another one of those films that felt predicated on Oscar-bait more than actual quality, which is a little confusing.

Steve Carell in Foxcatcher
Best Actor

Steve Carell - Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal - Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton - Birdman
Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything

Overall Thoughts: The race has become rather predictable with majority of the names being familiar carryovers from the past few awards. While I would love for Foxcatcher to be the surprise hit that I once thought it would be, I am personally hoping that Eddie Redmayne wins the category because his performance is phenomenal. Also, it is great to see Jake Gyllenhaal on this list, as I feel like Nightcrawler is too weird of a film to have stood a chance during awards season. I am so happy to be proven wrong.

Julianne Moore in Still Alice
Best Actress
Jennifer Aniston - Cake
Felicity Jones - The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore - Still Alice
Rosamund Pike - Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon - Wild

Overall Thoughts: Four of these names make sense. While I feel like Felicity Jones was overshadowed by her co-star, she did turn in quite a solid performance. I have yet to see if the hype around Reese Witherspoon is warranted, but she is another name who has been in the race for awhile. I still firmly believe that this is Julianne Moore's award this year, as her performance is rather exceptional. Same can be said for Rosamund Pike, another shoe-in guarantee for a nominee, but I feel that the role is too controversial to guarantee any upset. However, what' sup with Jennifer Aniston's nomination? Where did Cake come from?

Left to right: Ralph Fiennes and Saoirse Ronan in Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Ensemble

The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Overall Thoughts: A solid bunch that when looking for the ensemble aspect definitely reflects the best of the year. However, let me take this opportunity to remark that I wished that The Grand Budapest Hotel showed up on more categories in every awards ceremony. In this case, I do believe that it has the best ensemble of any film this year. Every character is quirky and unique enough to make something baffling yet beautiful. I don't get why Boyhood is on here, as it is great but only because of its central characters (hardly an ensemble of note). I also like The Theory of Everything, but that's a worse offender, as it is about two people essentially and only one is particularly exceptional. Birdman may have the edge here because it incorporates ensemble in the most blatant way possible.

Closing Remarks: Overall, a decent year of nominees that I feel are fine. I wish that The Grand Budapest Hotel was more frequent on everyone's nominations list, but that's just me. I don't miss Selma here, though I do feel like it has a more impressive ensemble than some of the films in Best Ensemble. I also wish that Ellar Coltrane wasn't so ignored for his work in Boyhood, as he sacrificed the most for the role. Otherwise, a solid list that continues to shape the awards season in interesting ways. See you tomorrow for the Golden Globes.

No comments:

Post a Comment