The SAG Awards start in just a few hours. Herewith Tom O'Neil's predictions for who will walk away with trophies:
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."