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The Amazing Race: Who Got Snubbed In The SAG Nominations & What Does It Mean For Their Oscar Hopes?

Awards
by Oliver Lyttelton
December 14, 2011 1:02 PM
13 Comments
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After a few weeks where the critics got to have the limelight, the awards barometer swung back to the practicioners this morning, as the Screen Actors Guild revealed their nominations for their annual awards, making them the first major guild out the gate. And, true to form, for the most part they played it safe with a firmly middlebrow selection of nominees.

That's not necessarily shocking, but what was surprising is the degree to which not just brave performances in difficult films were left out, but even some performances previously thought of as stone-cold locks. With the SAG being one of the more accurate predictors around, it's shaken up the awards race in a fairly major way. As Guy Lodge points out, the last film to win Best Picture at the Oscars without being nominated for Outstanding Cast at the SAGs was "Braveheart" in 1995, so presumed frontrunners "War Horse," "Hugo" and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" are looking less happy. Below, we take a closer look at the big snubs and discuss whether they are out for the count, or if they could fight back along the way to the Kodak Theater.

Focus Features Gary Oldman in "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy."
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" & Gary Oldman
Tomas Alfredson's spy thriller has, despite a very strong start at the box office, done really poorly throughout the critics' awards so far, but we'd expected, given the depth and breadth of the film's outstanding cast, it would figure into the Outstanding Cast noms at the SAGs. But no dice as not only was Gary Oldman ignored, but the film's ensemble also lost out. Even to those who are cool on the film, we can't see how the strength of Oldman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, Tom Hardy, et al. loses out to "The Artist," which relies on Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo and the dog, but then if awards were decided on merit... Stick a fork in its Oscar chances, it's done, sadly. 

Michael Fassbender, Woody Harrelson & Michael Shannon
Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Jean Dujardin have been locked into the Best Actor race for some time, but common wisdom has been that one of the leads of the more difficult "Shame," "Rampart" or "Take Shelter" would take a fifth slot, as some of the most critically acclaimed turns of the year. But not only did Harrelson and Shannon lose out (as we suspected they might), but Fassbender, thought likely to make the final cut, did too. It's not surprising. It's not really a SAG film, and we wouldn't be shocked to see him replace Demian Bichir (who is, at least deserving of a boost at this stage), or Leonardo DiCaprio in the Oscar vote next month, but we also wouldn't be surprised to see Fassbender watching the Oscars from home either.

Charlize Theron/Patton Oswalt
While the Best Picture chances for "Young Adult" drifted away some time ago (despite rave reviews), it has been generally thought that Charlize Theron had a good chance of breaking into the tight Best Actress race, while Patton Oswalt was said to be close to a lock for Supporting Actor. But Theron lost out to Glenn Close and Tilda Swinton (the latter, happily, is looking more and more likely to pick up a nomination), and Oswalt to Jonah Hill in "Moneyball." We always assumed that one, but not both of Hill and Oswalt would get nominated, but it looks like the needle's swinging toward the "Superbad" star at this point. It's not looking good for upstarts Rooney Mara and Elizabeth Olsen either, who like Jennifer Lawrence last year, could have benefited from the momentum boost of a SAG nom.

Albert Brooks
The comedy vet has picked up several Supporting Actor awards from critics groups, so his omission was arguably the biggest shock of the announcements. As seems to be the theme, it may be that the film's violence was too much a turn-off for SAG members, but for the first time, the man who we'd thought could be the only person that could beat Christopher Plummer in the category is no longer a dead cert for a nomination. Given the oddness of the picks here (Hill? Armie Hammer?) and the fact that most years see some disparity in the category, we'd wager that Brooks still gets in, but it suggests a lack of support that would prevent him from winning.

Ben Kingsley & Max Von Sydow
Two veteran actors seen as the lone acting hopes of two likely Best Picture nominees, Ben Kingsley was shut out for "Hugo" and Max Von Sydow for "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." With the latter being kept so closely under wraps, it suggests Paramount's campaign is increasingly backfiring (let's see how those Globe nominations turn out tomorrow, though), while the former could be an indicator that the film doesn't have the support among Academy voter types that it has from critics. Again, getting in isn't necessarily out of the question, but we suspect only one of the two has a real chance.

Shailene Woodley & Vanessa Redgrave
Two actreses at two different ends of the spectrum, one a star of an ABC Family show only just in her twenties in "The Descendants," the other a seventysomething stage veteran in Ralph Fiennes' "Coriolanus." But they have two things in common: they've both been hotly tipped for the Best Supporting Actress category (indeed, Redgrave's been the frontrunner since February), and they both missed out from SAG. The category is especially weak, but Melissa McCarthy's looking more and more likely to get in the final five, and Berenice Bejo looks like a lock, and even a potential winner if Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer split "The Help" vote. We suspect that Janet McTeer will give way to Redgrave eventuallly, but it's anyone's game at this point.

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13 Comments

  • droopy | December 15, 2011 3:19 PMReply

    hollywoods working really hard at making every cinephile think they're absolutely fucking mind-numbingly retarded. brad pitt and jonah hill for moneyball? really? i mean, i really liked the movie, mostly because of the script and bennett miller, brad pitt was kind of wooden, which isn't surprising, and jonah hill was extrememly mediocre, not award worthy imo.

