SAG Award Nominations

The 19th annual SAG awards, which honor both film and television, will be handed out on Sunday, January 27, 2013.

Here are the nominees, along with my commentary. You can also view the list of nominees on (My review, if available, is linked to in the first mention of a film or TV show.)


Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture:
Nothing particularly surprising about this except for the exclusion of The Master. Lincoln, in particular, has an incredible ensemble, with notable names and faces (and many theatre veterans) in almost every single speaking role. On the other hand, the cast of Argo, it seems, had to work as an ensemble - a cohesive unit - more than any other.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role:
  • Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
  • John Hawkes, The Sessions
  • Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
  • Denzel Washington, Flight
Look for this slate of actors in most of the award shows. I've only seen two of the performances (Cooper and Day-Lewis) but we know that Hawkes, Jackman and Washington are all reliably good actors.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role:
  • Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
  • Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
  • Naomi Watts, The Impossible
With the exception of Lawrence and Cooper, we once again have a slate nominees in which there are no leading pairs nominated. I find this to be a strange development in the kinds of films being made, and, in particular, the kinds of roles being written for women. I want a George and Martha for the screen! Give me a great leading pair, like Lawrence and Cooper; that - a relationship - is fascinating to watch.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role:
  • Alan Arkin, Argo
  • Javier Bardem, Skyfall
  • Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
  • Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
While I haven't seen Django Unchained and therefore haven't seen Leonardo DiCaprio's performance, I'm still shocked to see him left out of this category. But, all the nominees (with the exception of Bardem, whose performance I haven't seen) do great work.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role:
  • Sally Field, Lincoln
  • Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
  • Helen Hunt, The Sessions
  • Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy
  • Maggie Smith, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
As I mentioned yesterday in my write up of the Critics' Choice Movie Awards nominations, most prognosticators say Hathaway has a lock on this category. Still, you never know when actors might get sentimental and go with an old favorite. 

    Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series:
    • Boardwalk Empire
    • Breaking Bad
    • Downton Abbey
    • Homeland
    • Mad Men
    While I'm disappointed The Newsroom ensemble isn't nominated, I can't deny how deserving the nominated ensembles are. (Of course, I don't watch Mad Men but everyone raves, so...) However, you'll note below that there are six nominees in the comedy category and only five in this one. What's going on there?

    Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series:
    • 30 Rock
    • The Big Bang Theory
    • Glee
    • Modern Family
    • Nurse Jackie
    • The Office
    Given the nominees, my vote's for Modern Family, but I wish Parks and Recreation was nominated. That show has such a deep bench and is consistently one of the funniest shows on television.

    Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series:
    • Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
    • Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
    • Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
    • Jon Hamm, Mad Men
    • Damian Lewis, Homeland
    Being nearly caught up on Breaking Bad, and having watched the transition of Walter White throughout season four, much as I like the other nominees, I have to go with Cranston.

    Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series:
    • Claire Danes, Homeland
    • Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
    • Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum
    • Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
    • Maggie Smith, Downtown Abbey
    This makes Smith a double nominee. (Note that, typically, for Downton Abbey Smith would be nominated in the supporting category, not leading, but there is no supporting category for television work in the SAG Awards, which I think is a gross omission.) Good as the nominees are, how do you bet against Danes?

    Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series:
    • Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
    • Ty Burrell, Modern Family
    • Louis C.K., Louie
    • Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
    • Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
    Actors love Alec Baldwin so don't be surprised if he walks away with the trophy.

    Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series:
    • Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
    • Tina Fey, 30 Rock
    • Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
    • Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
    • Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
    Very interesting category. First, it's always odd that Nurse Jackie is categorized as a comedy. It's a dark comedy at best, but it's much more in line with the dramas. (Regardless of the category, it's a terrific show!) Second, Emmy winner Julie Bowen was not nominated for Modern Family but her Emmy-less costar, Vergara, was. Third, everyone loves Betty White, though I think her nomination was mostly a sentimental choice. And between funny ladies and Golden Globe hosts Fey and Poehler, it's a tough call but I have to go with Poehler because Leslie Knope could easily be disastrous in another person's hands.

    Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries:
    • Kevin Costner, Hatfields and McCoys
    • Woody Harrelson, Game Change
    • Ed Harris, Game Change
    • Clive Owen, Hemingway and Gellhorn
    • Bill Paxton, Hatfields and McCoys
    While I have no dog in this fight, I think the slate of nominees—all successful feature film actors—speaks to how far TV movies have come since the days when they were mostly melodramatic stranger-danger pieces.

    Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie of Miniseries:
    • Nicole Kidman, Hemingway and Gellhorn
    • Julianne Moore, Game Change
    • Charlotte Rampling, Restless
    • Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals
    • Alfre Woodward, Steel Magnolias
    I liked Weaver in Political Animals, but other than that performance I haven't seen any of the nominees.

    Honors for Stunt Ensemble

    Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
    I like that the SAG Awards recognize stunt work.

    Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series
    • Boardwalk Empire
    • Breaking Bad
    • Game of Thrones
    • Sons of Anarchy
    • The Walking Dead

    And those are the SAG Award nominees. Tune into TBS or TNT on January 27 to see who wins and which stars will introduce themselves as actors at the top of the show. View the list of nominees at