For as unpredictable as this awards season has been, the winners have seemed practically set in stone since the beginning: Frances McDormand will probably win Best Actress straight through to the Oscars, Gary Oldman seems to have a lock on Best Actor, so on and so forth. This Sunday's Screen Actors Guild Awards could add some uncertainty back into the mix, however, with one (or more!) of the following upsets. (Upsets, I'll note, I would not be upset by.)
1. Timothée Chalamet Winning Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role: Oldman is the favorite to win for his capital P Performance as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. And though James Franco (The Disaster Artist) picked up steam with a Golden Globe win, both actors have been the subject of controversy of late, especially Franco. Which could leave the door open for Chalamet, a relative newcomer to the SAG Awards whose work in Call Me by Your Name would be a pinnacle performance in the career of an actor four times his age. The Academy is not known for honoring young actors, but SAG might just get it right.
2. Saoirse Ronan Winning Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role: What initially felt like it would be a tight race between McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) has become, essentially, a coin toss between McDormand and Lady Bird's Ronan. McDormand is still in the lead, in my estimation, but Ronan is right there. (She's not as much a newcomer as Chalamet, either, having earned a nomination for Brooklyn in 2016.) A win for Ronan would seriously shake up the Best Actress race moving into the final stretch toward the Academy Awards.
3. Willem Dafoe Winning Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role: The Three Billboards train barrels on with duel nominations in this category, for Sam Rockwell and (surprisingly?) Woody Harrelson. Rockwell has had momentum as of late, but SAG could flip things in Dafoe's favor. That he plays against type in The Florida Project -- he's so likable -- should be something his fellow actors of all people appreciate. And I think actors do love Dafoe and will want to award him. (As I near the end of this paragraph, I think I've convinced myself Dafoe is the front-runner here and a Rockwell win would be the upset...)
4. Laurie Metcalf Winning Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Allison Janney is wonderful in I, Tonya, and her transformative turn as Tonya Harding's abusive stage mom is the flashier choice in this category. I'd love to see Lady Bird's Metcalf win, though, for taking another overbearing mother figure and adding layers of warmth and prickliness, creating a beautifully lived-in performance. Not to mention, a win for Metcalf would keep the neck-and-neck race between the two going until the Oscars. (Or, a real curve ball would see Downsizing's Hong Chau win, which isn't completely out of the question.)
5. Get Out Winning Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: It would only make sense that forecasted wins for McDormand and Rockwell would push Three Billboards to a Best Cast win, but SAG rarely corresponds one-to-one in that regard. Which leaves the door open for Lady Bird to win as a group if its players lose in their respective categories. That said, how great would it be for Get Out to get some much-deserved awards season love? Daniel Kaluuya would finally get his due, while recognizing the underappreciated work of Allison Williams, Lakeith Stanfield and Catherine Keener, among others. (Regrettably, because of how the SAG Awards actually work, the ensemble award would leave out Betty Gabriel and LilRel, two of the most noteworthy performances in the movie.)
The 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, hosted by Kristen Bell, will kick off live from Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 21, and be broadcast on both TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
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