We are in the thick of awards season, coming off the mid-week Golden Globes and diving right into the SAG Awards nominations, which were announced yesterday morning, and voting for Oscar nominations starts tomorrow.
The importance of the SAG Awards during awards season is debatable—some people will insist they’re not important, but, well, the timing this year is hard to deny. These nominations are the last big announcement before Oscar nominations begin, and the show itself is just one week before final voting for the Oscars begins in March. So in both cases, the SAGs are the last impression before the Academy starts balloting. And then there is the increased size of the acting branch within the Academy itself. Academy membership and SAG membership is not a perfect circle, but since the actors now make up the biggest branch of the Academy, it matters more than it used to, how the actors are thinking as a cohort. And in a wide-open year like this one, every advantage matters.
Which is why it is encouraging to see Everything Everywhere All At Once tied for most SAG nominations along with The Banshees of Inisherin. This is a glimpse of light on that path I mentioned yesterday, to break through the older Academy’s genre bias that might get in EEAAO’s way, at least beyond nominations for Ke Huy Quan and Michelle Yeoh. They both received SAG nominations, as did the ensemble for Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture. In addition, Jamie Lee Curtis received a nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, and so did Stephanie Hsu, in a staggering display of taste and correctness on the part of SAG. Five is the all-time record for most SAG nominations, and EEAAO and Banshees join Shakespeare in Love, Chicago, and Doubt as the most nominated films of all time.
Somewhat surprisingly, SAG didn’t bite on The Fabelmans, nominating only Paul Dano in the supporting category, and the ensemble for Outstanding Cast. Michelle Williams, though, was “snubbed”—it’s a competitive year, I don’t like using that word when there are simply more good performances that available nominations—though that might be a reflection of her peers’ thoughts on category fraud (she’s entering lead actress categories, but everyone considers her performance supporting). This will not be the case at the Oscars, where The Fabelmans is sure to bag a bunch of craft nominations, but it is interesting that The Fabelmans doesn’t have a stranglehold on awards season by now. It means it probably never well, though Spielberg is looking better and better for his third Best Director win.
The other film categories look like a preview of the Oscars to come. Angela Bassett has another opportunity to tighten her grip on Best Supporting Actress in a category that also includes Kerry Condon, Hong Chau, and Curtis and Hsu. Eddie Redmayne snuck into the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role category (for The Good Nurse), which will annoy everyone who dislikes his acting style—You Are Seen, Kayleigh Donaldson—but I maintain playing a serial killer is a great use of Eddie Redmayne. And the leading male and female actor categories might well be a carbon copy of the Oscars, except for the surprise inclusion of Adam Sandler (for Hustle). It speaks to how well liked he is, and also that Tom Cruise’s shot at an acting nomination might be dying, if not dead already. Notably, Cruise is doing very little campaigning, leaving it mostly to the younger Maverick cast, while Sandler has been on the circuit for months.
On the TV side, everyone continues to think that Ozark is good, and it was a bad year for Big Fantasy, as both House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power missed major nominations, each receiving only stunt ensemble nods. I am interested to see the showdown in outstanding actor in a television movie/limited series, as Golden Globes winners Paul Walter Hauser and Evan Peters will compete head-to-head this time. Am I the only one who thought Peters seemed embarrassed to win for Dahmer?
Finally, the big SAG news is that the show will stream on Netflix’s YouTube channel this year, before moving fully onto the streaming service in 2024.
The Screen Actors Guild Awards are coming to Netflix! Starting in 2024, The SAG Awards will stream live on Netflix globally â€” and you can catch this yearâ€™s ceremony, live Feb. 26 on Netflixâ€™s YouTube channel. @sagaftra @netflix pic.twitter.com/GkUh9rHc1s— SAG AwardsÂ® (@SAGawards) January 11, 2023
Not to brag BUT, totally called this one. Years ago, Kayleigh Donaldson and I used to talk about just moving awards shows to streaming on our podcast all the damn time, and it’s finally happening. Stop worrying about the television ratings—which are not ever going to recover!—and divorce the whole thing from ad-supported broadcasts. If you don’t have to worry about ad rates, you can stop worrying about ratings and focus on just like, celebrating the mediums of film and/or television. It’s a novel thought, I know, to use an awards show to celebrate entertainment, but gosh wouldn’t it be great if the shows actually centered the audience who is still here? You know, the one that loves this sh-t for its own sake.
Check out the full list of nominations here.
Attached - SAG nominee, Cate Blanchett, at the UK premiere of TÁR.