SAG Awards: Post-Show Pre-Oscars Analysis

Courtesy of SAG Awards.

Three acting races are largely decided with one month to go until Oscars Sunday but CODA benefited with a SAG Awards win for Best Cast.

The SAG nominees do differ from CCA, BAFTA, and the Oscars but the largest voting body has spoken. While there could still be some acting surprises on Oscar Sunday, I fully expect three winners will repeat on March 27:

  • Actor in a Leading Role: Will Smith, King Richard
  • Actor in a Supporting Role: Troy Kotsur, CODA
  • Actress in a Supporting Role: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Jessica Chastain’s win for Best Actress might help her campaign but there’s still some ways to go. Chastain, Olivia Colman, and Nicole Kidman will face off for the Oscars but this time, Penelope Cruz and Kristen Stewart join the mix. The Critics Choice Awards will see four SAG nominees (above three plus Lady Gaga) face off against Stewart and Alana Haim. None of the Oscar nominees are a factor across the pond at the BAFTAs. That being said, the Academy really missed the chance to nominate Emilia Jones for her performance in CODA.

If Nicole Kidman is able to win Best Actress at the CCAs, we have a race. But if Kidman doesn’t win, her Oscar chances are as good as done. Given the voter overlap between SAG and the Oscars, Jessica Chastain’s chances are looking good right now. I want to see what happens on March 13 before I make my final predictions.

Going into tonight, there was some chatter that Andrew Garfield could have a surprise win. He didn’t and I’m ready to crown Will Smith the winner heading into Oscar Sunday. The role of Anita is what gave Rita Moreno an Oscar for West Side Story and Ariana DeBose will repeat this feat on Oscar Sunday.

Emilia Jones appears in CODA by Siân Heder, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

The film that really benefits from tonight’s SAG Awards is the little film that could: CODA. CODA made history by being the first film with a predominately Deaf cast to receive Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Troy Kotsur also became the first Deaf actor to win for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.

Netflix is still looking for a Best Picture winner after Roma, The Irishman, and last year’s nominees fell short. The Power of the Dog not being nominated for Best Cast at SAG is certainly something that hurts its chances. It’s not the be-all-end-all, of course. There are still some awards shows left that can help but it’s not looking good. Along with the Critics Choice Awards, the Producers Guild Awards are one of the best Oscar predictors. The PGA takes place on March 19 and their winners typically repeat on Oscar Sunday. We’ll just have to see what happens. If they go with CODA, it’s likely game over.

Make no mistake about it, tonight was not a good night for Netflix. They lost in every category they needed heading into Oscar Sunday. There is still some time to make up some ground during this final month of the campaign. However, CODA also benefits from a delayed Critics Choice Awards because CCA voters were tuned into tonight’s telecast. Their win tonight could especially sway how members might end up voting. Belfast had been seen as the key rival to The Power of the Dog but tonight didn’t bode well for the Kenneth Branagh film either. Final voting will take place March 9-11 but the studios are making a last-minute push by sending out more film swag. Tune into The CW or TBS to see who wins on March 13.

Both BAFTA and the Critics Choice Awards will announce winners on March 13. It’s not ideal to go on the same day but Covid and TV obligations left CCA no choice in the matter.

The 94th Academy Awards will air live at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT on ABC.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.