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SAG Awards nominations embrace Brangelina, snub Leo (DiCaprio, that is — Melissa's in)

December 18, 2008 |  8:37 am

Sag_nominations1

Hail Meryl and pass the rosary beads! "Doubt" scored five Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations — very impressive. With this widespread support among actors, it might have a better shot in the Oscar best-picture race than we thought.

Speaking of Oscars, the SAG noms are usually our best tea leaves in the acting slots. Therefore, today's list is great news for low-profile contenders who needed a push like Richard Jenkins ("The Visitor"), Melissa Leo ("Frozen River") and Dev Patel ("Slumdog Millionaire"). But beware: those are the type of contenders who get replaced at the Academy Awards by superstars. Not all, but some.

In case you're wondering, I scored 16 out of 20 guesses when predicting today's SAG Award nominations. The two awards usually agree on 15 to 19 of the 20 nominees for best solo performances. Below, more detailed reax to the film races.

BEST ENSEMBLE
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
"Doubt"
"Frost/Nixon"
"Milk"
"Slumdog Millionaire"

Too many pundits carry on (and on!) about this category being the equivalent to best picture at the Oscars. It's not. Yes, it tattled on the upsets of "Crash" and "Shakespeare in Love" early on and last year the winner here corresponded to top Oscar champ "No Country for Old Men." But, over all, this SAG winner agreed with the Oscar best-pic champ only six times in 13 years. Last year "No Country" was the only SAG ensemble rival that got nominated for best pic. The other four contenders were misfires: "3:10 to Yuma," "Into the Wild," "Hairspray," "American Gangster."

This year I think four of the five will match up. "Doubt" (a magnificent ensemble acting piece) will probably get bumped from Oscar's best-pic race by, say, "The Dark Knight" (more notable for one breakthrough performance by Heath Ledger than a group wow).

BEST ACTOR
Richard Jenkins, "The Visitor"
Frank Langella, "Frost/Nixon"
Sean Penn, "Milk"
Brad Pitt, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Mickey Rourke, "The Wrestler"

True to form, SAG opted for an obscure actor's actor (Jenkins) over superstar Clint Eastwood ("Gran Torino"), as I predicted it would. Clint can rally at the Oscars, just as he did with "Million Dollar Baby." There's one surprise here. Voters also snubbed a superstar who's been generously nominated in the past: Leo DiCaprio, who gives the most animated, impassioned performance of his career in "Revolutionary Road." Curiously, voters preferred the quiet, reserved emoting of a different superstar: Brad Pitt ("Curious Case of Benjamin Button"). Considering that the mother of his children will also be attending, the SAG Awards hail both halves of Brangelina.

BEST ACTRESS
Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married"
Angelina Jolie, "Changeling"
Melissa Leo, "Frozen River"
Meryl Streep, "Doubt"
Kate Winslet, "Revolutionary Road"

No Cate Blanchett, who was a double nominee last year! I predicted that would happen, but I thought she'd be bumped by art-house contender Sally Hawkins ("Happy-Go-Lucky"). Instead, artsy rival Melissa Leo ("Frozen River") got in. Yes, SAG frequently likes to hail lesser-known veterans like Leo, but her nomination is still a surprise considering it's for a little indie film that was not as widely viewed as "Changeling" or "Doubt." Shrewdly, it ended up benefiting from an early release. Also snubbed here: Kristin Scott Thomas ("I've Loved You So Long").

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Josh Brolin, "Milk"
Robert Downey Jr., "Tropic Thunder"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Doubt"
Heath Ledger, "The Dark Knight"
Dev Patel, "Slumdog Millionaire"

Uh-oh! Can the Joker still get the last laugh? All three of the chief threats to Heath Ledger got nommed: Brolin and Downey plus a contender who got snubbed at the Golden Globes: Patel. And Heatn's here giving, like Patel, a lead performance in this supporting slot, often a shrewd Oscar move. Beware: this race isn't a slam-dunk, shoo-in for Ledger.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, "Doubt"
Penelope Cruz, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
Viola Davis, "Doubt"
Taraji P. Henson, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Kate Winslet, "The Reader"

Marisa Tomei ("The Wrestler") snubbed! That's surprising considering that she's been winning lots of film critics' awards lately. And I was wrong about my Debra Winger ("Rachel Getting Married") hunch. Dagnabbit!

Photos: Universal, Paramount

The comments to this entry are closed.

Comments

"It is sad that they did not nominate Kidman for Australia, but we were all expecting it."

