Paramount and Universal sure didn’t play that well.
That was my first impression of the SAG Awards 2015 Nominations.
Another was that there wasn’t much original thought to the selections. It seemed a combination of listening too closely to pundits/entertainment reporters and selecting actors with the most buzz.
Finally I was left with disappointment in my fellow nominating committee members.
Some choices don’t even make sense.
Boyhood was nominated for Best Cast. There are four names listed. The most famous names were nominated: Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke, both in supporting roles. So how does this translate into a Best Cast nomination especially if the anchor of the film wasn’t nominated?
Paramount gambled heavily on Interstellar. It hosted a huge SAG screening at TCL Chinese Theater and offered up movie theater access. It didn’t send a screener but did issue a Hollywood Movie Money ticket. The film received no nominations. Neither did Selma or The Gambler. For these late-December opening movies, no screeners were sent and screenings were late in the voting process.
Universal did send a screener for Unbroken. It was one of the two that didn’t work in my old DVD player. Like Paramount, Universal does not confirm screening RSVPs.
The only nominations either studio received was for Stunt Ensemble—Get On Up (huh?) and Unbroken.
The Humbling was received the Friday before nominations were due. I had already voted that morning.
If Jake Gyllenhal is the most original nomination of the year, there’s a problem. I thought the Nightcrawler actor was terrific in a good movie. Compare that to Robert Downey Jr.’s acting which was masterful and multi-layered though The Judge was a pretty ordinary film,.
Voters seemed to have been reading Deadline.com. The site is the main proponent of Jennifer Aniston’s award chances for Cake. I have nothing against her performance. I just thought that Amy Adams and Hilary Swank gave better ones.
Yet even those might be unoriginal choices. Rene Russo and Jaeden Lieberher were my unconventional picks. Both of their respective co-stars were nominated so I’d lose in arguing their movies weren’t watched. Neither has garnered much heat though Russo recently was named runner up in the LA Film Critics Association Awards.
No voice actor, no motion-capture performer, no actor in an un-talked about film was nominated.
The selections are pretty widespread. No studio or film dominated the nominations. The Weinsten Company made an error in hosting a SAG screening for Big Eyes at the Skirball. So many were turned away at the door while others waited for hours to no avail. And even if they got in, it was hard to hear. A last minute screening was presented Thanksgiving Day.
Out of seven films, two TWC movies got a nod, The Imitation Game and St. Vincent. Contrary to Deadline’s summation, I believe Imitation Game should take home the Oscar for Best Picture.
Jessica Chastain was probably the best chance Paramount had in getting a SAG Awards nomination for Interstellar. Christopher Nolan’s contract bound her to not campaign for A Most Violent Year. Her performances might have split the vote, and she wound up with no nomination. Overall, Paramount came up empty.
Warner Brothers didn’t do well at all either, receiving a nomination for Robert Duvall in The Judge and Best Stunt Ensemble for The Hobbit finale. With its Searchlight arm, FOX did the best overall, scoring seven nominations total.
In all categories except Best Actor, three of my nominating choices got in.
I nominated Brad Pitt, Bradley Cooper, and Bill Murray instead of Carell, Gyllenhal, and Redmayne; Amy Adams and Hilary Swank as opposed to Aniston and Pike; Jaeden Lieberher and Christoph Waltz, not Simmons or Hawke, and chose Chastain (Interstellar) and Russo, not Watts or Stone.
Instead of Boyhood and The Theory of Everything, I opted for The Hobbit and Fury. I under-selected for Stunts: The Hobbit, Fury, and X: Men.
A Most Violent Year screener came late, and Oscar Isaacs had no opportunity to emote because the movie’s about the inability to react to violence. Some dude tweeted about Tyler Perry being snubbed. Really? Even Tyler wasn’t mentioning Tyler Perry.