The SAG Awards are always tricky to figure out. Picked by actors and voted by actors, this actor show is always filled with the most confusing choices, but the movie categories always effect the Oscar race in important. Here are some of the biggest surprises of this year's list.
Let's start with Television:
1. A well-deserved FIRST nomination for Amy Poehler (crazy that she was not nominated last year, right?)
2. SAG-Aftra, great work on nomination Louis CK for Louie. You could have gone with a terrible choice like, say, Jon Cryer or something, but you went classy. Smart move guys.
3. Way to go Alfre Woodard for squeezing past the other Game Change or Hemingway & Gelhorn possible nominees to score one for Steel Magnolias.
4. It's not unusual that Maggie Smith has been nominated for Downton Abbey, but it's great to see Michelle Dockery was able to crack the list over her own co-stars. I definitely think in this situation Dockery's Lady Mary is the best choice.
5. I think I may end up being the only one who says this but I'm pretty happy with the addition of Jeff Daniels to the Best Actor list for Drama Series. While The Newsroom was certainly VERY flawed, Daniels was always fascinating to watch, even as his character goes completely insane one hour and is the voice of reason the next.
1. Listen, I know how blasphemous this is going to sound, but Betty White again? Really actors? You have to give an award every year don't you? If Hot in Cleveland was not on TV, would you create a new category so you could give her an award for Betty White's Off Their Rockers? You would, wouldn't you? Ridiculous...
2. When Busy Phillips and Taye Diggs announced a tie for the Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series, I was sure of the six nominees would be Parks and Recreation. Sadly, the SAG voters decided to honor Glee again even though the show has become mediocre at best and terrible at worst. But honoring The Office for its final season? I can get behind that.
Biggest, Most Egregious Error:
Where in God's name is the love for Sherlock? It's easily one of the best shows on TV right now with a fantastic cast who has fantastic chemistry. Benedict Cumberbatch and/or Martin Freeman should have made this list. I know it's difficult to include everyone who should be recognized because there are no supporting actor or actress SAG awards categories for TV, but Sherlock should not have gone unnoticed.
1. I'm actually quite pleased to see Javier Bardem crack the Supporting Actor list with Skyfall. It's a strange movie to make the list for but it's less strange than seeing, oh, I don't know, Matthew McConaughey up there for Magic Mike*. However, I don't think we'll be seeing Bardem on the Oscar list unless he gets nominated for a Golden Globe tomorrow.
2. Maggie Smith is having a great day. She's not only cracked the Drama Series list but has also won a nod for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. This definitely gives her a boost for the Oscar race.
3. Same goes for Nicole Kidman in Hemingway & Gelhorn and The Paperboy. The Paperboy nod, while a very cool move by SAG, may end up being a congratulatory nod more than anything else. Unless she is nominated for a Golden Globe and wins the SAG for the Lee Daniels film, there's no way she's making that final Oscar list.
4. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel beats out Zero Dark Thirty, The Master and more for the last slot in the Best Ensemble category (aka SAG's version of Best Picture). While this is not the worst thing in the world for Zero Dark Thirty, it is a big boost for The Best Exotic...
1. I understand SAG voters, Joaquin Phoenix doesn't want to win awards. But seriously, did you SEE his performance in The Master? Awards recognition should be inevitable.
2. And just because Phoenix doesn't want one doesn't mean you should deprive Amy Adams of hers. One of the most ferocious performances I've seen this year, Adams completely breaks type and does an extraordinary job playing a doting wife who can still overpower her cult-leader husband if necessary.
Biggest, Most Egregious Error:
The fact that Beasts of the Southern Wild and Moonrise Kingdom were snubbed is terrible. Both films are beautiful and sweet and filled with brilliant performances, especially Quvenzhane Wallis from Beasts... I know the film was deemed not eligible for SAG but still. Come on actors, you know better.
Come back tomorrow for reactions to the Golden Globe nominations!!
*I'd like to take the time to mention that I have no problems with Magic Mike. Not only was I entertained with the particular subject matter, I found the acting and direction to be really top notch. But for one to suggest Matthew McConaughey should be nominated for an Oscar for the role is really quite insane in my mind. For Killer Joe? Maybe. But not Magic Mike.