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2016 Oscar Predictions: Who’s Ahead in the Acting Races

2016 Oscar Predictions: Who's Ahead in the Acting Races

As submissions for consideration for the 22nd AnnualScreen Actors Guild Awards nominations close Oct. 22 at 5 pm, where are we in the acting races?The SAG Award nominationsnot only reflect where the momentum is in the motion pictureawards race, buthave an impact on the eventual Oscar nominations.

The SAG Awardsnominees will be announced live on Dec. 9.Submissions must be filed online.Calendar below.
It’s early days yet, but with the fall festivals behind us (late-breaking November AFI FEST is all that’s left), the acting field is coming into focus.

This year all sorts of conventions are being thrown out. For one thing, the Best Actress race is more crowded than Best Actor, partly because so many Oscar campaigners are throwing their strongest candidates into supporting categories for the win. The Golden Globes and SAG nominations will help to clarify where these actors really belong. For example, both unknown actors from “Beasts of No Nation” and “Room,” respectively, Abraham Attah and Jacob Tremblay, were competing for Best Actor, but Tremblay has now been moved to Supporting Actor. Meanwhile “Beasts”‘ better-known Idris Elba is going for Supporting Actor. He has the best shot of the group.

A24 is putting Jason Segel in supporting for”The End of the Tour”—he has the showy David Foster Wallace role—while Jesse Eisenberg as the story’s narrator goes in lead. Similarly, Roadside Attractions is splitting up the two actors playing young and older Brian Wilson in “Love & Mercy,” Paul Dano and John Cusack, so that Dano goes supporting and Cusack goes lead. That’s at the behest of their reps.

Crowding the supporting actor race is the cast of Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight,” who are insisting on going together as a group, including the frontrunners from the superb ensemble, Michael Keaton (who built sympathy from losing Best Actor for “Birdman” last year) and Mark Ruffalo, who gets the Big Emotional Scene, served up by the stalwart Rachel McAdams, who doesn’t get one of her own. And among the actresses, while Alicia Vikander has scored effusive reviews for “The Danish Girl,” she’s going supporting while Eddie Redmayne, her equal in every way including screen time, goes for Best Actor.

And Tom Courtney, married to Charlotte Rampling in “45 Years, will go for Supporting Actor to her Best Actress. She will compete against three fellow seniors, Dames Maggie Smith (“The Lady in the Van”) and Helen Mirren (“Woman in Gold”) and Blythe Danner, who scored in her first leading film role in “I’ll See You in My Dreams.”

Two beloved veteran movie stars will vie for the senior vote: Michael Caine (“Youth”) and Ian McKellen (“Mr. Holmes”), while younger Oscar perennial Tom Hanks could land a nom for “Bridge of Spies,” along with yet another Supporting Actor, respected Brit thespian Mark Rylance (“Wolf Hall”).

For her part, agent Hylda Queally, who handles both Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet, refused to budge on “Carol.” Even though younger Rooney Mara shared Best Actress in Cannes, and scored her own tribute in Telluride, Blanchett is campaigning for Best Actress for both “Carol,” in which she plays the title role as a suburban lesbian in love, and “Truth,” in which she plays real-life disgraced broadcaster Mary Mapes. No one disagrees that Winslet should go for supporting for her Polish-inflected Joanna Hoffman in “Steve Jobs,” who humanizes her fearless leader, played with dazzling finesse by Michael Fassbender, who is the current frontrunner for Best Actor.

But per usual, we must wait and see who will enter the fray at year’s end, when Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu’s “The Revenant” and David O’ Russell’s “Joy” and Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” will finally be unveiled. I don’t deem anyone a frontrunner until I’ve seen the film. All categories are listed in alphabetical order.

BEST ACTOR

Frontrunners:
Michael Caine (“Youth”)
Matt Damon (“The Martian”)
Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”)
Tom Hanks (“Bridge of Spies”)
Ian McKellen (“Mr. Holmes”)

Contenders:
Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant”)
Johnny Depp (“Black Mass”)
Tom Hardy (“Legend”)
Eddie Redmayne (“The Danish Girl”)

Long Shots:
Abraham Attah (“Beasts of No Nation”)
Brad Pitt (“By the Sea”)
Bryan Cranston (“Trumbo”)
Richard Gere (“Time Out of Mind”)
Michael B. Jordan (“Creed”)
Géza Röhrig (“Son of Saul”)

BEST ACTRESS

Frontrunners:
Cate Blanchett (“Carol”)
Brie Larson (“Room”)
Carey Mulligan (“Suffragette”)
Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years”)
Maggie Smith (“The Lady in the Van”)

Contenders:
Jennifer Lawrence (“Joy”)
Helen Mirren (“Woman in Gold”)
Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”)
Lily Tomlin (“Grandma”)

Long Shots:
Angelina Jolie (“By the Sea”)
Cate Blanchett (“Truth”)
Sandra Bullock (“Our Brand is Crisis”)
Blythe Danner (“I’ll See You in My Dreams”)
Juliette Binoche (“Clouds of Sils Maria”)
Nina Hoss (“Phoenix”)
Charlize Theron (“Mad Max: Fury Road”)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Frontrunners:
Paul Dano (“Love & Mercy”)
Idris Elba (“Beasts of No Nation”)
Michael Keaton (“Spotlight”)
Mark Ruffalo (“Spotlight”)
Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”)

Contenders:
Tom Courtenay (“45 Years”)
Robert De Niro (“Joy”)
Joel Edgerton (“Black Mass”)
Tom Hardy (“The Revenant”)
Jason Segel (“The End of the Tour”)
Michael Stuhlbarg (“Trumbo”)
Jacob Tremblay (“Room”)

Long Shots:
Benicio del Toro (“Sicario”)
Bruce Dern (“The Hateful Eight”)
Oscar Isaac (“Ex Machina”)
Harvey Keitel (“Youth”)
Robert Redford (“Truth”)
Matthias Schoenaerts (“Far from the Madding Crowd”)
Alexander Skarsgaard (“The Diary of a Teenage Girl”)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Frontrunners:
Elizabeth Banks (“Love & Mercy”)
Rooney Mara (“Carol”)
Kristen Stewart (“Clouds of Sils Maria”)
Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”)
Kate Winslet (“Steve Jobs”)

Contenders:
Jessica Chastain (“The Martian”)
Ann-Marie Duff (“Suffragette”)
Jane Fonda (“Youth”)
Jennifer Jason Leigh (“The Hateful Eight”)
Helen Mirren (“Trumbo”)
Rachel McAdams (“Spotlight”)

Long Shots:

Joan Allen (“Room”)

Julianne Nicholson (“Black Mass”)
Cynthia Nixon (“James White”)
Julie Walters (“Brooklyn”)
Rachel Weisz (“Youth”)

The SAG nominees are chosen by two discreet film and television nominating panels, each comprised of over 2,200 SAG-AFTRA members from across the United States, who were randomly selected this spring. Nomination ballots will be mailed on Wednesday, Nov. 18 and nominations voting closes on Monday, Dec. 7.

Nominations will be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, at 10 a.m. (ET) / 7 a.m. (PT), carried live on TNT, TBS.
Once nominees are selected, more than 111,000 SAG-AFTRA members may cast their votes. Final voting instructions will be mailed on Wednesday, Dec. 16.

The 22nd Annual SAG Awards will be simulcast live on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, from the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. (ET), 7 p.m. (CT), 6 p.m. (MT) and 5 p.m. (PT).

Here are the SAG Award deadlines:
Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015 Submissions Close at 5 p.m. PT

Friday, Oct. 30, 2015 Media Nominations and Ceremony Credential Applications Close

Monday, Nov. 2, 2015 Publicists Nominations Credentials Applications Open

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015 Nominations Ballots Mailed

Friday, Nov. 20, 2015 Publicists Nominations Credentials Applications Close

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 Deadline for Paying November 2015 Dues and/or Changing Address with SAG-AFTRA to be Eligible for Final Balloting

Monday, Dec. 7, 2015 Nomination Ballots Due at the Elections Firm by 12 Noon p.m. PT

Tuesday, Dec 8, 2015 Records Pulled for Final Balloting

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015 Nominations Announced

Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015 Publicists Ceremony Credentials Applications Open

Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015 Final Voting Information Mailed to Members

Monday, Jan. 11, 2016 Publicists Ceremony Credentials Applications Close

Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016 Final Day to Request Paper Final Ballots in Lieu of Online Voting

Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 Final Votes Must be Cast Online or Ballots Received by the Elections Firm by 12 Noon PT

Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

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