SAG Award Nominations: Nods and News
The Screen Actors Guild announced its 2018 nominees for their coveted SAG awards on Wednesday morning. While SAG includes a membership of over 100,000 members nationwide, only a chosen few from the guild make up the nominations committee responsible for selecting the nominees for each category. Ultimately, all the members will vote on what amounts to a peer review of the best performances of the year.
The categories mirror most awards programs but are especially focused on the cast itself, rather than the picture or television show as a whole. SAG also presents a Lifetime Achievement Award. This year, it is being presented to Alan Alda. Alda is a six-time Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner, and is most famous for his role as “Hawkeye” in the Korean War era series M.A.S.H. as well as smaller roles on ER, The West Wing, and 30 Rock.
No one was surprised to see all three of the Marvel movies released in 2018 on the list of “Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture“. Ant-Man and the Wasp, Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther were joined by Mission: Impossible – Fallout and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. A lesser known Netflix movie, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a western themed collection of vignettes that is definitely worth a watch if that genre tickles your fancy.
Black Panther picked up a nod for “Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture” along with critically acclaimed A Star is Born. Rocker biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, the story of the late, great Freddie Mercury and the rise of Queen, fills out the category along with Crazy Rich Asians, a huge boon to Asian representation in Hollywood with spectacular set design. Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, a story based on the real life events of Ron Stallworth and Flip Zimmerman who infiltrate the KKK, may be the least grossing of the nominees. But don’t count it out as a contender. Critics believe this is one of Lee’s best films.
Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born) and Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) are strong contenders in the “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role” category, along with Vice‘s Christian Bale and Viggo Mortensen, for his role in Green Book. John David Washington completes the category for his performance of Ron Stallworth in BlacKkKlansman. Washington is the son of Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington, who won a SAG award in 2016 for his role in Fences.
A Star is Born continues its sweep with the nomination of Lady Gaga for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” but will come up against veteran nominee Glenn Close for her portrayal of Joan Castleman in The Wife. Other nominees include Emily Blunt for the recently released Mary Poppins Returns, as well as Melissa McCarthy for Can You Ever Forgive Me, the true story of best selling celebrity biographer, Lee Israel. Olivia Colman was the surprise in this category, receiving a nomination for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite.
“Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role” holds two nominations from The Favourite, a film set in 18th century England, portraying the love triangle between the fictional Queen Anne, her adviser “Sarah” (Rachel Weisz) and assistant “Abigail” (Emma Stone). Both Weisz and Stone received nominations, as did Margot Robbie for her portrayal as “Mary Queen of Scots” in the film of the same name. Amy Adams also received a nomination for her portrayal of Lynne Chaney in Vice, a bio pic about Vice President Dick Cheney. Finally, Emily Blunt is nominated for her role as Evelyn Abbott in the intense thriller, A Quiet Place.
Timothee Chalamet receives a well deserved nomination for “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role” for his heart wrenching portrayal as “Nic,” the drug-addicted son of journalist David Sheff in Beautiful Boy. Adam Driver secured a nod for his role as police officer Flip Zimmerman in BlacKkKlansman, as well as Sam Elliott for A Star Is Born, where he plays “Bobby”, the responsible care-taking older brother of alcoholic country star “Jack.” Oscar winner Mahershala Ali has been nominated as well for his role as classical pianist “Dr. Don Shirley” in Green Book. The film tells the story about life changing friendship that develops between an African American classical pianist and an Italian immigrant bouncer as they trek together through the 1960’s deep south.
In the category of “Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series“, seeing nominees like The Walking Dead, Westworld, or Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan starring John Krasinski is probably not a surprise. You may be less familiar with GLOW, a series in its third season on Netflix that brings to life the 1980’s wrestling series Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Netflix also received a nomination for the recently cancelled Marvel’s Daredevil starring Charlie Cox and Deborah Ann Woll.
GLOW also received a nomination for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series,” along with the Golden Globe winning Atlanta and the Emmy-winning hit The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Barry also received a nomination for its first season. The dramedy stars Bill Hader as a hitman-turned-actor in an attempt to turn over a new leaf. The Netflix produced comedy, The Kominsky Method, starring Alan Arkin and Michael Douglas, may be a tough one to beat. It is another hit from creator Chuck Lorre who also brought us Roseanne, Dharma & Greg, and Two and a Half Men.
This is Us and the critically acclaimed The Handmaid’s Tale return this year to the “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series” category. While Breaking Bad spin off, Better Call Saul, picks up its first nomination in this category along with co-nominee Ozark, The Americans closes out the category with its first ever SAG nomination. The crime drama has been running on FX since 2013 and stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as Russian spies posing as an average American couple.
Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson each picked up an “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie” nomination for their respective roles in the HBO miniseries Sharp Objects. Emma Stone receives her second SAG Award nomination this year for Maniac, a Netflix miniseries co-starring Jonah Hill, where she plays “Annie Landsberg,” a participant in a mysterious pharmaceutical trial that’s fraught with issues. Penelope Cruz is also nominated for her role as Donatella Versace in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: An American Crime Story. Finally, Oscar and previous SAG award winner Patricia Arquette rounds out the category for her role in Escape at Dannemora, a Showtime miniseries where she plays “Tilly Mitchell,” a prison employee who becomes romantically involved with a pair of inmates and ultimately helps them escape.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: An American Crime Story pics up its second SAG Award nomination this year, with Darren Criss being nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie.” He joins a host of heavy hitters, such as Hugh Grant for A Very English Scandal, Antonio Banderas for Genius: Picasso and Bill Pullman in The Sinner. Anthony Hopkins, however, is going to be the one to beat with his incredible performance as the titular character in Amazon’s modern take on King Lear.
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin pick up nominations for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series” for their roles in Grace and Frankie for the third year in a row. Allison Brie snagged her first nomination for her portrayal of “Ruth Wilder” in GLOW, the other Netflix produced show in this category. Alex Borstein and Rachel Brosnahan received a nod as well for their roles in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel giving the show a total of three nominations this year.
Bill Hader and Henry Winkler received “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series” nominations for their roles in the dark comedy, Barry. They will come up against former Oscar winners Alan Arkin and Michael Douglas for their work on The Kominsky Method, a comedy about an aging actor and his experiences as an acting coach. Tony Shalhoub, well known for his titular role on Monk, closes out the category for his role as “Abe Weismann” on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but whether or not it will be enough to beat the competition remains to be seen.
Ozark picks up two nominations for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series” for Laura Linney and Julia Garner. This is the second year in a row that Linney has received this nomination. Elizabeth Moss returns to the category this year to attempt a repeat of her 2018 win for The Handmaid’s Tale, but she will find fierce competition in Killing Eve’s Sandra Oh, who delivers an impeccable performance as “Eve Polastri.” Finally, Golden Globe winner Robin Wright returns to the category with her fifth nomination for House of Cards.
“Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series” gives Bob Odenkirk his third nomination in this category for Better Call Saul. Fellow nominee and Golden Globe winner Sterling K. Brown is up for his third as well for his role as “Randall Pearson” on This is Us. John Krasinsky (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan) and Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale) are both up for their first nominations in this category, but they will be fighting an uphill battle against favorite, Sterling K. Brown.
The SAG Awards will air on Sunday, January 27, 2019 on TNT and TBS.