This is going to be one strange awards show. Knowing, as I do, that most voters wait until the last minute, there is absolutely no way the #OscarSoWhite campaign is not going to have an affect on the voting. My union (SAG-AFTRA) has long prided itself on being inclusive and has worked to get producers to see that color blind casting and diversity should be the norm (even if those producers continue to pander without actually doing anything about it). But as I stated in a long facebook post previously, if our community is going to go after AMPAS for being so white, we sure as hell should also be going after the Producers Guild for being so white AND so sexist. There are almost NO African American actresses as lead characters in ANY movies this year, which is patently ridiculous. What are the nominating committees supposed to do if no one gives enough sh*ts to MAKE THE MOVIES. So, yes, the outrage is warranted, but let’s not limit it to AMPAS please.
ANYHOO, my other big complaint is in regard to the SAG Nominating Committee’s decision to put forth performances from the WORST Television Movies and Miniseries of the year. Last year, “Fargo”, this year, “Texas Rising”. Really?!
Since I have already gone in to depths about every performance in previous posts (simply scroll down on the homepage of this blog), this will simply be a summary of my predictions versus my predilections.
Who I think will win in BOLD.
Who I voted for noted by “***”
Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama
Admittedly, I don’t feel I possess enough expertise to give the hardworking stunt professionals in our Union their proper due. But ‘Walking Dead” has the most crazy shit going on, so…it gets both my vote and my prediction…
b) Game of Thrones
d) Marvel’s Daredevil
e) The Walking Dead ***
Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
See above. All but “Jurassic” required overtly dangerous stunt work…but the “Mad Max” stunts are just plain insane…
b) Furious 7
c) Jurassic World
d) Mad Max: Fury Road ***
e) Mission impossible: Rogue Nation
Female Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries
Okay, I didn’t really enjoy any of these, but the one I disliked the least was “Grace”, mostly because it was written (and produced for the world market) as a feature film. But, most everyone saw “Bessie”, and while I’m not a big fan of anything after her third hip hop album, “Black Reign”, I think we’ll end up giving her the silly-looking statue.
a) Nicole Kidman (Grace of Monaco) ***
b) Queen Latifah (Bessie)
c) Cristina Ricci (The Lizzie Bordern Chronicles
d) Susan Sarandon (The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe)
e) Kristen Wiig (The Spoils Before Dying)
Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries
Mark Rylance, Mark Rylance, Mark Rylance. If we can’t give him the vote then we’re a bunch of idiots. I LOVE “Luther”, but this season’s presentation was but one episode, and a not very good episode at that. There will be a push for Murray…who doesn’t want to hear his speech? But “Wolf Hall” is a masterclass in television acting.
a) Idris Elba (Luther)
b) Ben Kingsley (Tut)
c) Ray Liotta (Texas Rising)
d) Bill Murray (A Very Murray Christmas)
e) Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall) ***
Female Actor in a Comedy Series
After these awards, Edie will have lost seven in a row. Which is a damned shame. But Uzo is not going to be beat this year (unless Kimmy Schmidt was a LOT more popular than I give it credit for)…
a) Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black)
b) Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) ***
c) Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
d) Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (Veep)
e) Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)
Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Jeffrey Tambor is god.
a) Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
b) Louis CK (Louie)
c) W.H. Macy (Shameless)
d) Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory)
e) Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent) ***
Female Actor in a Drama Series
No, I’m not a fan of the show…meaning I don’t watch it religiously. I do think she’s one of the best actors in America. In other words, I don’t NEED to watch it to know she’s the best. Maggie is a very close second in this specific competition, but her role in “Abbey”, while being the show’s most watchable performance (and best written), is a supporting one.
a) Claire Danes (Homeland)
b) Viola Davis (How To Get Away In Murder) ***
c) Juliana Margulies (The Good Wife)
d) Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)
e) Robin Wright (House of Cards)
Male Actor in a Drama Series
Much as I LOVE Dinklage (who was criminally underused in the last season of “Thrones”), and am mesmerized by Malek (who will win it next year), “Don Draper” is now a noun, adjective, and verb in our lexicon. The proper send off is as many awards as there are to give.
a) Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
b) Jon Hamm (Mad Men) ***
c) Rami Malek (Mr. Robot)
d) Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul)
e) Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)
Ensemble in a Comedy Series
This will, although should not, be one of the more unpredictable awards of the night. “Transparent” is already a singularly important endeavor of this generation. It’s also hilarious and sad and BRILLIANTLY acted from the largest to the smallest role (which is what we are supposed to be honoring). BUT, not everyone has Amazon Prime and all FIVE other shows in the competition are well loved. I’ll take a chance on the importance of performance winning out, but I won’t be surprised if I’m wrong.
a) The Big Bang Theory
b) Key & Peele
c) Modern Family
d) Orange is the New Black
e) Transparent ***
Ensemble in a Drama Series
Last season of “Mad Men”, last season of “Abbey”. Both are deserving, but one is iconic, the other is considered a soap opera by many. Iconic wins.
a) Downton Abbey
b) Game of Thrones
d) House of Cards
e) Mad Men ***
Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Okay, this one is obvious to me, but maybe not the whole voting body. Mara is NOT a supporting player in “Carol”. In fact, in my eyes she would not be a bad choice for Best Lead performance. So she gets my vote, and, if enough of us watched the films, I think she wins. That said, Mirren is the wild card here, as evidenced by her getting a nod for “Woman In Gold”, as well.
a) Rooney Mara (Carol) ***
b) Rachel McAdams (Spotlight)
c) Helen Mirren (Trumbo)
d) Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)
e) Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)
Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Mark Rylance. Mark Rylance. Mark Rylance. That said, I would not at all be surprised if Elba gets the win. It sure would be make the Academy look silly if he did, and I’d be okay with that. But, simply on performance? Rylance is far and away the winner here, especially without “Spotlight’s” Ruffalo or Keaton in the mix.
a) Christian Bale (The Big Short)
b) Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation)
c) Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) (JS)
d) Michael Shannon (99 Homes)
e) Jacob Tremblay (Room)
Female Actor in a Leading Role
This is probably the year of the Brie. There are no bad choices here except Mirren (NO clue why she is in this mix instead of Rampling or Tomlin). I don’t think enough of us will have seen “I Smile Back” to realize the dramatic performance of the year belongs to a comedian, but Ronan, and Larson are neck and neck of the remainders. I’m going with Brie based on the love of the novel. But, really…go watch “I Smile Back”. Wow.
a) Cate Blanchett (Carol)
b) Brie Larson (Room)
c) Helen Mirren (Woman In Gold)
d) Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)
e) Sarah Silverman (I Smile Back) ***
Male Actor in a Leading Role
Okay. WHERE THE HELL IS MICHAEL KEATON?!?! And why is Depp on this list? And how come everyone thinks Leo is so great as he grunts his way across beautiful photography? I think all of these performances have some flaws, and as a result, I think we end up going with sentiment and a publicity juggernaut…meaning Leo gets the win. Me? I thought Fassbender was the best of these particular five, with Cranston nipping on his heels.
a) Bryan Cranston (Trumbo)
b) Johnny Depp (Black Mass)
c) Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)
d) Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs) ***
e) Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)
Cast in a Motion Picture
Our version of “Best Picture” and lookie here…a colorblind set of choices! So, it’ll be interesting to see if, as a voting body, we make sure to reward such choices by giving the gold to “Compton”. However, this is an acting competition…and ensemble means best from top-to-bottom. That’s where “Compton” falls away for me…many of the important minor character performances are just not very good. The same cannot be said of “Beasts”, “Big Short”, or, my choice, “Spotlight”. I think in a really close vote, “Spotlight” edges out “Compton”, but I’ll be proud of our Union if I’m wrong.
a) Beasts of No Nation
b) The Big Short
c) Spotlight ***
d) Straight Outta Compton
Written January 28, 2016