Normally I don’t post predictions or reviews about the Screen Actors Guild awards, but this is a milestone year for the Awards and they’ve proved their impact on the Oscar race over time.
SAGs And Their History In A Nutshell
One of the things about most of the categories in the Oscar race is that many of them have a corresponding society, union or guild to go with them. The Screen Actors Guild was founded in 1933. There’s no records of the SAG giving out any awards before 1995, even honorary awards, however there have been guilds and unions that have held their awards in the past and would also have an impact on the Oscar race. Below is a list of awards ceremonies from guilds, societies and unions that began before the SAG Awards. They’re listed by awards name, the Oscar category impacted in brackets, and the year the awards began:
- Producers Guild Of America Awards (Best Picture, Best Animated Feature, Best Documentary) – 1990 (2005 for animated, 2007 for documentary)
- Directors Guild of America Awards (Best Director) – 1948
- Writers Guild of America Awards (Best Original and Adapted Screenplay) – 1949
- Annie Awards (Best Animated Feature) – 1992
- American Society of Cinematographers Awards (Best Cinematography) – 1986
- American Cinema Editors ‘Eddie’ Awards (Best Film Editing) – 1962
- Cinema Audio Society (Best Sound Mixing) – 1993
- Motion Picture Sound Editors ‘Golden Reel’ Awards (Best Sound Editing) – 1989
Sure, there would be other guild awards that would come later for costuming, production design and visual effects, but the SAG Awards were already a long-time coming.
The nominees for the SAG awards are decided from a select group of 2000 of the film branch for the film awards and a select 2000 of the television branch for the television awards. For deciding the winners of the awards, all 140,000 members of the SAG-AFTRA union– even D-listers and the dime-a-dozen types– can vote for the winners!
The First SAGs
The very first SAG awards were held in Universal Studios and broadcast on NBC. The statuette was called ‘the Actor’ and has been called that ever since. The first film awards honored the best acting and included a Lifetime Achievement Award. The very first went to George Burns. That was admirable because he’d die the following year at the age of 100.
The very first SAG awards would show that these awards would either have a huge impact on the upcoming Oscars or they’d be very similar in the tastes of the Academy. Three of the four individual winners in film– Tom Hanks, Dianne Wiest and Martin Landau– would go on to win the Oscar that year. Only Jodie Foster’s performance in Nell would be the only SAG win that would not win the Oscar. The SAG awards for the television awards however would not be as reflective as the Golden Globe winners or Emmy winners seven months later. In fact, they just have single-acting categories instead of separate categories for lead actors and supporting actors.
There was one unique thing about the SAG Awards categories. As you know, the Oscars have the Best Picture Award, the Emmies have their two Best Series awards, and the Golden Globes have both Best Picture awards for movies and Best Series awards for television. Since the awards are about the actors, the SAG Awards have Best Acting Ensemble awards. The first SAGs had two awards for the best television ensembles but no award for film ensembles. The first Best Ensemble award for film would come at the following SAG Awards, which went to the ensemble of Apollo 13.
Over the years, the SAG awards have become a who’s-who event for Hollywood’s big names to show up. They’re now broadcast on TNT and TBS. The Oscars will always have the most prestige and always be the status symbol of Hollywood, but the SAGs have grown in significance and also say a lot about how much an actor has achieved in their career. The SAGs have also been seen as the biggest forecaster for who will win the Oscar over time. In fact in the past ten years, 34 of the last 40 winners of the acting categories at the SAGs would go on to win the Oscar in that very category. That’s an 85% success rate. The SAGs almost matching the Oscars do however make for a boring Oscar race for predictors and ‘Oscar nerds’ like me who wager their predictions in contests. Also since the inception of the Ensemble Award for film, the Film winner for the Best Ensemble award would go to the ensemble of the Oscar-winner for Best Picture eleven out of 23 times. Only twice has the Oscar for Best Picture gone to a film whose ensemble was not nominated for the Best Ensemble award: Braveheart and The Shape Of Water. Also in 2007, the SAGs introduced a category for Best Stunt Ensemble. Even though there is a World Stunt Awards, the SAGs decided to give its own accolade.
Predictions For This Year
This is actually my first year predicting for the SAGs. I think I will only do so this year since it’s a milestone year. So here goes for the film categories:
Best Motion Picture Ensemble
Winner: A Star Is Born
Most Likely Upsetter: Black Panther
Winner: Christian Bale – Vice
Most Likely Upsetter: Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born
Winner: Glenn Close – The Wife
Most Likely Upsetter: Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born
Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Mahershala Ali – Green Book
Most Likely Upsetter: Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Amy Adams – Vice
Most Likely Upsetter: Emma Stone – The Favourite
Best Stunt Ensemble
Winner: Avengers: Infinity War
Most Likely Upsetter: Black Panther
For television nominees, I will just predict the anticipated winner rather than add in a prediction for the upsetter:
Best Actor – Miniseries or TV Movie: Darren Criss – The Assassination of Versace: An American Crime Story
Best Actress – Miniseries or TV Movie: Patricia Arquette – Escape At Dannemora
Best Actor – Drama Series: Jason Bateman – Ozark
Best Actress – Drama Series: Sandra Oh – Killing Eve
Best Actor – Comedy Series: Bill Hader – Barry
Best Actress – Comedy Series: Rachel Brosnahan – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Best Ensemble – Drama Series: The Americans
Best Ensemble – Comedy Series: The Kominsky Method
Best Stunt Ensemble – Television Series: Marvel’s Daredevil
And there you have it. My review of the SAG Awards and my predictions for this year’s awards. Tune in tomorrow to find out who wins!