SAG Awards: We predict Sunday's movie winners
Will Uggie make his way down the red carpet? Will Meryl remember her glasses? And, more important (at least, for our purposes), will the SAG Awards voters be kind enough to throw an upset or two into the mix Sunday night? Or will the quartet of George Clooney, Viola Davis, Christopher Plummer and Octavia Spencer haul in another set of awards on their way to Oscar immortality?
Here are our predictions for the movie side of the awards. We predict the television side here.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A CAST IN A MOTION PICTURE
The nominees: “The Artist,” “Bridesmaids,” “The Descendants,” “The Help,” “Midnight in Paris”
And the winner is … “The Help.” First, do that math. SAG nominated three members of the “Help” ensemble individually. “The Artist” had two, “Descendants” and “Bridesmaids” one apiece. Then consider the deep bench of “The Help,” which sports a dozen cited cast members. It’s the definition of an ensemble movie.
Unless … Voters key on just how great the “Descendants” gang did in their limited screen time. Judy Greer, Robert Forster and Matthew Lillard each brought a great deal of depth to their characters in just a handful of scenes.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
The nominees: Demian Bichir, “A Better Life”; George Clooney, “The Descendants”; Leonardo DiCaprio, “J. Edgar”; Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”; Brad Pitt, “Moneyball”
And the winner is … Clooney. Never won, despite three prior noms. Also never been better.
Unless … “The Artist” adds SAG to its lists of admirers and Dujardin rolls to victory.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
The nominees: 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”
And the winner is … Davis. Yes, SAG loves Streep. Members have nominated her 12 times, and often for movies that weren’t exactly notable. (“The River Wild”? There wasn’t anyone else that year?) But, like the Oscars, victory has proved elusive, and, let’s be honest, she didn’t even deliver the best biopic performance in this category.
Unless … Voters go with the year’s biopic champ and honor Williams.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
The nominees: Kenneth Branagh, “My Week With Marilyn”; Armie Hammer, “J. Edgar”; Jonah Hill, “Moneyball”; Nick Nolte, “Warrior”; Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”
And the winner is … Plummer.
Unless … An unexpected number of SAG members have long preferred the sound of jackhammers to “The Sound of Music.”
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
The nominees: Berenice Bejo, “The Artist”; Jessica Chastain, “The Help”; Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”; Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs”; Octavia Spencer, “The Help”
And the winner is … You could make the case for any of the nominees, save McTeer. Do the two “Help” nominees split the vote? Could the unknown Bejo ride a possible “Artist” wave? Do SAG members appreciate that comedy is tough work and reward McCarthy? We’ll play it safe and stick with Oscar front-runner Spencer.
Unless … Voters loved watching both “Bridesmaids” and McCarthy’s memorable Emmy win and keep her big year going.
-- Glenn Whipp
Whipp writes the Gold Standard awards column for The Envelope.
Photo: The cast of "The Help," from left, Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone and Bryce Dallas Howard. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times