Why on earth would Nicole Kidman get a nomination? The film was a bust and her performance was weak. Australia was a huge mess.

I think SAG, eliminated the possibility of reaching the contest for the oscar to Sally Hawkins

Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie will win trhe best actor/actress at the Oscar. Mr.s & Mrs. Smith will be Mr. & Mrs Oscar! Bravo

Brangelina??? Is Brangelina like Cher....or Madonna??? What movie did Brangelina star in?? In what category is Brangelina up for an award? "Best Actoress" since you are talking about two people???

The SAG awards, and their peers, embraced Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for their acting in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Changeling respectively. No need to dismiss their talents by using a silly tabloid moniker to describe them receiving award nominations.

Good nominations, but I would have put Leonardo DiCaprio in over Brad Pitt; Pitt is good, but acting-wise, DiCaprio's role is more complex. Cate Blanchett should definitely have gotten a nomination over the overrated Jolie. I suspect at the time of voting, many voters who had not seen Curious Case of Benjamin Button were not sure if Blanchett was a lead performer; I think when the movie comes out next week and more people see it, Blanchett could still sneak in.

Nevertheless, I suspect Doubt will take home the ensemble prize. It follows in the same trend as Sideways and Shakespeare in Love.

What is with your anti Ledger notions. Dev Patel is the lead plainly, but Ledger is Supporting akin to JAvier Bardem in No country for old men.

I cannot believe Leo Dicaprio was snubbed!
It's simply ridiculous! He is by far one of the most talented actors this generation has produced! And its not llike its his firsr amazing performance! He brings his game every time. Just a pitty really! And plus you can't separate one of the most loved on-screen couples!

If SAG members chose to strike I will not go to any restaurant or bar where SAG members are working. If you are on strike it is for real and not an act.

Hawkins should be nominated for an Oscar, won the Berlin festival this year and almost 70% of the critical awards and a satisfactory performance for a difficult role in a movie even more complex than the Kristin Scott Thomas.

Bad omission of Hawkins

I AM SOO HAPPY FOR TARAJI, VOILA AND MERYL AND KATE...WOOOO HOOO!!!

This is Sally Hawkins outside competition?.
The previous comment has a point in a relationship that is a foreign film.

But the performance is remarkable, Hawkins deserves a nomination in most of the annual awards.I think this neglect.
I do not seem uncommon and we must resign ourselves to an NO Oscar nomination

Is anyone else but me surprised that they keep giving Robert Downey Jr. nominations? i mean hes a wonderful actor and very well deserved im just surprised its for this type of movie. usually, comedies are frowned upon.

SAG completely overlooked TWO brilliant performances in "Seven Pounds." Will Smith gives a stunning performance and Rosario Dawson does some award worthy work here as well.

I think the Acad. will switch Leo DeC. with Brad in Best Actor, but the rest may very well stay. Also, I think the other 3 Best cats will be the same come Oscar day.

The headline ("snub Leo") needs to be fixed before someone else thinks he heard wrong: I was (almost) certain Leo was nominated, and of course she was. Pablo, they have split the beloved Leo/Kate couple before, when Kate was nominated for "Titanic," and Leo wasn't. Overall, quite satisfied with the nominations, except for no TDK cast nod and no nom for Tomei.

Is it possible that Kate Winslet might win both. I mean I know this is a bit (and by a bit I mean a lot) out of the left field but if we think about it its not completely impossible. Academy voters might vote her for both categories believing that she should atleast win won. Also what would it say that if she did win two oscars in one night? Would she be the youngest double winner? the only one to win two the same year, or wait, shes probably going to be the biggest female oscar loser.
:-(

What about Michael Fassbender in Hunger?

And why is BSG snubbed by everyone? It's the best show on television.

I am very happy for Brad Pitt. He is a great actor, and he is showcasing his talents in a much wiser way year by year. His performance in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is masterful. The use of her voice, each inflection and articulation, and the work with his eyes are phenomenal. It is a shame that they did not nominate his on screen lover, Cate Blanchett, in the leading actress category.

I am missing Scott-Thomas and Hawkins as well (they movies are foreign, and that might be the reason for their respective snubs). It is sad that they did not nominate Kidman for Australia, but we were all expecting it.

It is a crime they missed the chance to honor Brandon Walters for his brilliant creation as Nallah in "Australia"!

If "Revolutionary Road" is not getting a nomination for DiCaprio, will the academics try to push Kate Winslet as lead for "The Reader"? It would be very unkind the split one of most beloved on screen lovers/couples.


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