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‘Trumbo,’ ‘The Big Short’ & ‘Beasts Of No Nation’ Surprise At 2016 SAG Award Nominations

'Trumbo,' 'The Big Short' & 'Beasts Of No Nation' Surprise At 2016 SAG Award Nominations

Awards season continues to gear up this week: After the critics’ groups started to give out their prizes in the last ten days or so, this week sees not just the Golden Globe nominations (tomorrow), but also the start of the Guild nominations. Today, it’s the Screen Actors Guild’s turn. 

With actors making up the biggest demographic in the Academy, the SAG nods often serve as a pretty good indicator of the eventual Oscar nominees: Last year, all five of the Best Ensemble nominees went on to Best Picture nods, and 17 out of the 20 acting nominees doubled up with the Academy. They’re not infallible though, as Naomi Watts, Jake Gyllenhaal and Jennifer Aniston would tell you from last year. 

Has an unpredictable, wide-open year started to come into focus? Not so much, with a group of nominations that had some surprises in every category. First up, “Joy” and “The Hateful Eight” missed out entirely, which is perhaps because they were unveiled late in the game and may not have had gotten screeners to the organization, or may be because voters didn’t respond. More shocking was the absence of “The Martian,” which failed to get a nod for either Matt Damon or its starry ensemble. Did actors take against the idea of a VFX blockbuster? “Mad Max: Fury Road” didn’t make the cut beyond stunt ensemble, though that’s less shocking. 

Instead, ensemble nominations went, aside from the expected “Spotlight,” to a host of films that certainly needed an awards boost: Netflix’s “Beasts Of No Nation” (particularly surprising, given that the film’s essentially a two-hander), Adam McKay‘s “The Big Short,” N.W.A biopic “Straight Outta Compton,” and the Hollywood Black List tale “Trumbo.” 

Best Actor saw “Trumbo” star Bryan Cranston make the cut, along with Leonardo DiCaprio for “The Revenant,” while Jennifer Lawrence, Charlotte Rampling and Lily Tomlin were among those missing out in Best Actress, with surprise nods for Helen Mirren in “Woman In Gold” and Sarah Silverman in “I Smile Back” (the latter may turn out to be this year’s equivalent of Jennifer Aniston in “Cake,” but this puts her in the race in a way she wasn’t before).

Spotlight” was surprisingly absent from Best Supporting Role (perhaps the vote got split), while Christian Bale; Idris Elba; Jacob Tremblay; Michael Shannon for “99 Homes” (another surprise); and, in the only nod for “Bridge Of Spies,” Mark Rylance were all cited. Rachel McAdams got in for “Spotlight,” along with Mirren (again) for “Trumbo,” and Kate Winslet for “Steve Jobs.” And SAG don’t appear to have paid much attention to so-called category fraud, nominating both Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander too.

There were fewer surprises in the TV categories, though it’s pleasing to see “Key & Peele” nominated for comedy ensemble for its final season, and Rami Malek made the cut for “Mr. Robot.” It’s too early to say how much this impacts the Oscar race for now, but it’s fair to say that what was already a wide open race — not since 2007 have fewer than 3 Best Picture nominees picked up an SAG ensemble nod. More awards news tomorrow, when the Globe nominations arrive.   

Best Ensemble – Motion Picture

“Beasts Of No Nation” 
“The Big Short”
“Spotlight”
“Straight Outta Compton” 
“Trumbo” 

Male Actor In A Leading Role – Motion Picture

Bryan Cranston – “Trumbo”
Leonardo DiCaprio – “The Revenant”
Johnny Depp – “Black Mass”
Michael Fassbender – “Steve Jobs”
Eddie Redmayne – “The Danish Girl”

Female Actor In A Leading Role – Motion Picture

Cate Blanchett – “Carol”
Brie Larson – “Room”
Helen Mirren – “Woman In Gold” 
Saoirse Ronan – “Brooklyn”
Sarah Silverman – “I Smile Back”

Male Actor In A Supporting Role – Motion Picture

Christian Bale – “The Big Short” 
Idris Elba – “Beasts Of No Nation”
Mark Rylance – “Bridge Of Spies”
Michael Shannon – “99 Homes”
Jacob Tremblay – “Room”

Female Actor In A Supporting Role – Motion Picture

Rooney Mara – “Carol”
Helen Mirren – “Trumbo” 
Rachel McAdams – “Spotlight”
Alicia Vikander – “The Danish Girl”
Kate Winslet – “Steve Jobs”

Male Actor In A Comedy Series


Ty Burrell – “Modern Family”
Louis CK – “Louie”
William H. Macy – “Shameless”
Jim Parsons – “The Big Bang Theory”
Jeffrey Tambor – “Transparent”

Female Actor In A Comedy Series

Uzo Aduba – “Orange Is The New Black”
Edie Falco – “Nurse Jackie”
Ellie Kemper – “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – “Veep”
Amy Poehler – “Parks & Recreation”

Comedy Ensemble

“The Big Bang Theory”
“Key & Peele”
“Modern Family”
“Orange Is The New Black”
“Transparent”
“Veep”

Male Actor In A Drama Series


Peter Dinklage – “Game Of Thrones”
Jon Hamm – “Mad Men”
Rami Malek – “Mr. Robot”
Bob Odenkirk – “Better Call Saul”
Kevin Spacey – “House Of Cards”

Female Actor In A Drama Series 


Claire Danes – “Homeland”
Viola Davis – “How To Get Away With Murder”
Julianna Margulies – “The Good Wife”
Maggie Smith – “Downton Abbey”
Robin Wright – “House Of Cards”

Drama Ensemble

“Downton Abbey”
“Game Of Thrones”
“Homeland”
“House Of Cards”
“Mad Men”

Male Actor In A Miniseries Or TV Movie 


Idris Elba – “Luther”
Ben Kingsley – “Tut”
Ray Liotta – “Texas Rising”
Bill Murray – “A Very Murray Christmas”
Mark Rylance – “Wolf Hall”

Female Actor In A Miniseries Or TV Movie


Nicole Kidman – “Grace Of Monaco”
Queen Latifah – “Bessie”
Christina Ricci – “The Lizzie Borden Chronicles”
Susan Sarandon – “The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe”
Kristen Wiig – “The Spoils Before Dying”

Stunt Ensemble – Motion Picture

“Everest” 
“Furious 7” 
“Jurassic World” 
“Mad Max: Fury Road” 
“Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” 

Stunt Ensemble – Comedy Or Drama Series
“The Blacklist” 
“Game Of Thrones” 
“Homeland” 
“Marvel’s Daredevil” 
“The Walking Dead” 

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