America’s Screen Actors Guild has announced the first set of nominations that are likely to act as indicators for who might take away next year’s Oscars.
With the largest number of Oscar voters being actors, the SAG Awards are generally the most reliable Academy Award predictors, which will please the teams behind Steve Jobs, Carol, The Danish Girl and Trumbo, which have all received two individual acting nominations. The upcoming drama about the Boston Globe’s exclusive about how the Catholic Church covered up for priests who abused children, Spotlight, is among the films in the running for the award for the best ensemble cast – SAG’s equivalent of the Academy’s Best Picture.
Last year’s Oscar – and SAG – winner, Eddie Redmayne, is back in the running for his leading role as one of the first men to undergo sex-change surgery in The Danish Girl. His character’s wife is played by Alicia Vikander, who’s up for the best supporting actress prize.
Cate Blanchett and her Carol co-star Rooney Mara are up for best leading and supporting actress, respectively.
Michael Fassbender is nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for playing the eponymous Steve Jobs, while Kate Winslet is in the running in the supporting category for playing the Apple’s co-founder’s marketing chief.
Another British actress, Dame Helen Mirren, finds herself up for two awards – for the best leading actress in Woman in Gold and best supporting actress for Trumbo, whose star Bryan Cranston is nominated in the best leading man category.
Cranston, Fassbender and Redmayne will be up against the mighty Johnny Depp, for Black Mass, and Leonardo DiCaprio, for the upcoming The Revenant.
Blanchett and Mirren’s competition for the best leading actress category include Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn and Room’s Brie Larson.
A category with particularly strong British interest is best supporting actor, where three of the five nominees are from the UK. Mark Rylance, the Russian spy from Bridge of Spies, is up against Beasts of No Nation’s Idris Elba and Christian Bale, from The Big Short, with the oft-honoured Michael Shannon, from 99 Homes, and Room newcomer Jacob Tremblay completing the list.
In the best supporting actress category, Mara, Mirren, Vikander and Winslet are joined by Rachel McAdams, as one of the Boston Globe reporters in Spotlight, which is in the running for Outstanding Ensemble Cast, alongside Beasts of No Nation, The Big Short, Straight Outta Compton and Trumbo.
Like the upcoming Golden Globes, SAG honours its TV stars alongside movie stars and as is often the case, the same actors feature in both; Idris Elba is again up against Mark Rylance in the contest for the best actor in a TV movie or miniseries – Elba for Luther and Rylance for Wolf Hall. They have competition for another British actor, Sir Ben Kingsley, for Tut, with Ray Liotta and Bill Murray also in the running.
The race for best actress in a TV movie or miniseries includes an unexpected nominee – Nicole Kidman for the much slated Grace of Monaco, which achieved only a TV release in the US.
The contests for best ensemble casts for TV drama and TV comedy include many of the usual suspects, with Homeland and Mad Men up against Game of Thrones, House of Cars and Downton Abbey in the Drama category, while The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, Veep, Transparent and Orange is the New Black facing a challenge from Comedy Central’s new sketch show, Key & Peele.
The awards will be handed out Saturday 30th January 2016.
The full list of SAG Award nominees: