Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

04 January 2007

SAG nominations

The SAG nominations are out today, being the last precursors to the Oscar nominations for the actors. Academy Award nominations will be announced on January 23rd and the polls close on the 13th, so not even the way everyone looks at the Golden Globes will have an effect on the nominations now. All there is left is Hollywood chatter (of which, as ever, there is a lot.) Anyway, on to today's nominations...
 
Ensemble.
Babel
Bobby
The Departed
Dreamgirls
Little Miss Sunshine
 
Now don’t get to thinking that this is really some kind of Best Picture lineup. I know everyone says that SAG’s ensemble nomination is really some kind of BP precursor. Not so. We have the producer’s guild and the director’s guild for that. Mostly I think this category usually sucks. They do silly things like nominate Babel for this category. While I liked Iñárritu’s film, and it’s probably going to end up with a Best Picture nomination on 1/23, it was filmed separately and that’s been said in numerous interviews and is, well, sort of obvious when watching the film. So it isn’t really ensemble work per se. And that SAG left off The Queen, which is pretty much a shoo-in for a BP nomination is ridiculous, especially with all of those great performances. I would’ve left Bobby off of this list, too, in favor of Children of Men.
 
Best Actor.
Leonardo Dicaprio, Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson
Peter O'Toole, Venus
Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
 
So there was apparently some sort of glitch with DiCaprio for SAG. Warner Bros. was flip-flopping on where to promote him and spent a lot of time promoting DiCaprio for Best Supporting Actor for The Departed (he’s clearly the lead, but they do what they want—remember Jamie Foxx as Supporting Actor for Collateral? Sometimes they’re stupid.) But why has Blood Diamond picked up so much traction? It sucks so bad. Anyone who’s seen the movie must know this. I haven’t heard anyone say they liked it. So the list for Oscar looks like it’s gonna be Smith, Whitaker and O’Toole for sure. Slot four, I think, goes to DiCaprio, but for The Departed (where Warner is now promoting him). Can Gosling hold on to this slot? I loved Half Nelson and I loved him in the film. To be honest, I would be abandoning hope right now that he could hold on to the slot, except that I don’t see anyone else waiting in the wings to take it. The big surprise on 1/23 in this category, though, could be a complete DiCaprio shut-out. Blood Diamond (ugh) and The Departed (yay) could cancel one another out leaving Leo in the cold. But in favor of… I don’t really see anyone coming up. I think this is the lineup, but I think the Academy will favor Leo’s turn in The Departed over the Blood Diamond bomb.
 
Best Actress.
Penélope Cruz, Volver
Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal
Helen Mirren, The Queen
Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet, Little Children
 
This is Oscar’s lineup. Period. And it’s a good list. Poor Annette Bening; I love her but it ain’t happening this year. Running with Scissors just wasn’t a good enough movie.
 
Best Supporting Actor.
Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Departed
Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children
Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond
Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls
 
Murphy is a lock. But I think he’s the only lock in this list. Arkin is probably more of a lock than I give him credit for, but you never know. And (though I hate admitting it) I think Hounsou is in for Blood Diamond. I don’t know why anyone’s talking about this film! DiCaprio’s performance (as I said before) in The Departed is going Lead for Oscar, so he’s definitely out. I also think Haley is shaky although he is getting a lot of traction. I would expect a Jack Nicholson nomination on 1/23. The Academy loves them some Jack, even when he’s overdone and scene-hogging like he is in The Departed. I am also crossing my fingers for Mark Wahlberg’s performance in The Departed. I can’t realistically see him getting a nomination in this crowded category, but I can dream. There is also Michael Sheen in The Queen, a performance I am very fond of which isn’t showing here either. Plus Ben Affleck (Hollywoodland) and Adam Beach (Flags of Our Fathers) and Brad Pitt (Babel). This is a hard one to predict. For now I say Murphy, Nicholson, Hounsou, Pitt, Arkin. Grr.
 
Best Supporting Actress.
Adriana Barraza, Babel
Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal
Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine
Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi, Babel
 
This list makes me want to go to sleep. Seriously. No Shareeka Epps (Half Nelson). No Seema Biswas (Water). No Carmen Maura (Volver). No Helen McCrory (The Queen). I liked all of these performances more than all of the ones mentioned above. I think this one is a hard one to call for Oscar, too. Hudson is, of course, a lock. The girl is fierce! It’s looking like Barraza and Blanchett are in, too. Breslin, I think, is a dark horse for an Oscar nomination. Kikuchi seems to be a big favorite, too. Expect a surprise here on 1/23. (Hopefully) someone will spoil this pretty list. Maybe Vera Farmiga (The Departed) or maybe Catherine O’Hara (For Your Consideration).
 
That’s it for now. I will have my faves soon.