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23 January 2017 @ 11:30 am
Revenge of Quality - 2017 SAG Awards Preview  
The coveted statue everyone will compete for in this awards gala, the fourth of the current Awards Season (third if you skip People's Choice Awards).(Image: SPYHollywood)

So we've been through three different awards in this awards season, from the totally early Critics' Choice to a madness that is People's Choice. Coming from the public voting-based awards show in which people around the world can freely rally their vote for their favorites, the Awards Season has returned to the judges-only vote as we visit the fourth (third if you exclude PCAs from your existence) gala of the season: The Screen Actors Guild Awards.

SAG Awards, initiated by Screen Actors Guild, focuses on actors and actresses in movies and television, as well as bringing dedicated award categories for Cast Ensembles and Stunt Ensembles in Movies and TV. This year's grid will see recurring names from previous awards including Ryan Gosling, Viola Davis, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus to name a few, combined with last year's victors like Kevin Spacey, Uzo Aduba, and Jeffrey Tambor, and some new ones like Millie Bobby Brown and Naomie Harris.


Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are back in contention. Can they repeat their Golden Globe wins? (Image: Everett Collection/Popsugar)

For two awards in a row (CCAs and Golden Globes), La La Land has been the movie to beat, the same sentiment can be said to TV's The People vs. O.J. Simpson. Movie nominations tend to be the outright dominator with its immense number of categories, while there's not much to showcase for TV categories, despite The People managed to almost match La La Land's number of 7 nominations with 5, one nomination short of the second-best Moonlight. During the Golden Globes, La La Land managed to win all of its nominations while The People vs. O.J. Simpson only managed to win 2 out of 3 nominations they were in, including the Best TV Limited Series / Motion Picture win, although in terms of win count The Night Manager was able to one-up the FX series.

In the upcoming SAG Awards, the game is changed a bit. La La Land has two nominations, all of them are Outstanding Performance by a Male and Female Actor in a Leading Role nominations for Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, with Manchester By The Sea having the most nominations with 4, while both Fences and Moonlight have 3. For TV, The People v. O.J. Simpson only had three with two possible category wins within the Television Movie or Miniseries field, with high expectations towards Sarah Paulson which would prevent the FX series going home empty-handed. HBO's Game of Thrones and Netflix's The Crown have the most chance, both with three nominations across three different categories. While The Crown's awards season success is on a roll, GoT has an extra burden of recovering any of HBO's shows upset after none of the network's shows win any Golden Globe, in addition to the fact this might be the show's final outing, taking the final season into account.

Ryan Gosling, Andrew Garfield and Denzel Washington will compete again in the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, while the Actress counterpart will have Emma Stone and Meryl Streep going head-to-head. Supporting Role races will see Mahershala Ali and Lucas Hedges competing for the Male part while Viola Davis will have an attempt at winning the Female part. Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture will see an interesting battle between Manchester by the Sea, and Moonlight, the Stunt Ensemble race will see Nocturnal Animals taking on Doctor Strange, the movie's first award outing, and Captain America: Civil War, which won Favorite Action Movie in People's Choice Awards earlier.

Being the leader of the pack, Manchester By The Sea has four different races to deal with: Casey Affleck in the Lead Male Actor race, which sees him going up against Ryan Gosling and Andrew Garfield as the rival, Lucas Hedges in the Supporting Male Actor against Mahershala Ali, Michelle Williams in the female counterpart of the previous category against Viola Davis, and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture which sees the movie's cast ensemble up against Moonlight. It's going to be a tough run for MBTS to win any of these awards from the mentioned rivals, even Critics' Choice winner Lucas Hedges goes up against another CCAs winner, which makes the race as balanced as it is, leaving it down to the unanimous decision of the SAG-AFTRA members.

