5 Surprises Among the 2010 SAG Awards Nominees
|LISTS - MOVIE LISTS|
Were this year's Screen Actors Guild Awards predictable as usual? Not entirely...
Following the shockingly poor Golden Globe nominations announced on 14 December, the Screen Actors Guild declared their particular choices yesterday for this year’s cream of the crop and, unsurprisingly, the Guild stuck closely to the predicted Oscar contenders as they have tended to do in the last few years. The hot favourite, Tom Hooper's period drama The King’s Speech, featured heavily, garnering 4 nominations. However, there were a fair few surprises (some more pleasant than others). Below are the top five shocks from the SAG Award nominations.
1. Black Swan picks up momentum
Thanks to stellar returns in very limited release at the box office and continued praise, not just for the excellent Natalie Portman but also for her co-stars and director Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan continues to be the dark horse of this race. Unlike the other nominees in the category for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, Black Swan was no slam dunk by any means, thanks to risqué, disturbing, and exceptionally weird content that may turn off the older voters in the Guild who may have been expected to plump for safer fare such as John Cameron Mitchell’s Rabbit Hole or Ben Affleck’s The Town. But with the inclusion of the delightful Mila Kunis in the Supporting Actress race, as well as Portman’s Lead Actress nod, Aronofsky’s new masterpiece looks like it could be a real contender this Awards Season.
2. The Fighter becomes a heavyweight
Tying The King’s Speech with four nominations, David O. Russell’s boxing pic starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale seems poised to surprise many as it will be crashing the winner's circle alongside The King's Speech and David Fincher's The Social Network. With nominations for Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo, the film has proved very popular with the Globes and the SAGs. Then again, they do love an underdog tale, as witnessed by the popular success of The Blind Side last year. If the actors really go to town on the campaign circuit, there could be a real upset on Oscar night.
3. Hilary Swank for Best Actress?
"Why are you so shocked?", I hear you cry. Yes, I agree that Hilary Swank is a terrific actress, as witnessed by astonishing turns in Million Dollar Baby and Boys Don’t Cry. But her turn as Betty Ann Waters in the true life tale, Conviction, provoked nary a mention during this Awards Season, so this nomination came completely out of the blue. Her performance may be very good (I’ve yet to see the film), but I can think of a number of other actresses who deserved to have been nominated also, most notably Lesley Manville for her outstanding turn in Mike Leigh’s Another Year, which has been criminally snubbed so far. Swank is unlikely to gain much Oscar traction even with this nomination, but undoubtedly Fox Searchlight will rev up their campaign for the film, one that has been greatly sidelined due to the larger critical and commercial success of Black Swan and 127 Hours.
4. The Kids Are All Right is more than alright
Having lost steam due to the more recent success of other contenders, Lisa Cholodenko’s heartfelt dramedy has recovered somewhat in the last few weeks, with the Guild nominating the film for Best Cast, Lead Actress for Annette Bening and Supporting Actor for Mark Ruffalo. Again, I’m extremely disappointed at Julianne Moore’s exclusion, but Ruffalo rightly deserves his place as a nominee after being shunned by the Globes earlier this week. Though very predictable and often too smug and clichéd to tolerate, The Kids Are All Right is admittedly very funny and one of the few contenders in any of the categories that is truly entertaining, which might help it come Oscar time.
5. Great films are still not being nominated
A wide range of particularly good films have received little recognition this Awards Season. Any hopes that the Guild may have nominated some undeservedly left out pictures have evaporated once again. Such gems as Buried, Another Year, Greenberg and Inception were left out entirely, and others such as The Ghost Writer and Shutter Island are still flying under the radar. Although the smaller guilds are of little use when predicting Oscar hopefuls, at least they sometimes nominate 'out there' films that are generally forgotten by the big award voters. As a particular fan of all the films mentioned in this section, it’s very frustrating to see Hollywood shun interesting, unique pictures such as Buried and Inception for 'seen-it-all-before' dramas such as The Fighter and Conviction.
Are there any nominees that threw you for a loop? John Hawkes for Supporting Actor in Winter's Bone perhaps? Or Robert Duvall for Best Actor in Get Low? Write your thoughts in the comments below.
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