Tom O'Neil's gutsy SAG Awards predictions
X = Predicted Winner
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A LEAD ROLE
Jeff Bridges, "True Grit"
Robert Duvall, "Get Low"
Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network"
X - Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"
James Franco, "127 Hours"
Firth is an awards juggernaut and can't be stopped.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEAD ROLE
Annette Bening, "The Kids Are All Right"
Nicole Kidman, "Rabbit Hole"
Jennifer Lawrence, "Winter's Bone"
X - Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"
Hilary Swank, "Conviction"
Annette Bening has a shot at winning here. She's a beloved veteran who plays gay –- like Sean Penn, who won best actor two years ago for "Milk." But Natalie Portman has mojo, sex appeal and gives the kind of fierce physical performance that wows. It also helps that she stars in a film about the performaning arts –- that's very appealing to fellow actors who vote here. Oh, yeah, and it also helps that she's pregnant and beaming about it.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Christian Bale, "The Fighter"
John Hawkes, "Winter's Bone"
Jeremy Renner, "The Town"
Mark Ruffalo, "The Kids Are All Right"
X -- Geoffrey Rush, "The King's Speech"
Most award gurus are betting on Christian Bale, who won the Golden Globe and lots of critics' awards, but I think Rush will prevail because of the tsunami of sudden love we're seeing for "King's Speech." It was only one of two films sent to the full SAG membership on DVD. (The other was "Social Network.") That helps too.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Amy Adams, "The Fighter"
Helena Bonham Carter, "The King's Speech"
Mila Kunis, "Black Swan"
X -- Melissa Leo, "The Fighter"
Hailee Steinfeld, "True Grit"
Based on the argument I made for Geoffrey Rush winning, I should also back Helena Bonham Carter, but she doesn't give an emotionally flashy performance -– not like Melissa Leo, who mugs, grandstands and rattles the rafters as the fiesty mom of a boxer who doesn't pull her punches.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MOVIE CAST
"The Kids Are All Right"
X -- "The King's Speech"
"The Social Network"
Most pundits say "Social Network" or "Fighter" will win here, but I think this where we'll see more surprise awards love for that rumbling volcano "King's Speech."
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A STUNT ENSEMBLE IN A MOVIE
X -- "Inception"
"Inception" must win because everybody's not only jumping, hopping and running across the screen, but also through time and dreams. What a workout they get!
SAG AWARDS: TV
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE/MINI
John Goodman, "You Don't Know Jack"
X -- Al Pacino, "You Don't Know Jack"
Dennis Quaid, "The Special Relationship"
Édgar Ramírez, "Carlos"
Patrick Stewart, "Macbeth"
Pacino won the Golden Globe and Emmy so he has this locked up too.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE/MINI
X -- Claire Danes, "Temple Grandin"
Catherine O'Hara, "Temple Grandin"
Julia Ormond, "Temple Grandin"
Winona Ryder, "When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story"
Susan Sarandon, "You Don't Know Jack"
Claire Danes won the Golden Globe and Emmy so she has this locked up too.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A TV DRAMA SERIES
X -- Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire"
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Hugh Laurie, "House"
Michael C. Hall pulled off a surprising victory last year, so he could return, but Steve Buscemi has the kind of macho cool that's appealing in a new, ambitious series from HBO.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY FEMALE ACTOR IN A TV DRAMA SERIES
Glenn Close, "Damages"
Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"
X -- Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men"
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"
Julianna Margulies is the all-time SAG Awards champ with seven trophies: three individual awards (two for "E.R.," one for "The Good Wife") and four for ensemble work ("E.R."). No doubt she'll add another jewel to her SAG crown.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY MALE ACTOR IN A TV COMEDY SERIES
Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
Ty Burrell, "Modern Family"
Steve Carell, "The Office"
X -- Chris Colfer, "Glee"
Ed O'Neill, "Modern Family"
Alec Baldwin won for the past four years in a row, but I have a hunch it's Chris Colfer's turn. Even though this category combines lead and supporting performances, supporting ones often win here if they're showy and gay. Sean Hayes won here three times for "Will & Grace."
BEST PERFORMANCE BY FEMALE ACTOR IN A TV COMEDY SERIES
Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"
Tina Fey, "30 Rock"
X -- Jane Lynch, "Glee"
Sofia Vergara, "Modern Family"
Betty White, "Hot in Cleveland"
As Chris Colfer is to Sean Hayes, Jane Lynch is to Megan Mullally, who won three times. However, Tina Fey has won for the past three years and could keep on rolling. But watch out for Betty White, who recently received the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE IN A TV DRAMA SERIES
"The Good Wife"
X -- "Mad Men"
"Mad Men" won the past two years and will probably repeat if it can stave off the threat of "Boardwalk Empire."
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE IN A TV COMEDY SERIES
X -- "Glee"
"Hot in Cleveland"
Last year, "Glee" beat previous camps "30 Rock" and "The Office." I think it's going to do so again.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A STUNT ENSEMBLE IN A TV SERIES
X -- "Burn Notice"
"True Blood" or "Burn Notice" will win. I'm opting for "Burn Notice" because a similar crime-cashing show, "The Unit," won last year.
-- Tom O'Neil
Photo: Tom O'Neil for the L.A. Times