NEW YORK (AP) — The Oscar race may be missing out on individuality this year, but it’s not lacking in star power. Will Smith, Lady Gaga and Ben Affleck received individual nominations for the 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards on Wednesday, while the cast of “Belfast” and “Coda” were nominated for the Guild’s top award, Best Ensemble.
The nominees were announced Wednesday by actors Vanessa Hudgens and Rosario Dawson on Instagram Live. While the nominations were held up virtually due to a spurt in COVID-19 cases, the streamed announcement still represents one of the most meaningful mornings in an awards season largely snuffed out by the pandemic.
Joining “Belfast” and “Coda” for Best Ensemble were the cast of “House of Gucci,” “Don’t Look Up” and “King Richard.” The cast of Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” (which landed a supporting nod for Ariana DeBos) and Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” were notably left out. Campion’s film, however, landed different SAG nomics for Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Cody Smit-McPhee.
The kickoff party barely featured a peek at the Golden Globes, usually the final leg leading up to the Academy Awards. They were announced on Twitter on Sunday at a private ceremony in the wake of a boycott of the beleaguered Hollywood Foreign Press Association by Hollywood over diversity and ethical issues. The Omicron surge also prompted the Critics’ Choice Awards to postpone the in-person gala to January 9. For the second year in a row, Oscar season has gone virtual — and struggled to make more noise.
But the SAG nominations reveal that a number of famous faces are in the hunt this year.
The nominees for Best Male Lead Actor are: Will Smith (“King Richard”), Denzel Washington (“The Tragedy of Macbeth”), Andrew Garfield (“Tick, Tick… Boom!”), Javier Bardem (“Being”) The Ricardos”) and Cumberbatch.
Lady Gaga (“House of Gucci”), Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”), Olivia Colman (“The Lost Daughter”), Nicole Kidman (“Being the Ricardos”) and Jennifer are up for Best Female Lead. Hudson (“Honor”).
The nominees for Best Female Supporting Performance are: Caitriona Balfe (“Belfast”), Cate Blanchett (“Nightmare Alley”), Ruth Nega (“Passing”), DeBoss and Dunst.
The Best Male Supporting nominees are: Affleck (“The Tender Bar”), Bradley Cooper (“Licorice Pizza”), Troy Kotsur (“Coda”), Jared Leto (“House of Gucci”) and Smit-McPhee.
The SAG Awards, presented by the Actors Guild SAG-AFTRA, are among the most credible Oscar bellwethers. There is rarely a film or performance that is not nominated by screen actors and ultimately wins an Academy Award. Actors make up the largest percentage of the film academy, so their choices have the biggest impact.
But last year, SAG and the academy split more than usual. Only one of its acting winners – Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) – was repeated at the Oscars. (The other SAG winners were Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis in “Ma Rainy’s Black Bottom” and Yuh-Jung Yoon in “Minery.”) The Aaron Sorkin courtroom drama “The Trial of Chicago 7” won Best Ensemble at Virtual SAG. awards, while Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland” — which featured several non-professional actors and was not nominated for an ensemble cast — won the Oscars.
That history will give hope to supporters of Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”), who was overlooked by screen actors. Others left on Wednesday include Peter Dinklage (“Cyrano”), Ciaran Hinds (“Belfast”) and Rachel Ziegler (“West Side Story”).
While some have rooted for some of the year’s most popular blockbusters to deliver populist flicks to the Oscars, “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” “Dune” and “No Time to Die” received a nod from the Actors Guild on Wednesday. Name not found. , “Dune” and “No Time to Die”, however, joined “Black Widow”, “The Matrix Resurrections” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” in the stunt ensemble category.
Possibly the most popular TV series of 2021 though garnered a lot of recognition. Netflix’s highly anticipated “Squid Game” was nominated for four SAG Awards, including Best Drama Series. Television nominations were also led by HBO’s “Succession” (four nods including Best Drama Series and Best Actor for Jeremy Strong and Brian Cox); “Ted Lasso” (five awards, including Best Comedy Series); and “The Morning Show” (including Best Drama Series four times).
The 28th Annual SAG Awards will be held on February 27 and will be broadcast on TNT and TBS. The Oscars are scheduled for March 27.