The 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards are this Saturday, so it’s time to take a look and see who has the best chance of taking home the coveted statue that leads to an Oscar most of the time.
The fascinating thing about this year is that there isn’t a clear cut winner in several of the categories, with there only being two that seem to be a sure thing (i.e. I wouldn’t be surprised if I were wrong in at least one or two categories). However, as usual, we’ll take a look on a category by category basis, where we’ll go through the potential winners and the ramifications that they’d have.
Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
- Rooney Mara – Carol
- Rachel McAdams – Spotlight
- Helen Mirren – Trumbo
- Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
- Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs
We start with a category that is completely up in the air, divided between three or possibly even four contenders who could take it. In fact, the only one I’m sure is not going to win is Helen Mirren, because she’s the only one here who didn’t earn a subsequent Oscar nomination. However, that still leaves us with several names.
The biggest winner throughout the critics awards was Alicia Vikander, but it was for the fantastic sci-fi flick Ex Machina, not The Danish Girl. Rooney Mara won a few awards for her performance in Carol, including honors from the New York Film Critics Online and the Online Film Critics Society, so it could certainly go to her, but we also have to consider the fact that Kate Winslet won the Golden Globe for Steve Jobs, a film that was sadly robbed of a Best Cast nomination. Could SAG be looking to make up for their awful mistake by giving this to her?
Perhaps, but in the end, I’m guessing that they’re going to go with Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl, a performance for which she won the Critics Choice award from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, a group that has matched the Academy’s choice for the last six years in a row. However, as I said, this is very much up in the air, so don’t be surprised at all if she doesn’t win in favor of one of the others. I wouldn’t even count out Rachel McAdams entirely given that Spotlight may end up being the favorite film of the night.
Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
- Christian Bale – The Big Short
- Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation
- Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
- Michael Shannon – 99 Homes
- Jacob Tremblay – Room
Supporting Actor is going to be one of two vitally important categories of the evening, but more on that in just a bit. This is a race that appears to be down to just Mark Rylance for his brilliant performance in Bridge of Spies and Christian Bale for his bizarre performance in The Big Short, the only two nominees who also received Oscar nods (Sylvester Stallone has been the most popular winner in this category throughout awards season for his performance in Creed, even taking the Critics Choice and Golden Globe, but was not nominated here).
Rylance has won in numerous places throughout the critics awards, with all of them being rather big wins, including the New York Film Critics Online, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Boston Society of Film Critics, and the National Society of Film Critics. Christian Bale has won…. nothing. He’s been nominated in several spots, but has strangely failed to receive a single award, so why does he have a strong chance of being the one to win here?
Well, with the surprise win for The Big Short at the Producers Guild awards, we suddenly find ourselves with a new frontrunner for Best Picture, and as I’ve mentioned before, it’s a film that’s only in the lead for two awards at present (Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay), so it would need to find another win from one of its other categories to pull in the minimum haul of three awards on the big night. Director and Film Editing seem almost entirely locked up for Mad Max: Fury Road, leaving Supporting Actor as the most vulnerable spot to get that third win.
The problem is that he only won five years ago (undeservedly over Geoffrey Rush for The King’s Speech), so it seems a little too quick to give him another one, especially since it would be over better performances once again. This, combined with the fact that he hasn’t won anywhere previously would seem to point to a Rylance victory, which is my final prediction. Although, if The Big Short ends up being the popular film of the evening, and indeed of the rest of the awards season, a Bale win could actually happen.