I just put in my votes for Saturday’s SAG Awards and I thought I’d share them and the thinking behind them. I put this forward under the disclaimer that I recognize how utterly absurd the awards process is and it is completely impossible to compare these performances. That being said I love me some screeners. Here we go! Spoilers ahead, I guess?
1. Lead Male, Film
Right off the bat I’m stumped, between Matthew McConaughey and Chiwetel Ejiofor. I certainly won’t mind if either one wins. I debated for a while, thinking of the amount of character work each actor did and the challenges presented by each script. Still mostly a draw, though I considered voting against McConaughey in the interest of trying to stop the weight loss trend. I ended up going with Ejiofor. I think the tipping point was the last scene, when he’s finally back home and he apologizes to his family. I won’t be surprised at all if McConaughey wins.
2. Lead Female, Film
This didn’t take long. Cate Blanchett. I saw Blue Jasmine pretty early in the screeners process and she set the bar high. I briefly considered Meryl; while watching August: Osage County I remarked that she is so good, you can’t even learn anything about acting from her because it just looks like some sort of witchcraft. Blanchett’s work was more subtle yet still very deep. I unfortunately did not see Saving Mr. Banks; I understand Emma Thompson is fantastic in it. Ah well. I think Blanchett’s got this one.
3. Supporting Male, Film
Jared Leto, no contest. Not only did he do the whole transformative thing that awards committees eat up, but he made me love Rayon. I wanted to take care of him immediately. The scene in the hospital, with Jennifer Garner, when he’s checking out the guy who walks by? Adorable. When he’s really sick at the end, crying, saying he doesn’t want to die? Heartbreaking. In his absence I could consider Michael Fassbender or Daniel Bruhl, but not this time. This is probably the most solid lock of the awards season.
Digression: I’m a little irritated at the amount of attention Barkhad Abdi is getting, especially now that he’s been nominated for an Oscar and Tom Hanks was not. I feel like everything about his performance needs to be qualified by “for a first-time actor.” I mean whatever, good for him, I enjoyed him in the movie. It just seems a little overboard. Get it? Boats.
4. Supporting Female, Film
I wavered a minute on this one, between Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyong’o, but knowing that David O. Russell wrote Lawrence’s part for her and it was kinda sorta the same thing from Silver Linings Playbook I went with Nyong’o. We finally watched The Butler last night. Talk about on the nose. That was the worst first 20 minutes of an awards-y movie that I’ve ever seen. Oprah was good. I particularly liked her at her oldest, towards the end. But that was bad casting. Oprah will always just be Oprah now and forever. I think Lawrence will probably end up taking this one.
5. Best Actor, TV Drama
6. Best Actress, TV Drama
7. Best Actor, TV Comedy
Alec Baldwin. I could’ve considered Jason Bateman, but confession alert: we only saw like four episodes of the new Arrested Development. I will finish it. But it’s OK for things to end. I love 30 Rock so, so much, but it’s gone and I’m OK with that.
8. Best Actress, TV Comedy
I was split between Tina Fey and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, but I went with the veep. She’s a bona fide comedy badass. The only actress to win three Emmys for three separate shows, one of those shows being all-time American TV classic Seinfeld. And she has two nomination-worthy projects out there right now in Veep and Enough Said. Like I said, I love 30 Rock but Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a beast on Veep. That show is lightning fast and the dialogue is sharp. Hopefully she gets this.
9. Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries
I’ve only seen Hollow Crown, unfortunately. I’m glad Pacino’s not winning for Phil Spector because I can’t take his speeches. While Jeremy Irons was very good in Hollow Crown, it is patently absurd that they would nominate someone other than Ben Whishaw from that series. So I voted for Irons, but it’s a spiritual vote for Whishaw. Truly one of the best performances I’ve ever seen, I cannot recommend it enough. This’ll go to Michael Douglas.
10. Actress in a TV Movie or Miniseries
I saw the last five minutes of Taylor & Burton. That’s all I saw from all of these. I abstained.
11. Stunt Ensemble, Film
Lone Survivor. Thirty minutes of the film is them falling down a mountain.
12. Stunt Ensemble, TV
I thought about Walking Dead but someone gets brutally murdered in every episode of Game of Thrones so I went with that.
13. TV Ensemble, Drama
14. TV Ensemble, Comedy
Veep. My entire TV comedy struggle is between this and 30 Rock, but I feel like Veep has more of an ensemble vibe and again that dialogue just blazes, and they roll right off each other. It’s a machine of laughter. But, better than that, because that sounds like a shitty TV show. I’m honestly not sure who would get this. Modern Family?
15. Best Cast in a Motion Picture
I went with 12 Years a Slave. There were strong actors in August: Osage County and The Butler but the challenges present in 12 Years a Slave for every single actor were pretty steep, and they all delivered so well. I think this will get it, though I wouldn’t be too surprised if it went to American Hustle.
There you go. I have to say I’m disappointed I couldn’t throw anything at Wolf of Wall Street. I guess ultimately its actors being nominated here wouldn’t have changed any of my votes, but I’m glad it showed up on Oscar’s radar. Same for Her, even if it’s just one of the 35 films nominated for Best Picture, screenplay, & song. It might be my favorite movie of the year.