After the PGA win for “The Big Short,” it looks like the three-way contest for Best Picture is now down to two contenders, as frontier epic “The Revenant” would have to win the PGA to go on to win the Big Show. Conventional wisdom gives the winner of the PGA Award the best odds of winning the big prize on Oscar night. There are rare exceptions; “12 Years a Slave” and “Gravity” shared the award, and wound up splitting Picture and Director, respectively. But ever since the adoption of the preferential ballot, the PGA and Best Picture have lined up.
So which film still has the right stuff to topple the topical and timely Wall Street expose “The Big Short,” which is surging at the box office? The early frontrunner for Best Picture is another well-acted true story, “Spotlight,” set at the Boston Globe. This understated small-scale indie with a less starry and showy cast carries an emotional punch and has to win the Screen Actors Guild Feature Ensemble Award on January 30. That would signal enough strength for the popular Open Road drama (with six Oscar nominations) to have a shot, as the actors branch dominates the Academy.
At this point “The Big Short” should win Adapted Screenplay and Editing on Oscar night, “Spotlight” could get Original Screenplay, and director George Miller is the favorite for “Mad Max: Fury Road” at both the DGA and the Oscars. The acting prizes are likely to be spread among a number of other movies. The upcoming ACE Eddie editing awards (January 29th) will also indicate where things are heading.
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Among this year’s SAG presenters are Idris Elba (nominated by SAG for both “Luther” and “Beasts of No Nation,” but not the Oscars); members of the nominated “Spotlight” ensemble Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, and Mark Ruffalo, the supporting actor Oscar nominee; Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice winner Brie Larson and her pint-sized co-star, Jacob Tremblay (“Room”); Oscar contender Eddie Redmayne (“The Danish Girl”); Julianne Moore; Susan Sarandon; and Kristen Wiig.
The 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be simulcast
live on TNT and TBS on Saturday, January 30 at 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT.