Predictions: 19th Actors Guild Awards
MANILA, Philippines - Abraham Lincoln versus Jean Valjean. A ballsy CIA agent nicknamed Maya against recovering sex addict Tiffany Maxwell. Republican Thaddeus Stevens versus madman Raoul Silva. Mary Todd Lincoln against Fantine. John McCain versus much-elder fellow American “Devil Anse” Hatfield. Sarah Palin against imagined first lady Elaine Barrish Hammond.
These and some more face-offs will come to a head at this year’s 19th Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards (Monday morning in the Philippines, Sunday night in the USA).
But these tiffs between fictitious and true-to-life characters are mere representations of the real competitions: isolated, and collegial, rivalries among big-screen and small-screen thespians who, per 4,200 of SAG’s members, deserve to be nominated and who, per the Guild’s entire 120,000-plus membership, deserve to bring home “The Actor,” a.k.a. the SAG Awards statuette.
The SAG Awards may not be as big enough a deal to the general public as the Academy Awards or even the Golden Globe Awards. Still, this is of interest to movie junkies in general and Oscars prognosticators in particular, with SAG voters also comprising a substantial percentage of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members.
The SAG Awards itself thus tends to be a predictor — not full-proof, but still — of eventual Oscar winners.
So who are in the running at this weekend’s SAG glitzerama, and who might emerge most-loved by his peers? The nominees are enumerated here.
As for the possible winners, let’s see. Photos are taken from the official Facebook pages of the movies and TV shows mentioned below.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
This set is seen as either a done deal with Englishman Daniel Day-Lewis’ dependably awe-inspiring portrayal of the United States’ 16th president, or a match between DDL and Australian Hugh Jackman as “Les Misérables’” central Frenchman with the rhyming name.
So it’s a toss-up between a so-good-it’s-frightening take on a revered head of state and an acting-and-singing depiction of a guilt-ridden parole breaker.
My hunch: Day-Lewis would bring home his third Actor, his latest since clutching one in 2008 for “There Will Be Blood” while gushing about the late Heath Ledger.
(In two decades or so, Day-Lewis could be the next Dick Van Dyke, in terms of becoming a SAG Lifetime Achievement Awardee as DVD is this year.)
Two other nominees, Denzel Washington for “Flight” and John Hawkes for “The Sessions,” are the best bets if a wrench would be thrown upon “Lincoln” and “Les Miz’s” momentum — and it would be swell if the lesser-known yet prolific Hawkes gets the most SAG votes after all.
Clearly missing this time is Anthony Hopkins, his awards-bait title role in “Hitchcock” hampered by the poor critical reception to the biopic. (Local viewers will finally get to see it two weeks from now, as an Ayala Malls exclusive.)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
The “duel” in this category is between recent Golden Globes winners Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence, respectively for “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Silver Linings Playbook.”
While either actress deserves the win, SAG voters might do the make-it-up move of crowning Chastain after affording her just a nomination last year (for “The Help”). If Lawrence gets the prize, though, here’s looking forward to another sly, barb-y speech.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
On hindsight, Jones’ big frown at this year’s Golden Globes might have been in keeping with the sullen look of his “Lincoln” character. Given that his closest rival this time, Javier Bardem as “Skyfall’s” blond baddie, will likely earn more nods in the future, the more-senior Jones just might be the one to come up the 2013 SAG stage (Shrine Exposition Center’s in Los Angeles, to be exact).
It would be something else, though, if Alan Arkin proves to be a dark horse and gets to deliver a thank-you speech that ends with “Argo f*** yourselves!”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
At the forefront for this award are “Lincoln’s” Sally Field and “Les Miz’s” Anne Hathaway.
From the looks of it, Field as Honest Abe’s First Lady would get Oscar love while the younger, on-a-roll Hathaway, her all-out “Misérables” turn still fresh in the minds of wowed colleagues, might get to add the Actor to her Fantine-based trophy haul.
