Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Screen Actors Guild Nominations: Snubs Abound

As I sit in my office at work, I’m staring dumbfounded at my computer screen. Moments ago, the Screen Actors Guild announced their nominations for their 2011 awards, and I find myself at a complete loss - not by what was left in, but by what was left out.

I understand the whole awards conundrum: you can only nominate five, which, in years like this one, can be extremely difficult. But still, the omissions from the SAG shortlist are startling. If the Oscar nominations look at all like this, I will be very displeased.

Male Actor in a Leading Role
Demián Bichir – A Better Life
George Clooney – The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio – J. Edgar
Jean Dujardin – The Artist
Brad Pitt – Moneyball
I was a very early champion for Bichir’s performance in A Better Life, and I am extremely happy to see it here. Likewise Leonardo DiCaprio, who did the best he could with very weak material. But are they better than Michael Fassbender (Shame), Ryan Gosling (Drive), or Michael Shannon (Take Shelter)? No, they simply are not. Maybe those three films (also, add Woody Harrelson’s Rampart performance into the mix) are stuck in films that are too different for voters.

Also, no Gary Oldman?

Female Actor in a Leading Role
Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis – The Help
Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton – We Need To Talk About Kevin
Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn
Everything here seems on the up and up, but no Charlize Theron surprises me. I haven’t seen Albert Nobbs, but I assumed Theron (or Elizabeth Olsen for her MMMM performance) would take Glenn Close’s spot.

Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Kenneth Branagh – My Week with Marilyn
Armie Hammer – J. Edgar
Jonah Hill – Moneyball
Nick Nolte – Warrior
Christopher Plummer – Beginners
By far the most egregious offense committed by the Screen Actors Guild was its failure to nominate Albert Brooks for his revelatory performance in Drive.  Bernie Ross was a vengeful force of nature, and to say Jonah Hill did a better acting job than Albert Brooks is imply laughable. Also, replace Hammer with John Hawkes.

UPDATE: It was recently brought to my attention that I failed to acknowledge SAGs colossal screw up of leaving Ben Kingsley's Hugo performance off this list. Kingsley delivered the best supporting actor performance I've seen this year. The fact that he is not here is, again, baffling.

Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Bérénice Bejo – The Artist
Jessica Chastain – The Help
Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer- Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer – The Help
Two huge snubs here: Carey Mulligan (for Drive or preferably Shame), and more obviously, Shailene Woodley for The Descendants. I suppose I can understand why Mulligan didn’t make the list (both films may prove to be too dark for serious award’s attention), but Woodley stole the show in Alexander Payne’s film. Give her Spencer’s nod.

Cast in a Motion Picture
The Artist
The Descendants
The Help
Midnight in Paris

This is a pretty weak category this year. I have nothing to gripe about, but the only film I’d like to not win, probably will.

See the full list of nominations here, including the ones for TV, which I don’t really care about (except Friday Night Lights – clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose).

What are SAGs biggest snubs in your book? Do you think SAG nominations will reflect the Oscars?


  1. 1. No Fassbender, Mulligand and Brooks? Biggest dissapointment for me!
    2. I haven't even heard of Better Life, so you can imagine my surprise when I heard his name taking the first spot in Lead Drama
    3. FNL fan? I didn't knew, I am, too! Happy for coach!
    4. Happy also for Nick Noltehe deserves it!
    5. In a very strong category like Male TV drama, Patrick from Suits creeps in- love it! But Sean Bean for Game of Thrones should have been there, too!

  2. A Better Life is good, but Bichir is great in it.

    I LOVED FNL, Chandler killed it in that show, I was so happy when he won the Emmy.

  3. I never trust awards season so this hasn't really come as a surprise to me. Still, I agree it's pathetic.

  4. "Do you think SAG nominations will reflect the Oscars?"

    I hope not, but they probably will, the Oscars mostly kinda blow.

  5. The older I get, the less validation I find in awards seasons. Still thought, an Oscar for Fassbender would be incredible.

  6. @Evan They certainly did last year. Awful.

  7. I agree with you on most of the points.

    I haven't seen Albert Nobbs and probably won't. So, I can only hope that any nominators are worth keeping others out of contention (Glenn Close keeping Charlize Theron out).

    I will rather take Melissa McCarthy out first. She was great in Bridesmaids, but I don't think good enough to keep either of Mulligan or Woodley out.

    In Supporting Actors, I will put Ben Kinglsey instead of John Hawkes.

    @FNL: I really find it interesting that no network wanted to run it. There are way crappier shows running for way longer.

  8. @SDG Holy bloody hell, how did I forgot Ben Kingsley?! Dude that is a major gaff on my part, most update now.

  9. It saddens me to note how few of these films (those nominated and those you suggest should have been) I have seen. It does look like this awards season is going to be very interesting with so many contenders in the mix.

  10. @Pete Yeah man there's a lot out there. It's still pretty disheartening that all the best performances are being overlooked.