“The Wolf of Wall Street” arrived too late, a few little movies got lost and the Screen Actors Guild voters went for acting with a capital A when they announced their nominations for the SAG Awards on Wednesday morning in Los Angeles.
With “12 Years a Slave” grabbing four nominations and “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “August: Osage County” and “Dallas Buyers Club” landing three each, smaller films like “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Fruitvale Station” and “Her” were left by the wayside by SAG Nominating Committee voters, who went for the fireworks displayed in “August: Osage” over the relatively subtler pleasures of “Fruitvale” or “Llewyn Davis.”
Also read: SAG Awards Nominees: The Complete List
And Robert Redford must be wondering what he’s got to do to appeal to his fellow actors. In the biggest shock of the morning, Robert Redford‘s nearly wordless performance in J.C. Chandor’s “All Is Lost,” in which he is the only person onscreen for the entire film, was overlooked by voters in a category where he once seemed to be one of the frontrunners.
To add insult to injury, SAG voters did give “All Is Lost” a surprise nomination in the Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture category. Redford, 77, did some of his own stunts in the film.
Also left off the roster of nominees: lead actor contenders Oscar Isaac (“Inside Llewyn Davis”), Michael B. Jordan (“Fruitvale Station”) and Joaquin Phoenix (“Her”), lead actress Adele Exarchopoulos (“Blue Is the Warmest Color”), supporting actors Tom Hanks (“Saving Mr. Banks”) and Bradley Cooper (“American Hustle”) and supporting actress Octavia Spencer (“Fruitvale Station”).
On the positive side, voters gave a significant boost to “Dallas Buyers Club,” which added an unexpected ensemble-cast nomination to go along with the expected noms for stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto. The film is one of a few fighting for one of the last Oscar Best Picture slots, and its appeal to actors is a good sign for its chances.
The results were also very good for two Weinstein Company films, “The Butler” and “August: Osage County,” which were ignored in critics’ awards but showed strength with the guild, which means more. And they weren’t so good for Redford; for “Saving Mr. Banks,” which might have hoped for at least one more nomination to go along with Emma Thompson’s; and for “Fruitvale Station,” for which Jordan and Spencer belonged in the mix.
“American Hustle” picked up a nomination for its ensemble, but among its all-star cast – Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Rener – only Lawrence could land an individual nomination.
Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” might have been a formidable competitor, particularly for Leonardo DiCaprio’s lead role and Jonah Hill’s supporting turn, if it had begun screening for voters earlier. But its 11th-hour unveiling didn’t give many of the 2,100 nominating-committee members time to see the raucous three-hour film, and Paramount did not send screeners to the voters.
At this point, “12 Years a Slave” seems likely to clean up at the SAG Awards on Jan. 18, with lead actor Chiwetel Ejiofor and supporting actress Lupita Nyong’o favorites in their categories and the film a clear frontrunner for the ensemble award. (Among the film’s nominees, only Michael Fassbender might have a hard time edging past Jared Leto for the win.)
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Over the 19 years of the SAG Awards’ existence, the awards have proven to be a relatively accurate predictor of Oscar success. All but four of the best-actor winners and six of the best-actress champs have gone on to win the Oscar, while, 23 of the 36 supporting winners have repeated.
The SAG ensemble award has been considered a key Best Picture indicator since it was the only major guild award won by 2006’s Best Picture winner, “Crash.” But it has only gone to the big Oscar winner half the time, including six out of the last 10 years. In recent years, “The Help” and “Inglourious Basterds” have beaten Oscar winners “The Artist” and “The Hurt Locker,” respectively.