(***UPDATES INCLUDED***)Sunday night is the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. As a SAG-AFTRA member, I vote for these awards every year and did so back in December. The Awards Season race has changed drastically over the past month. Here’s who I think will come out on top in each of the six movie categories (***Where Correct):
Best Supporting Actor
Should Win: Dev Patel (“Lion”)
***Will Win: Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”)
The Upset Would Be: Jeff Bridges (“Hell or High Water”)
Golden Globe winner Aaron Taylor-Johnson is not in this category, nor is he nominated for the Oscar. Critics Choice recipient Ali is the likely recipient for his subtle, effective performance. Bridges could get support from the older voters, but Patel did the most inspired work.
Best Supporting Actress
Should Win: Viola Davis (“Fences”)
***Will Win: Davis
The Upset Would Be: Michelle Williams (“Manchester by the Sea”)
Davis, the most nominated African American actress in Oscar history, is on her way to her first win. Along the way, she will pick-up her fifth SAG Award (she has two for “The Help” and two for ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder”). Williams is next in line, though a distant second, for her solid but brief (11-minute) appearance in “Manchester”.
Best Stunt Ensemble
Should Win: “Hacksaw Ridge”
***Will Win: “Hacksaw Ridge”
The Upset Would Be: “Jason Bourne”
Mel Gibson’s WWII drama starring nominee Andrew Garfield is the obvious, well-deserved choice. But even though critics panned Matt Damon’s latest “Bourne” entry, the Vegas car chase scene was one of the action movie highlights of 2016.
Should Win: Ryan Gosling (“La La Land”)
Will Win: Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”)
The Upset Would Be: Denzel Washington (“Fences”) – And Denzel Won
Affleck is close to a lock. However, Washington has never won a SAG Award (he’s received four prior nominations – three of them in the Lead Actor category), so he could be overdue. Unfortunately, Gosling will be overlooked, though the fact that he spent four months learning to play jazz piano should put him over the top in the balloting.
Should Win: Emma Stone (“La La Land”)
***Will Win: Stone
The Upset Would Be: Meryl Streep (“Florence Foster Jenkins”)
A month ago, Natalie Portman was the shoe-in for her work as Jackie Kennedy. But her momentum has slowed down considerably, in favor of Stone, star of the juggernaut “La La Land”. Since the musical is not in the Best Ensemble category (because it’s basically a two-character story), a win for Stone will be its SAG reward. However, Streep’s anti-Trump speech at the Golden Globes certainly helped her pick-up some additional votes from her colleagues. But enough to win?
Should Win: “Hidden Figures”
Will Win: “Moonlight”
The Upset Would Be: “Hidden Figures” – And “Figures” Won
“Figures” has become a surprise box office smash, and since voting is still going on until 3pmET on Friday (just 45 hours before Sunday’s show), it could be picking-up the vast majority of last-minute votes. And “HF” has the bigger “name” actors (Octavia Spencer, Kevin Costner, Taraji P. Henson, Jim Parsons, Kirsten Dunst, Janelle Monae). But expect “Moonlight”, “La La Land”‘s top rival at the Oscars, to earn SAG’s top honor.