Thursday, December 16, 2010

Screen Actors Guild Nominations

Believe it or not, before the expansion to a 10-wide field, these were the best Oscar predictors around: you could count on at least four out of every five nominees in each category to be Oscar nominated as well. This year's nominees continue to solidify the nominees we've been assuming all along, and unlike the Globes, they seemed to have seen True Grit.
BEST ENSEMBLE (FILM)
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
The Social Network
Don't be surprised by the lack of Inception: though the acting was aces, the film's focus wasn't really on the acting. This is, however, a major nomination for Black Swan, which, acting-wise, has only been seen as the Natalie Portman show. This recognition for the rest of its cast will go a long way toward assisting its Oscar chances. Otherwise, nothing too surprising here; these are all terrific ensembles.
BEST ACTOR
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Robert Duvall, Get Low
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King's Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours
I'm surprised that the SAGs snubbed Ryan Gosling, since he has so much respect amongst his peers (these are actors honoring actors, by the way). But this a big boost to both Bridges's and Duvall's campaigns.
BEST ACTRESS
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Hilary Swank, Conviction
Perhaps Swank isn't out of the running after all, and the Actress race is more hotly contested than I assumed? Still no Manville...
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale, The Fighter
John Hawkes, Winter's Bone
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech
This is the nomination Ruffalo needed: hopefully Oscar will be reminded to take notice of his terrific performance. I really want Hawkes to be nominated too, since he was really good in his film, but Winter's Bone's acting focus has mostly been on Lawrence, and Oscar will probably want to recognize Andrew Garfield instead.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King's Speech
Mila Kunis, Black Swan
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
This is Kunis's third major nomination this week, but I still don't think she'll be nominated for an Oscar. Still, her mention here further's Black Swan's chances, and there's nothing wrong with that.
BEST STUNT ENSEMBLE
Green Zone
Inception
Robin Hood
Every few years adding this category to the Oscars is discussed, and its always declined. Which is a shame, because I think that stunt-work should be recognized (though, as you'll see below, there are five TV stunt nominations compared to three film: what?).
BEST ENSEMBLE (DRAMA SERIES)
Boardwalk Empire
The Closer
Dexter
The Good Wife
Mad Men
I'm sad that Lost wasn't included for its final season: the ensemble on that show was so terrific. However, with the exception of The Closer (save for the always-delightful J.K. Simmons), these are some really great ensembles. I'm really glad that Dexter was nominated here: yes, the show is all about Michael C. Hall's Dexter, but all of the supporting players are just as good, and without them the show just wouldn't be as interesting.
BEST ENSEMBLE (COMEDY SERIES)
30 Rock
Glee
Hot in Cleveland
Modern Family
The Office
Is Hot in Cleveland really all that good? I've never seen it, mainly because I've got Betty White fatigue (I never really thought she was that incredible anyway), and because the basic premise sounds like an extension of a joke from 30 Rock last year. But this definitely belongs to either 30 Rock or Modern Family: both shows' casts strike brilliant balances of comedic styles, and carry what could be shaky material to comedy greatness.
BEST ACTOR (DRAMA SERIES)
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
I like House. Or rather, I liked House. I still watch it, and Laurie is the main reason why, as he gives the character more layers and nuance than he really deserves anymore. I think the show has gone on too long, given its repetitive plots, uninteresting patients, and lack of meaningful development (aside from the House/Cuddy relationship). Its time for House to hang up the stethoscope before things get really ugly.
BEST ACTRESS (DRAMA SERIES)
Glenn Close, Damages
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Four of these women are on procedurals, which aren't necessarily an actor's paradise. Surely there were better performances in non-lady-cop shows? What about Connie Britton on Friday Night Lights?
BEST ACTOR (COMEDY SERIES)
Alec Baldwin, 3o Rock
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Steve Carell, The Office
Chris Colfer, Glee
Ed O'Neill, Modern Family
The SAGs don't have supporting categories for its television awards, though you could make arguments that O'Neill, Burrell, and Colfer are leads on their respective shows. This category is aces, especially the underappreciated O'Neill, who delivers some of Modern Family's greatest lines with a wonderful, toss-off deadpan.
BEST ACTRESS (COMEDY SERIES)
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Jane Lynch, Glee
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
Again, I've got White fatigue, so I'm not wild about her nomination. I know Lynch is still terrific, but I'd like Vergara to be recognized for the considerable talent she brings to the show (she's hilarious in her second language!).
BEST ACTOR (MINISERIES/TV MOVIE)
John Goodman, You Don't Know Jack
Al Pacino, You Don't Know Jack
Dennis Quaid, The Special Relationship
Edgar Ramirez, Carlos
Patrick Stewart, Macbeth (Great Performances)
I guess Carlos is officially television? I can't tell anymore.
BEST ACTRESS (MINISERIES/TV MOVIE)
Claire Danes, Temple Grandin
Catherine O'Hara, Temple Grandin
Julia Ormond, Temple Grandin
Winona Ryder, When Love is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story
Susan Sarandon, You Don't Know Jack
They really loved Temple Grandin, huh? I didn't realize Ryder had done a TV movie: she should really have a better career than she has now (though she is in Black Swan, so she has that to brag about). At least there's no Jennifer Love Hewitt, like a certain other awards ceremony.
BEST STUNT ENSEMBLE (TELEVISION)
Burn Notice
CSI: NY
Dexter
Southland
True Blood
I didn't really think I would like Burn Notice, but after watching a marathon of the show over Thanksgiving, its actually delightful escapist entertainment: don't expect deep thought or moral ambiguity, just fun and action amidst the sun and surf of Miami.

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