Just when we thought we had this race all figured out, the Screen Actors Guild threw a wrench into our predictions by bringing new attention to the Viggo Mortenson-starrer Captain Fantastic and the upcoming 1960s drama Hidden Figures while ignoring Best Picture favorite La La Land in the ensemble category.
The actors’ nominating committee, which comprises 2,000 members, rewarded the Kenneth Lonergan drama Manchester By the Sea with the most nominations, four, including ensemble, Casey Affleck for best actor, Michelle Williams for best supporting actress, and newcomer Lucas Hedges for best supporting actor. Just behind Manchester was Moonlight and Fences with three nominations each, including nods in the all important ensemble category. (Fences was ignored by the Hollywood Foreign Press for best picture on Monday.)
And while the actors rewarded La La Land lead actors Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling for their performances in the modern-day musical, they left the Damien Chazelle-directed piece off of their ensemble list, opting to round out the list with Captain Fantastic and Hidden Figures.
The other surprises for the day: Emily Blunt scored a nod for her role as the alcoholic, unreliable narrator in The Girl on the Train, landing in the category over expected contenders like Annette Bening (20th Century Women), Isabelle Huppert (Elle), and Ruth Negga (Loving). Negga’s film, the historical drama about the groundbreaking Supreme Court case on interracial marriage, was completely ignored by the actors, with costar Joel Edgerton edged out of the best actor category, where Captain Fantastic star Viggo Mortenson was a surprise nominee. (Tom Hanks, a possibility for his lead role in Sully was also ignored in the best actor category, as was Andrew Garfield for Silence — though Garfield did receive a nomination for Hacksaw Ridge, much as he did at the Golden Globes on Monday.)
Florence Foster Jenkins also had a strong showing on Wednesday, with nods for both lead actress Meryl Streep and supporting actor Hugh Grant. (Grant was in the best actor category at the Globe nominations on Monday.) Lion was equally rewarded for its acting, with both Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman grabbing nominations in the supporting actor and actress categories, respectively.
The SAG awards are often a strong predictor for the Oscars. In the last 10 years, the actors’ group has predicted the best actor winner 100 percent of the time and best actress 70 percent of the time. In the ensemble category — the SAG Awards equivalent of the Oscars’ best picture — the odds aren’t as strong, predicting the best picture award only 60 percent of the time in the last 10 years. (Last year, the SAG Awards chose Academy Award best picture winner Spotlight as its top ensemble for the year.) But no best picture winner has triumphed at the Oscars without an ensemble nomination from the Screen Actors Guild since 1995’s Braveheart. That could mean trouble for La La Land, or merely that a lengthy streak is about to end on Oscar night.
The SAG Awards take place on Jan. 29.