FEARLESS FORECAST: Who will be blessed with SAG-ging fortunes

Published February 14, 2021, 11:38 AM

by Philip Cu Unjieng

“This year’s Screen Actors Guild nominations were announced last week. And while the Awards will be handed out on April 4th, it’s never too early to make our predictions.”

The 27th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards is the yearly honoring of the best in achievement in film & television performances. Looking back at 2020, with the pandemic raging and movie releases delayed, it’s still of great comfort to be nominated by a “jury of your peers,” your fellow actors and actresses; and if I may be so bold to say, the year that was, had a number of sterling performances. In fact, if it’s diversity and recognition of African-American performances, one could even say 2020 was a very special, banner year.

With the nominations now announced, the members of SAG will vote; with the notable exception of ex-President Donald Trump, who resigned in a huff from SAG-AFTRA on the 5th of February after he heard there were plans afoot to expel him for inciting the Capitol riot.

So here are the list of categories and nominations, with my bold, foot in mouth predictions, and mentions of who deserves to take home the prizes:

Motion Picture Cast: Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Minari, One Night in Miami, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Three films with predominantly African-American casts – Bloods, Bottom, and Miami; plus one about a Korean family – Minari, makes for strong ethnic diversity in film-making this year. I really like One Night in Miami, but see Ma Rainey taking home the prize.

Male Actor in a Leading Role – Motion Picture: Riz Ahmed for Sound of Metal, Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Anthony Hopkins for The Father, Gary Oldman for Mank, Steven Yuen for Minari

Chadwick Boseman will undoubtedly take this home. It’s really a riveting performance and it’s just a shame he passed away last year. If there’s a steal, it’ll come from Gary Oldman.

Female Actor in a Leading Role – Motion Picture: Amy Adams for Hillbilly Elegy, Viola Davis for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Vanessa Kirby for Pieces of a Woman, Frances McDormand for Nomadland, Carey Mulligan for Promising Young Woman

McDormand may be the most pedigreed name on the list; but I’m hoping Carey Mulligan finally gets recognized by her peers for the stellar work she’s been doing for years. PYW is a satirical hoot, so look for this to surprise everyone.

Male Actor in a Supporting Role – Motion Picture: Sacha Baron Cohen for The Trial of the Chicago 7, Chadwick Boseman for Da 5 Bloods, Daniel Kaluuya for Judas & the Black Messiah, Jared Leto for The Little Things, Leslie Odom, Jr. for One Night in Miami

If Boseman didn’t get his Leading Role recognition, look for him as a shoo-in for this one. But if all goes his way, Kaluuya would be my bet.

Female Actor in a Supporting Role – Motion Picture: Maria Bakalova for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Glenn Close for Hillbilly Elegy, Olivia Colman for The Father, Youn Yuh-Jung for Minari, Helena Zengel for News of the World

Bakalova for her irrepressible performance in BSM; but personally, I’d love to see 12-year old Zengel romp away with this as she was so damn impressive acting alongside Tom Hanks in News (you can watch News on Netflix as it drops on Feb 10).

Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture: Da 5 Bloods, Mulan, News of the World, The Trial of the Chicago 7, Wonder Woman 1984

Mulan for the win, Da 5 Bloods if there’s a steal.

Drama Series Ensemble: Better Call Saul, Bridgerton, The Crown, Lovecraft Country, Ozark

Calling The Crown for this as the SAG is looking out for acting, Ozark for pulling the rug from under the royals. Note how SAG is pandering for relevance with the younger audience via the inclusion of Bridgerton.

Comedy Series Ensemble: Dead to Me, The Flight Attendant, The Great, Schitt’s Creek, Ted Lasso

Here, it’s a matter of whether Schitt’s Creek gets a goodbye kiss as the show had its last season, or if the new favorite, The Flight Attendant makes its’ move.

Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries: Bill Camp for The Queen’s Gambit, Daveed Diggs for Hamilton, Hugh Grant for The Undoing, Ethan Hawke for The Good Lord Bird, Mark Ruffalo for I Know This Much Is True

Mark Ruffalo for his dual role, or Ethan Hawke for Good Lord.

Female Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries: Cate Blanchett for Mrs. America, Michaela Cole for I May Destroy You, Nicole Kidman for The Undoing, Anya Taylor-Joy for The Queen’s Gambit, Kerry Washington for Little Fires Everywhere

You’d think this is a lock for Blanchett, but here’s the category where SAGA may be aching to honor the next generation and go with Taylor-Joy.

Male Actor in a Drama Series: Jason Bateman for Ozark, Sterling Brown for This Is Us, Josh O’Connor for The Crown, Bob Odendirk for Better Call Saul, Regé-Jean Page for Bridgerton

Bridgerton again makes its’ presence felt, but I look to Bateman to bring the trophy to his shelf – Ozark is well-loved by the acting community.

Female Actor in a Drama Series: Gillian Anderson for The Crown, Olivia Colman for The Crown, Emma Corrin for The Crown, Julia Garner for Ozark, Laura Linney for Ozark

Just two shows in the whole category, so look to a Olivia Colman to rule the roost.

Male Actor in a Comedy Series: Nicholas Hoult in The Great, Dan Levy in Schitt’s Creek, Eugene Levy in Schitt’s Creek, Jason Sudekis in Ted Lasso, Ramy Youssef in Ramy

I loved Hoult in The Great and he’s my personal choice, if the Schitt’s Creek double nom cancel out each other.

Female Actor in a Comedy Series: Christina Applegate for Dead to Me, Linda Cardellini for Dead to Me, Kaley Cuoco in The Flight Attendant, Annie Murphy in Schitt’s Creek, Catherine O’Hara in Schitt’s Creek

Kaley was Penny in The Big Bang Theory, and I think the acting community will love how she shifted gears as the lead in Flight Attendant. Plus double noms for both Dead to name and Schitt’s may mean they cancel out each other.

Stunt Ensemble in a TV Series: The Boys, Cobra Kai, Lovecraft Country, The Mandalorian, Westworld

I personally would pick The Boys, but will acknowledge how The Mandalorian was so popular and became the most watched series on the streaming services.

And so who will Fortune bless this year? SAG-ging fortunes is something most people don’t wish for; but for the acting community and in the context I’m coining it, this SAG-ging fortune is definitely a positive.