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Bigger is better for this ensemble plum, which does not bode well for nominees “Silver Linings Playbook” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”
“Argo,” which bagged surprising Golden Globe wins, might do another upset.
But it’s more likely that everyone’s shortlist would get narrowed down to “Lincoln” and “Misérables.” And “Les,” its solo performances aside, just might get rewarded for its entire’s cast live-singing-and-acting pains.
Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
Since singing is not exactly the kind of stunt this category refers to, out with you, “Les Miz.” Since you’re nothing completely new, out with you, “The Amazing Spider-Man.”
So it’s down to “The Bourne Legacy,” “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Skyfall” — and perhaps the fourth “Bourne” installment would get the plum, prompting a fleeting shout-out to chaotic Manila traffic.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
It was very interesting to have seen Ed Harris act as John McCain in “Game Change,” but he got trumped by Kevin Costner at the Globes two weeks earlier for “Hatfields & McCoys.”
It’s either Costner would get some more prodding to stay in the acting saddle through an Actor or, as some quarters have pondered, it’s “Hatfields” co-star Bill Paxton who gets to mosey on to SAG glory.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
The rendition of two political figures topbill this category, but between Sigourney Weaver’s “Political Animals” work and Julianne Moore’s Golden Globe-winning “Game Change” gig, the conclusion could be a nailin’ by the gal who played Palin.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Steve Buscemi has won this baby twice for the Martin Scorsese-coproduced “Boardwalk Empire” and maybe it’s high time to move on to his fellow American Bryan Cranston for “Breaking Bad” — but not if favored Brit Damian “Homeland” Lewis can help it.
A question to SAG nominators: Are you familiar with Andrew Lincoln of “The Walking Dead”? Nothing, just asking.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
If predictability would prevail at this year’s SAGs, then Claire Danes would follow up her post-natal Golden Globe victory with an Actor for “Homeland.”
Possible surprise: While the two “Downton Abbey” nominees, Michelle Dockery and Maggie Smith, might cancel each other out, voters might feel that Smith, who will not bag anything on behalf of “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” must not go home empty-handed either.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
The Guild just might give this to Alec Baldwin as a going-away present, given that “30 Rock” is coming to an end.
And the possible-upset-that-would-make-Baldwin-do-a-bitter-“SNL”-impersonation goes to…Ty Burrell for “Modern Family.”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Tina Fey might be accorded this honor in a similar despedida vein as Baldwin’s.
Yet, who knows? Perhaps Fey’s raunchier BFF Amy Poehler would bag this booty — as a direct nod to her “Parks and Recreation” riotousness and an indirect salute to her recent riotous stint as Golden Globes cohost.
A potential super-surprise: third-time “Modern Family” nominee Sofia Vergara might stop being a two-time bridesmaid and finally get to be the SAG bride.
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
In case this won’t be a foregone conclusion and land the “Boardwalk Empire” cast its third SAG tag in a row, it seems that the crossroads for this category leads to the cast of the Golden Globe-bagging “Homeland” in one direction and, on the other, to the prim but not always proper dames and gents of “Downton Abbey.” (My money is tilting towards “Abbey.”)
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Could “30 Rock” get a big bang sendoff with this award? Could “Modern Family” be the predictable, third-consecutive-year winner? Could the newly beefed-up “Glee” gang sing its way to gleek-tory?
Answer: Here’s looking forward to a juicy one-liner from either Fey or Baldwin, or “Rock” costar Tracy Morgan. (“I’m Brian Fellowes?”)
Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series
The stunt folk of the fantasy epic “Game of Thrones” just might win a SAG nod yet again.
But lest the SAG voters want to risk becoming zombie lunch, the likewise-deserving stunt men and women of “The Walking Dead,” on behalf of everyone else on the show, should be deemed outstanding enough. - Rappler.com
(Rappler live blogs the 19th SAG Awards on January 28, 8:30am)
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