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SAG Awards 2020 Film Nominations: From ‘Bombshell’ to ‘Parasite,’ These Are the Ones to Beat

Robert De Niro is not a lock for a Best Actor nomination, legacy or not. And "Little Women" is shut out.

Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron. Cast members Charlize Theron, left, who plays Megyn Kelly, and Margot Robbie, who plays Kayla Pospisil, pose at a Los Angeles special screening of "Bombshell," at the Pacific Design CenterLA Special Screening of "Bombshell", West Hollywood, USA - 13 Oct 2019

Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

You can take all your critics groups and shove it. The Screen Actors Guild is where the the truth lies. The Oscars alignment isn’t exact, because the SAG nominating committee is more mainstream and larger than the Academy’s dominant actors branch; each year, SAG selects a new nominating committee of 2500 members, about double the Academy voters. SAG Awards are actually more reflective of where the Academy actors are heading, what’s strong (“The Irishman” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” scored four nominations each, including Cast in a Motion Picture and Stunt Ensemble) and what’s weak (Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” was shut out).

Remember Bryan Cranston for “Trumbo”? The surprise SAG nominee also wound up with an Oscar nomination. This year, #MeToo drama “Bombshell,” also directed by Jay Roach, not only nabbed nominations for Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie, and Nicole Kidman but also a coveted Cast (or Ensemble) slot — the SAG equivalent of Best Picture — leading the acting field with four noms. That’s a real sign of strength going forward. Lionsgate opens the drama December 13 in limited release before going wide December 20.

So did Bong Joon Ho’s genre-bending family dramedy “Parasite,” which is on the blazing track forged by “Roma” as a foreign-language import that will not be denied. In many ways, “Parasite” is a more entertaining and popular candidate than art-film “Roma,” which scored 10 Oscar nominations and three wins for Alfonso Cuaron. “Parasite” has racked up $19.3 million domestic plus $105 million overseas and should go all the way to Best Picture and multiple nominations. Like Cuaron, Bong is an established auteur, but last year “Roma” got no mention at SAG at all. “Parasite” is only the second foreign-language film to nab the Cast nomination, after “Life is Beautiful.” It could go all the way to a Best Picture win.

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And Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit” is steady as they go this awards season, with two SAG nominations including Cast and Scarlett Johansson, proving once again that the Toronto Film Festival People’s Choice award is a reliable indicator of popularity in Hollywood. On the other hand, while Johansson, Adam Driver, and twice-nominated Laura Dern (“Big Little Lies”) landed SAG nominations for “Marriage Story,” the film did not wind up with an ensemble slot. One could argue that “Marriage Story” in a competitive year is mostly a two-hander about a fractious divorce. But there are other signs that the film is not universally loved, partly because its subject plays in different ways for folks who have suffered a divorce.

“Parasite”

Neon

Big-scale studio pictures “Joker” and “Ford v Ferrari” landed Best Actor nominations for Joaquin Phoenix and Christian Bale, respectively, as well as Stunt Ensemble, but missed Cast in a Motion Picture. And as expected, Renee Zellweger (“Judy”), Jennifer Lopez (“Hustlers”) and Tom Hanks (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”) are continuing forward on their quest for Oscar nods and possibly, wins.

Not getting love from the acting quarter is Sam Mendes’ late-breaking “1917” (Universal), whose young rising star George MacKay will be heard from down the line. Late-breaking movies are often omitted from SAG race. Saoirse Ronan in “Little Women” and Kathy Bates in “Richard Jewell” could turn up at Oscar time. SAG Movies that debuted in Cannes (“Parasite,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “Rocketman”) and played fall festivals did better than late entries like “Marriage Story,” “1917” and “Richard Jewell.” (“Bombshell,” on the other hand, was also a late entrant.) In the past, Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” were snubbed by SAG but turned up at Oscar time.