Thandie Newton, one of the newest competitors in the SAG stage along with Millie Bobby Brown and Claire Foy vying for the Outstanding Female Drama Actor race. (Image: Letters Live)

The television race is broken down into three different genres: Drama, Comedy, and Television Movie/Miniseries (the only genre without an Ensemble and Stunt Ensemble categories). All Television Movie/Miniseries Actor categories has The People v. O.J. Simpson represents, which might be likely a dealbreaker in both Male and Female categories unless another actor/actress gave an upper-hand to the already-dominating series. Sterling K. Brown and Courtney B. Vance might have the chance in the Male category, so does Sarah Paulson in the Female category, only with a twist of American Crime's Felicity Huffman and Confirmation's Kerry Washington being the rivals. The Drama series also considers Sterling K. Brown's This Is Us performance but with an added twist of Rami Malek, Peter Dinklage, Kevin Spacey, and John Lithgow in the Male Actor race, while Claire Foy, Thandie Newton, and Winona Ryder all go head-to-head for the Female Actor win. The Comedy series will see Transparent's Jeffrey Tambor defending his Male Actor title, and so does OITNB's Uzo Aduba in the Female Actor, with Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the main opposition. The Ensemble races will see The Crown, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things and Westworld in contention for Drama, and Orange is the New Black and Veep for Comedy. Last but not least is the Stunt Ensemble honor, with Game of Thrones, being the last year's victor, taking on four other series including The Walking Dead and Westworld.

New series like Stranger Things and The Crown have now become the favorites to watch out for, with The People v. O.J. Simpson being already as expected as Mercedes' Formula 1 race wins to the point that some people might find their domination boring (yet thankfully it would be over after the SAG Awards). Both series compete head-to-head in Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, making it a deathmatch as these series seek victories, especially with last year's winner in the latter category Downton Abbey (whose airing already ended way back) not going to stand back. John Lithgow, being the only The Crown name in Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series, has a potential winning chance for both himself and The Crown, but it will be the hard-as-nails competition that will make his journey anything but easy.

Complete list of nominees can be found here.


While nominated for her Fences performance, her How To Get Away With Murder performance is snubbed. Granted, her fate is much better than her rivals such as Keri Russell and Tatiana Maslany, being those who are unlucky. (Image: Shutterstock/TVLine)

Unfortunately, SAG Awards is not without its share of upsetting snubs and surprises, which see even the best actors and actresses across movie and television in past SAG Awards and awards before this absent from the contention.

La La Land for Ensemble is one example of the snub. Despite sweeping Golden Globes, the ensemble is not considered for this year's SAG Awards, although its lead actors are already a strong contender to boot. At the same time, Captain Fantastic is considered instead, and Viggo Mortensen's role is a contender for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role. Being in the same category as Andrew Garfield and Ryan Gosling, his chances may be slim, but a win for him will be a total dark horse victory nobody would expect, even if it is an impossible feat somehow.

The breakout comedy series Atlanta and drama series This Is Us are also victims of snubbing, with Atlanta totally shut out from this year's SAG race (not even the actor Donald Glover is nominated), and This Is Us left only Sterling K. Brown as the nominee. Same sentiment also can be said to The Americans and Silicon Valley, which at worst haven't tasted SAG Awards before despite being critically-acclaimed in their own right. For the actors, Jim Parsons, Tatiana Maslany, Julianna Margulies, and Maggie Smith are all left out from the SAG race in favor of better performers, including those from Stranger Things, The Crown, and Westworld, in addition to House of Cards' Robin Wright. Viola Davis is also a snub victim for How to Get Away with Murder, though not technically out of the race thanks to her performance in Fences.

This Variety article has the complete list of the award's snubs and surprises for this year, so please do check out!

In the end, tight races are aplenty in SAG Awards despite all the upsetting snubs and surprises, with award-winning actors and actresses, as well as the cast ensemble, have the chance to win albeit the potential surprise given by the SAG-AFTRA's panel. Breaking the barriers between movies and TV, this might be that one time where either Stranger Things or The Crown can seize the gala from even the most-nominated movies like Manchester By The Sea. Who knows?


Posts from This Journal by “awards season” Tag

Butterflysnogged on January 24th, 2017 04:19 am (UTC)
The SAG awards is definitely one I rarely pay attention to. Not sure why.