Major Snubs Mark Screen Actors Guild Nominations (AWARDS 2021)

The Screen Actors Guild nominations are one of the big indicators for Oscar nominations during the Awards Season.

The news out of the 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild nominations isn’t so much who was nominated but who wasn’t.

Big time Oscar contenders The Power of the Dog and West Side Story — two front runners for the Academy’s Best Picture prize — were both absent in the guild’s top category, Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (the org’s Best Picture equivalent).

The Power of the Dog still snagged nominations for Male Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch) Male Supporting Actor (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Female Supporting Actor (Kirsten Dunst), which makes the Cast snub both surprising yet also less dire for the movie’s overall Oscar hopes.

More cloudy? The Oscar forecast for West Side Story, which only mustered a single nomination for Female Actor in a Supporting Role (Anita’s Ariana DeBose).

Why does this all matter?

Within the Academy, the Acting branch is by far the largest. While the rosters between that Oscar membership and the SAG fraternity aren’t equivalent (SAG’s is much bigger and nationwide), parallels can be drawn. Given that, these SAG nominees are a revealing tea leaf as to what movies and performances may strike gold (or not) with the Academy.

More importantly, it’s a long shot for a movie to miss out on a SAG Cast nomination yet go on to win the Oscar for Best Picture. It’s only happened three times before in SAG’s previous 27 years, but all have been recent: Nomadland (2020), Green Book (2018) and The Shape of Water (2017).

So who showed strength instead? Being the Ricardos, House of Gucci and King Richard.

While all three movies have been Awards Season contenders, pundits have assumed they were more on the bubble behind presumed heavyweights The Power of the Dog and West Side Story. But with SAG, at least, two of those three (Gucci and King Richard) came out on top, joining Belfast and indie streaming hit CODA as Best Cast nominees along with the DiCaprio-led star-studded Don’t Look Up.

In addition, Ricardos, Gucci and King Richard snagged lead nominations for (respectively) Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, Lady Gaga, and Will Smith.

Other surprising omissions: Kristen Stewart (Spencer) and Rachel Zegler (West Side Story) were left out of the Female Actor race, with Stewart’s absence being the biggest shocker of the individual categories. She went from early Best Actress favorite last fall to now being in serious jeopardy of even receiving an Oscar nomination. Even if she does sneak in, no lead performance that has been denied a SAG nom has ever gone on to win the Best Actor or Actress Oscar.

Also unexpected: neither Jamie Dornan nor Ciarán Hinds were nominated in the Male Supporting category for their popular turns in Best Cast nominee Belfast. And in Female Supporting, King Richard‘s Aunjanue Ellis was another unforeseen absentee.

On the flip side, surprise citations included respect for Female Actor nominee Jennifer Hudson, whose bravura incarnation of Aretha Franklin in Respect was widely lauded. Despite that, her perf has been considered a bubble contender due to the film’s lackluster box office performance.

Also, the fact that Apple TV Plus indie CODA garnered a Best Cast nomination over so many Hollywood heavyweights speaks to that movie’s broad appeal (and Apple’s successful awards season campaign), which also includes a Male Supporting nomination for Troy Kotsur.

The 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards will be awarded on Sunday February 27, 2022 at 8pm EST/7pm CST/5pm PST, simulcast live on TBS and TNT.

28th Annual

Films of 2021

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
– Don’t Look Up

House of Gucci
King Richard

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
– Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos
– Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog
– Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick…Boom!
– Will Smith, King Richard
– Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
– Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
– Olivia Colman, The Lost Mother
– Lady Gaga, House of Gucci
– Jennifer Hudson, Respect
– Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
– Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar
– Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza
– Troy Kotsur, CODA
– Jared Leto, House of Gucci
– Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
– Caitríona Balfe, Belfast
– Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley
– Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
– Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog
– Ruth Negga, Passing

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
Black Widow
The Matrix Resurrections
No Time to Die
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

55th Life Achievement Recipient
Helen Mirren

(To see the Televsion nominees, click here.)

Click on links below for other major Critics Group Awards and Guild Nominees that have been announced so far for the 2021 / 22 season:

Writers Guild of America Nominees 2021
Producers Guild of America Nominees 2021
American Film Institute Top Ten 2021
Los Angeles Film Critics Assocation 2021
New York Film Critics Circle 2021
National Board of Review 2021

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