  • The Oscarologist | December 14, 2011 6:15 PMReply

    I was shocked to see GLENN CLOSE nominated and not CHARLIZE THERON. From a logical standpoint, it makes no sense. But alas, SAG voters don't really think using logic. ALBERT NOBBS has had decent-to-bad reviews while YOUNG ADULT has had stellar reviews. Glenn Close has NOT gotten rave reviews for her performance in a mediocre film while Charlize Theron has gotten RAVES for her outstanding performance in a GREAT film. Do you see how this makes no sense? The whole narrative behind Close's nomination ("she's due... it's her time") is so silly. Please please please OSCAR VOTERS- DO NOT vote for Glenn Close because she's Glenn Close. Vote for someone based on their performance. Yes, Meryl Streep gets the pass year after year for being... well, Meryl Streep. But guess what? She's pretty damn great in every film. She makes Iron Lady, an otherwise bad film, into something worth sitting through. She's great as Margaret Thatcher. Glenn Close does not have that going for her in Albert Nobbs. It is an utterly boring film and such a chore to get through. I am so shocked and disappointed in the Charlize snub. I really hope she ultimately gets in-- like Michelle Williams did last year... snubbed by the SAG awards, embraced by BFCA & GG's, and ultimately got an Oscar nom. Please PARAMOUNT start campaigning HARDER for Theron and Oswalt (who is equally deserving especially over Hammer... are you kidding me!) and while you're at, try a little harder with HUGO!

  • jimbo | December 14, 2011 6:03 PMReply

    Have you all seen Tinker, Tailor in the US yet? We had such high hopes here in London but literally everyone I know feels that, while it looks a million dollars, it's impenetrable. If you've not read the book or seen the original BBC TV series, there is no way on earth you'll fathom the plot. Or possibly even care about it. The powerful context and consequences of what this handful of dour men do is so vibrant in the source material and entirely absent from the film. And while it never looks anything less than gorgeous, it's this depth that's been badly forfeited in order to fit it into 2 hours. This consequently brings everything down with it. Yes Oldman's good, but he's no Alec Guinness. And the other guys' characters have all been shaved down to their most cursory actions so nobody really gets to cast a cumulative spell. This time round it's got what it deserves, I'm afraid.

  • Anna | December 14, 2011 5:51 PMReply

    Amazing how Fox Searchlight managed to push Fassbender into a surefire contender at this point. What a difference a good oscar-ready studio can do. Not to take anything away from Michael's performance, Shame is a NC-17 film where he plays what's essentially unlikeable character, in an extremely stylish film which has very limited box office appeal. Coming out of Venice nobody would have thought that he's a shoo-in for a nom. I am worried though. If SAG couldn't stomach Shame, I can't imagine the Academy members will.

  • Nadine | December 15, 2011 10:07 AM

    "Coming out of Venice nobody would have thought that he's a shoo-in for a nom."...

    Wait, out of Venice where Shame received a 10 minute standing ovation? It was said that it was one of the best films at Venice. I may be misreading your statement though...

    I'm assuming you saw the movie. Fassbender and McQueen are out of their minds brilliant and I have to wonder if anyone else could have pulled off what they did with such genius and respect for their audience...and I'm a prude!

    Hopefully the Golden Globes will take the voting out of the hands of the Hollywood insiders and give Shame, Fassbender and McQueen their due. It doesn't help that McQueen is VERY VOCAL about Hollywood's failings...

  • Nat | December 14, 2011 3:53 PMReply

    I'm just thrilled for Swinton since I thought SAG would be the place she'd easily have the most difficulty getting into considering the small scope and challenging nature of the film. So, bravo on them!

  • Sara | December 14, 2011 3:39 PMReply

    >.<" what really sucks is no nomination to Michael Fassbender, who had a amazing year. Shame, Dangerous Method and Jane Eyre. Not mention to amazing Magneto in X-men First Class. And they nominated everyone in The Decedents and The Help. Now in Midnight in Paris they didnt nominate other actors. Seriously Adrien Brody won a nomination, he did ONE scene. Ok, was funny but he won over Corey Stoll as Ernest Hemingway or Allison Pill and Tom Hiddleston.

  • Skyyy | December 14, 2011 1:58 PMReply

    The lack of Rooney Mara is absolutely insane. I don't expect her to win, but good lord these nominations suck, and this one's the tip of the iceberg.

  • Nik Grape | December 14, 2011 1:47 PMReply

    Wow ... i totally missed the Redgrave snub from the initial SAG post. Some of these choices and snubs really make you wonder about the depth of some pockets. At least Streep wasn't snubbed

  • The Oscarologist | December 14, 2011 6:25 PM

    @RY- I disagree. Meryl Streep has managed to pull of consistently great work over the years. And when her work may not have held up, she wasn't nominated (see: It's Complicated). I think the nomination for GLENN CLOSE is so silly and embarrassing and fits more with your theory. The film has gotten bad reviews. It's rocking a 44% on RT (only 9ish reviews in but having seen the film, let's just say- it's not going to get much better) and unlike J. Edgar-- bad film, good leading performance-- Albert Nobbs has nothing going for it. The performances are mediocre and the film is a mess. How in the world her performance and McTeer were nominated is beyond me. McTeer was a better choice because she was really the only good thing about the film, but good god, I hope the Academy uses their brains when they vote for the Oscars. CHARLIZE THERON should have gotten that spot and I'm praying she gets in for the Oscars.

  • Sara | December 14, 2011 3:42 PM

    True what RY said,... they just should give an Oscar too her, then she wont be nominate more. I mean,... Streep is amazing, but another actress were too. Charlize Theron, Elizabeth Olsen and Kirsten Dunst. Honestly, Michelle Williams doesnt sound very oscar acting as Marilyn Monroe.

  • ry | December 14, 2011 2:02 PM

    LOL as if Streep will ever be snubbed. She's nominated these days simply for being Meryl Streep.

  • Jug | December 14, 2011 1:38 PMReply

    Sounds like the awards shows are trying to mix artistic merit with commercial appeal & many of the "artistic" guys got left out. Yep, even the SAG awards is basically a trade show

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