Art and Experience:

We’re in the final days of Screen Actors Guild Awards voting, and the nominating committee members are watching screeners and making their selections of their acting peers. Some films are surging, like Sian Heder’s “CODA” and Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Licorice Pizza,” which could continue their momentum with nominations for cast ensemble or for their leading ladies, Emilia Jones and Alana Haim.

Other movies look to be losing steam like Guillermo del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley,” Reinaldo Marcus Green’s “King Richard” and Aaron Sorkin’s “Being the Ricardos,” all of which can get a second wind just weeks before Oscar voting opens up.

Looking to other surprising inclusions and shocking snubs, many wonder if Lady Gaga’s place in best actress for “House of Gucci” is as sure as it seemed weeks ago, following her New York Film Critics win. Her co-star Jared Leto also looks to be losing some heat, but the SAG noms can reflect the race from weeks ago, not necessarily the moment.

The SAG Awards have become one of the most critical barometers in the acting categories and best picture race for the Oscars. Snubs can either catapult or terminally damage an awards campaign. Since the cast ensemble category debuted in 1995 (the first year of the SAG Awards in 1994 didn’t have the category), getting a nom was crucial to winning the Academy’s top prize. However, three of the last four best picture winners — “The Shape of Water” (2017), “Green Book” (2018) and the reigning champ “Nomadland” (2020) — were still able to win without a mention from their peers. Does that make SAG less significant? Not exactly.

When it comes to acting winners, they’re much more reliable. Since the inaugural year, only three actors have won the Oscar without a SAG mention: Marcia Gay Harden in “Pollock” (2001), Christoph Waltz in “Django Unchained” (2012) and Regina King in “If Beale Street Could Talk” (2018).

So what can we expect this time around?

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Nightmare AlleyKerry Hayes

Besides Cate Blanchett having two shots at supporting actress in Guillermo del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley” and Adam McKay’s “Don’t Look Up,” she’s currently tied for the record for most film ensembles nominations with six (the others are Russell Crowe and Brad Pitt). If one or both films picks up the top category, she’ll surpass them.

Kenneth Branagh’s “Belfast,” Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” or Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” has the best shot at being the most nominated films of the lot. All feasibly have an opportunity to either tie or surpass “Chicago” (2002), “Doubt” (2008) and “Shakespeare in Love” (1998) as the most nominated films in the history of the SAG Awards with five each. Of course, any would have to overperform and include dark horses like Jude Hill and Jesse Plemons or land in the stunts race.

Fourteen films have received a nom in the ensemble category, without any other mentions. So if you don’t buy into Troy Kotsur’s momentum for “CODA,” or are expecting precursor ensemble leaders like “The French Dispatch” or “The Harder They Fall” to break through, we could see that number increase.

Voting for the SAG Awards will close Sunday, Jan. 9 at 5:00 pm PT. The 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 27.

Check out the latest predictions, with the awards commentary, down below.

To see all the latest predictions, of all the categories, in one place, visit THE OSCARS COLLECTIVE
Visit each category, per the individual awards show from THE OSCARS HUB
Revisit the prediction archive of the 2021 season THE ARCHIVE
Link to television awards is atTHE EMMYS HUB

UPDATED: Jan 6, 2022

*** = PREDICTED WINNER

Awards Season Calendar (2021-2022)

Source: Variety