What do the Screen Actors Guild Awards predict for the Oscars?


Is it worth looking at this week’s Screen Actors Guild Awards winners to determine the Oscars? We examine why they might (or might not) be.

Sunday night saw us cross another bridge on the path to the Academy Awards. The Screen Actors Guild Awards honors the performers who make up TV and film, and while not nearly as prestigious or gaudy as the Golden Globes or the Academy Awards, it is important. The SAG Awards are voted on by all the actors who are members of SAG (and thus Academy members). Their numbers aren’t as large as the entirety of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but they do have pull and several wins throughout the history of the Oscars have been determined early by these awards. So, let’s look at what the SAG Awards might mean for this year’s Academy Awards.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 27: Rami Malek accepts Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for “Bohemian Rhapsody” onstage during the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner)

Get ready for Rami Malek, Best Actor

By this point, it’s easy to see a consensus forming in several key categories. Rami Malek, star of the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, has been on a tear with awards. He won the Golden Globe for his performance, and considering SAG is made up of performers, it’s not uncommon for them to reward an actor who has worked in television and is transitioning to film. However, it is a bit disheartening to see Bohemian Rhapsody, regardless of what category it is, coming up roses.

Earlier this week The Atlantic published another bombshell article about Rhapsody‘s disgraced director, Bryan Singer. If you read my previous article on the Globes, Bohemian Rhapsody is still a serious frontrunner for Best Picture, and it’s hard not to see its continued love and appreciation by voting audiences as proof of their love for Singer. Regardless, Malek is gonna want to save a place for his Oscar, because he’s the one to beat.

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 27: Richard E. Grant attends the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Mahershala Ali is winning… But Richard E. Grant should

There’s no denying Mahershala Ali is insanely talented. But if you’ve read any of the numerous criticisms of Peter Farrelly’s Green Book, you know that there’s no reason for Ali to be in the Supporting Acting category short of blind ignorance. He’s a lead in the movie, and the fact he’s being nominated (and winning) in supporting doesn’t help erase criticisms about the movie’s racism.

It’s especially upsetting considering Richard E. Grant, who put in a true supporting actor performance for Can You Ever Forgive Me, is right there! Grant turned a relatively minor role into a truly empathetic performance that defines the category he’s nominated in. Make no mistake, Ali is a great actor, but it would have been awesome not to see an equally stellar performance lose out to category fraud.

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 27: Glenn Close accepts Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for ?The Wife ?onstage during the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Is Best Supporting Actress prepared for an upset?

Best Actress is a pretty open race between Glenn Close and Olivia Colman. (Yes, Gaga could upset the whole apple cart, but it’s not looking likely.) But with the Best Supporting Acting Oscar already a mess, SAG’s honoring of Emily Blunt for A Quiet Place could shake things up. Now, Blunt isn’t nominated at all in the Best Supporting Actress Oscar category, but her win at SAG shows the actors branch (at least) isn’t going with the general consensus.

Now, this could mean nothing in the grand scheme of things considering how many wins Regina King has already racked up for If Beale Street Could Talk. She wasn’t nominated at all for the SAG Awards, so she remains the frontrunner. However, it’s possible the acting branch’s division could see either Marina de Tavira win for Roma or Amy Adams for Vice. (Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz’s dual nominations for The Favourite will probably cancel each other out.)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 27: (L-R) Sterling K. Brown, winner of Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for ‘Black Panther’ and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for ‘This Is Us;’ Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira, Michael B. Jordan, and Andy Serkis, winners of Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for ‘Black Panther,’ pose in the press room at the 25th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sarah Morris/Getty Images)

Does Black Panther’s ensemble win mean it’ll be Best Picture?

The big win of the night went to Disney and Marvel’s Black Panther, which walked away with the SAG equivalent of Best Picture, Best Ensemble. Pundits now have to wonder if this means Black Panther is walking away with the Best Picture at the Oscars.

Not so fast. As the statistics stand now, Best Ensemble winners go on to win Best Picture at the Oscars in just 50 percent of cases. The win gives the film a serious shot in the arm — and probably explains Disney’s announcement to put the film back in theaters starting Feb. 1 —  but it’s still not a frontrunner to win.

The Oscars will air live on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Next. What do the Golden Globes predict for the Oscars?. dark