Reel Talk: SAG Awards, and How You Can Help Pick the Next Oscar Nominees
It seems, once again, that awards season is upon us, and while the Oscars aren’t until the end of February, precursor awards are already coming out in a very uncertain race. There are few frontrunners or definite locks in the race this year—particularly in the acting races—and precursor awards generally help make the field of contenders more concrete. But maybe not this year.
With the SAG awards just announced, the Oscar race is as confusing as ever. Of the nominees for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (the equivalent of Best Picture), only one nominee—Spotlight—is expected to be a Best Picture nominee come February. The acting nominees are just as confusing, although a few obscure but very deserving performances—like Sarah Silverman in I Smile Back and Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation—managed to sneak in.
As of this article, the Golden Globe nominations—another precursor award—have not been announced, but I suspect they will be just as diverse and only pose more questions in what is proving to be a very crowded race.
So how can you help? Well, the simple answer is: go see some movies. Believe it or not, a movie’s take at the box office can have a lot of impact on how it does during awards season. This happened last year with The Grand Budapest Hotel—which went on to win four Oscars—and two interesting examples this year are Carol and Steve Jobs.
As for Carol, it premiered all the way back in May and reached universal acclaim, but by September had been relegated to the back-burner by many awards prognosticators. Upon release to the public, though—where the film has been doing pretty well in limited-release—it seems prognosticators have taken notice in the large public interest in the film (which is absolutely fantastic, by the way), and revised their predictions to once again include Carol in the major categories. Suffice it to say, it’s much stronger going into awards season now than it was a few weeks ago.
The same cannot be said for Steve Jobs (which is also a very good film, actually). After coming in a frontrunner and having by far the best take in limited-release this year, the film was dead upon wide-release and taken out of theaters almost completely a few weeks later. Surprisingly little public interest seems to have drastically hurt the film’s Oscar chances, with the only certain nominations left in the acting categories.
So, spend the time and money to go see films if you can. While there are no longer write-in nominees for the Oscars (that seems to have ended all the way back in the 1930s), voters will listen to you if you actively support—or ignore—a film at the box office.