Several indies were showered with love from critics groups, but not so much from SAG. A24’s “The Farewell,” “Uncut Gems,” and “The Lighthouse” may do better with the Academy, along with Sony Pictures Classics’ “Pain and Glory,” starring Globe and Critics Choice nominee Antonio Banderas, who should still land a Best Actor slot.

The-Irishman-Scorsese

“The Irishman”

Netflix

Netflix led the field with a total of seven nominations for “Marriage Story” and “The Irishman,” but Robert De Niro was snubbed in the intensely competitive Best Actor category. The Golden Globes were no fluke. Finally, De Niro plays a role similar to ones he’s played before, an often silent, passive, reactive hitman for the mafia, and in Scorsese’s widely beloved gangster saga, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci outshine him. Both landed nominations. It’s also clear that while most audiences seem to have accepted the de-aging technology that allowed the principal actors to age over decades, De Niro’s well-known visage is the most altered by the VFX, which makes some viewers uncomfortable. (The star will nonetheless attend the SAG Awards to accept his Life Achievement Award.)

And in a sign of potential weakness as Oscar voting gets started January 2, the SAG awards left out two Netflix contenders: Eddie Murphy for “Dolemite Is My Name” and Anthony Hopkins-Jonathan Pryce two-hander “The Two Popes.”

“Rocketman”

Another surprise SAG nomination reminds that transformation (see: Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly) is always a key factor with actors: Taron Egerton for “Rocketman.” Of course, the actors loved this flashy performance — the British actor morphs into flamboyant and troubled pop star Elton John, singing, dancing, performing, and emoting. It’s a showy turn.

Also big and dramatic is Lupita Nyong’o’s tour-de-force star turn in two roles in Jordan Peele’s “Us”: The Oscar-winner keeps turning up on with key nominations, and looks like she could land an Oscar slot as well, along with Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx in his first nomination this season, for Destin Daniel Cretton’s death-row drama “Just Mercy,” as a prisoner fighting for his life. Think Oscar-winner Susan Hayward in “I Want to Live!”

Cast in a Motion Picture
“Bombshell”
“The Irishman”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
“Parasite”

Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture
Christian Bale, “Ford v Ferrari”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”
Taron Egerton, “Rocketman”
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”

Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture
Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”
Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”
Lupita Nyong’o, “Us”
Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
Renee Zellweger, “Judy”

Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
Al Pacino, “The Irishman”
Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”
Jamie Foxx, “Just Mercy”

Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”
Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”
Nicole Kidman, “Bombshell”
Jennifer Lopez, “Hustlers”
Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”

Ensemble in a Drama Series
“Big Little Lies”
“The Crown”
“Game of Thrones”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
“Stranger Things”

Male Actor in a Drama Series
Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”
Steve Carell, “The Morning Show”
Billy Crudup, “The Morning Show”
David Harbour, “Stranger Things”
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”

Female Actor in a Drama Series
Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show”
Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown”
Olivia Colman, “The Crown
Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve”
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Ensemble in a Comedy Series
“Barry”
“Fleabag”
“The Kominsky Method”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
“Schitt’s Creek”

Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Alan Arkin, “The Kominsky Method”
Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”
Bill Hader, “Barry”
Andrew Scott, “Fleabag”
Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Christina Applegate, “Dead to Me”
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek”
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag”

Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series
Jharrel Jerome, “When They See Us”
Jared Harris, “Chernobyl”
Mahershala Ali, “True Detective”
Russell Crowe, “The Loudest Voice”
Sam Rockwell, “Fosse/Verdon”

Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series
Patricia Arquette, “The Act”
Toni Collette, “Unbelievable”
Joey King, “The Act”
Emily Watson, “Chernobyl”
Michelle Williams, “Fosse/Verdon”

Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
“Avengers: Endgame”
“Ford v Ferrari”
“The Irishman”
“Joker”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series
“Game of Thrones”
“GLOW”
“Stranger Things”
“The Walking Dead”
“Watchmen”

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