SAG Awards 2024 Winners: Will They Sweep the Oscars Too? Shocking Predictions!

Pedro Pascal let loose a bit at tonight’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, figuring why not indulge in a few drinks.

After all, who could blame him? We would all probably do the same.

I had modest expectations for the ceremony, which was aired on Netflix without commercial interruptions and with a healthy dose of candid language. I didn’t expect many shocking moments aside from Pascal’s unexpected win for “The Last of Us” over the lead actors from “Succession”, and Elizabeth Debicki’s win for “The Crown” (seriously?).

In terms of television-related awards, actors who had already snagged Emmys just a month prior — including Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri for “The Bear” as well as Ali Wong and Steven Yeun for “Beef” — triumphed yet again. “The Bear” won the award for best comedy series cast while “Succession” bagged the drama category.

As Edebiri aptly put it, echoing the words of James Baldwin, “an act of love is an act of mirroring”.

But let’s be real: we don’t tune in to the SAG Awards for the TV accolades. We’re interested because the SAG Awards are a reliable indicator of who might clinch the Oscars, and with voting currently underway, it’s all the more exciting. For two years in a row, all five SAG winners in the film category went on to win at the Oscars. Will this trend continue? Let’s delve deeper.

CAST IN A MOTION PICTURE

Winner: “Oppenheimer”

Previous patterns: The award in this category predicted the best picture Oscar winner 14 out of 28 times, making it the least dependable Oscar precursor among SAG Awards. However, three out of the four previous winners — “Parasite,” “CODA,” and “Everything Everywhere All at Once” — went on to win at the Academy Awards too. (“The Trial of the Chicago 7” won over the Oscar-winning “Nomadland,” which starred predominantly nonprofessional actors.)

Will history repeat itself? This was the final opportunity for any semblance of uncertainty to enter the best picture race. SAG voters have often favored mainstream films in the film ensemble category, choosing box office successes like “Black Panther,” “Hidden Figures,” and “The Help” over more indie contenders. It wasn’t out of the question that they could favor the one film that grossed more than “Oppenheimer.” And “Barbie” was not just a commercial success. It received positive reviews, prompted sensitive reactions from men, and inspired countless analytical articles. It ticked more than enough boxes to win.

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But “Oppenheimer” showcased a large ensemble cast, featuring Oscar winners Rami Malek and Casey Affleck, and, apparently, future Oscar winners Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr. The three-hour film provided each character with memorable moments — I’ll never attend another nuclear test without applying sunscreen first — transforming what could have been a standard biopic into an intriguing, multi-layered history lesson. After winning the Producers Guild’s top honor on Sunday, all that remains is the Oscar.

FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Winner: Lily Gladstone, “Killers of the Flower Moon”

Previous patterns: SAG and the academy have agreed 21 out of 29 years. Recent notable exceptions include Frances McDormand’s third Oscar win for “Nomadland” after Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) won the SAG, and Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”) denying 2019 SAG winner Glenn Close (“The Wife”) her first Oscar.

Will history repeat itself? It seems like we’re in for a nail-biting finish that will inject some much-needed suspense into the Oscars. Emma Stone won the British Film Academy’s lead actress award last weekend for her eccentric performance in “Poor Things.” If she had won the SAG, the race would be essentially over. Gladstone’s win — and her touching acceptance speech — might be enough to shift the momentum back to where it was when she received that lengthy, warm applause when “Killers of the Flower Moon” premiered at Cannes.

Gladstone could create history as the first Native American to win the lead actress Oscar. Many would love to see that moment. But … there are a considerable number of voters who aren’t sure if her screen time — she appears in less than a third of the 3½-hour film — qualifies her for a lead acting Oscar. I have a hunch they might just have to accept it.

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MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Winner: Cillian Murphy, “Oppenheimer”

Previous patterns: This category has been the most consistent predictor of the Oscar winner, with SAG and the academy agreeing 23 out of 29 times. Exceptions do exist, though, like when Anthony Hopkins won the Oscar for “The Father,” beating SAG winner Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”).

Will history repeat itself? Following his win at the British Film Academy last weekend, Murphy’s prize seems to assure his Oscar win. The voters could have chosen Paul Giamatti for his excellent performance as the grumpy prep school teacher in “The Holdovers,” but there’s a pattern of lead actor awards going to actors portraying significant historical figures. Lincoln, Churchill, Patton, Ray Charles — the list goes on. In “Oppenheimer,” Murphy brings to life the title character in the film likely to win the Academy Award for best picture, brilliantly embodying the internal conflict of the man. Big movie, subtle intensity, three-hour duration. Game, set, match.

FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Winner: Da’Vine Joy Randolph, “The Holdovers”

Previous patterns: The SAG award winner has won the Oscar 21 out of 28 times, including last year, when Jamie Lee Curtis won for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” a strong indication of the film’s impact. (Kate Winslet won this category in 2009 for “The Reader” but was nominated for — and won — the Oscar for lead actress for the same performance.)

Will history repeat itself? “The Holdovers” debuted at the Telluride Film Festival on the last day of August. Since then, Randolph has won 36 awards, and I’m sure she’ll take the Indie Spirit award on Sunday. Her touching depiction of a Black cafeteria manager grieving her son’s death in Vietnam — and trying to keep her cool with the two self-absorbed men she’s stuck with at a New England prep school — is simply undeniable. If Oscar voters had shown more enthusiasm for (or even watched) “The Color Purple,” this could have been a more exciting discussion involving Danielle Brooks’ powerful performance as Sofia. As it stands, Randolph is poised to win one more award, the biggest one. And no one seems to be objecting. (Did you hear that inspiring speech?)

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MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Winner: Robert Downey Jr., “Oppenheimer”

Previous patterns: The SAG winner has won the Oscar 18 times in the past 27 years, including the last seven.

Will history repeat itself? It seems so. As this awards season kicked off what feels like a century ago, it seemed like this category would be a fun race between Downey’s cunning portrayal of Adm. Lewis Strauss, Oppenheimer’s adversary, and Ryan Gosling’s playful interpretation of Ken, Barbie’s lovesick sidekick questioning his purpose in life. Personally, I would vote — and have voted — for Gosling, as his sincere performance and understated comedic skills made “Barbie” a complete joy to watch. But Downey has the better storyline — it seems to be his time — and a substantial role in the film that will win best picture. This is not to undermine Downey or the intensity he brought to his role. It’s just slightly odd how one-sided this race has become.

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