January 29, 2017

The awards season seems so jarring amid the craziness of the Trump administration, but it is as much a reflection of where we are as a culture as he is. It is important to see the celebration of African American female computers to our space program in "Hidden Figures" and the hacker dystopia of "Mr Robot" and the coming-of-age of Chiron among poverty and drug abuse in "Moonlight" as a direct statement of how we see ourselves. The SAG Awards are encouragingly diverse as well; no #OscarsSoWhite with these awards, although it would be nice to see more opportunities for Asian and Latinx actors.

Betting orgs seem to think that SAG/AFTRA will spread the wealth around in their awards. But Lily Tomlin is getting the Lifetime Achievement Award, and I'm hoping for a strong Meryl Streep-like statement from her as well.

Here's a list of nominees with my predictions bolded.

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Captain Fantastic
Hidden Figures
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight (The three actors playing the lead character at different ages were uniformly amazing. But SAG voters may give it to Manchester by the Sea to make up for snubbing unpopular Casey Affleck.)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences (Casey Affleck is deserving but made himself an industry pariah, so I think it's a nod to iconic Washington.)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Amy Adams, Arrival
Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train
Natalie Portman, Jackie (I really liked Amy Adams' performance which paradoxically both grounded and carried Arrival, but Portman's Jackie Kennedy was more flashy.)
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight (I'm all about Moonlight, but I really liked Dev Patel as well.)
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Viola Davis, Fences (Putting Davis in this category to avoid going head-to-head with the lead actress nominees gives her the edge, but Michelle Williams' performance was heartbreaking and award-worthy as well.)
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Black-ish (If you haven't seen the "Lemonade" episode from early this month, RUN-- don't walk--to ABC.com and watch it. You will not be sorry.)
Orange Is the New Black
Modern Family

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
The Crown
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Stranger Things
Westworld (I don't watch Game of Thrones so I'm definitely not in that cult. I LOVED Stranger Things and The Crown, but I think Westworld's ensemble was uniformly strong.)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent (William H. Macy's Frank is great, but Jeffrey Tambor's Maura is EVERYTHING. I can't imagine anyone else taking that role as well.)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Jane Fonda, Grace and Frankie
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep ("Grace and Frankie" appealed to the "woman of a certain age" in me, but my political wonkiness demands loyalty to JLD's Selina Meyer. She is this generation's Lucille Ball with perfect comic timing.)
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot (It will probably go to industry stalwarts Spacey or Lithgow, but Malek's performance is amazing. He says so much with just a clenched chin or a fluttering blink.)
John Lithgow, The Crown
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Claire Foy, The Crown (Spreading the awards around. Foy did do a great job of bringing the Queen of England to a very relatable and human scale, not an easy task.)
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Winona Ryder, Stranger Things
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
Sterling K. Brown, American Crime Story
Bryan Cranston, All the Way (Cranston WAS LBJ and showed the savvy wheeler dealer politician he had to be as president.)
John Turturro, The Night Of
Courtney B. Vance, American Crime Story

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Bryce Dallas Howard, Black Mirror
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill
Sarah Paulson, American Crime Story Marcia Clarke should be paying Paulson PR fees for making her look good. For someone who was so exposed during the OJ trial, that's no small feat)
Kerry Washington, Confirmation

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series
Game of Thrones (Don't really have strong feelings on stunt ensembles. Just spreading the wealth and I figure there's a battle/death in every episode of GoT, right?)
Luke Cage
The Walking Dead

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Film
Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange
Hacksaw Ridge (It kills me to give credit to Mel Gibson, but one thing his films are notoriously famous for is graphic, realistic violence. These battles scenes (I haven't actually seen the film, just trailers) look like that's the case again.)
Jason Bourne
Nocturnal Animals

Feel free to add your predictions and comments in the thread below.

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