(Photo : Weinstein Company )
With the Screen Actors Guild nominations announced, the Oscar race is finally becoming a bit clearer in the acting categories.
The Best Actress race was predicted to have Emma Thompson ("Saving Mr. Banks"), Sandra Bullock ("Gravity"), Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine"), Meryl Streep ("August: Osage County"), and Judi Dench ("Philomena") and SAG did not upset. The Oscars will most likely not change this category but Amy Adams and Brie Larson could still surprise if the Academy is feeling unpredictable.
The Best Actor race, however, did not play out as pundits expected. Robert Redford did not show up on the list for his role in "All is Lost" and instead was replaced by Forest Whitaker for his role in "Lee Daniel's The Butler." Leonardo DiCaprio ("The Wolf of Wall Street"), Oscar Issac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Joaquin Phoenix ("Her") and Christian Bale ("American Hustle") were also snubbed.
The Best Supporting Actor race saw Daniel Bruhl get a boost as he was nominated for "Rush," a film that has been tracking low on the awards circuit. Meanwhile, James Gandolfini ("Enough Said") and Barkhad Abdi ("Captain Phillips") strengthened their campaign while Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyers Club") and Michael Fassbender ("12 Years a Slave") demonstrated that they are the front-runners for the Oscar. However, Bradley Cooper ("American Hustle"), Ryan Gosling ("The Place Beyond the Pines"), Tom Hanks ("Saving Mr. Banks") and Jonah Hill ("The Wolf of Wall Street") were all snubbed.
The Best Supporting Actress race saw Octavia Spencer ("Fruitvale Station") get snubbed but overall the competition saw no great surprises.
Meanwhile, the Best Cast award only saw "Dallas Buyers Club" surprise while it also showed that "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle" are the clear front-runners for the Oscar race.
The SAG award for Best Cast is important for the Oscars because nearly every film who has won an Oscar since the inception of the awards has been nominated for Best Cast; the lone exception is "Braveheart." Additionally, most actors who have won SAG go on to win the Oscar. However, as of late, SAG success hasn't translated to winning at the Oscars. Last year, Javier Bardem ("Skyfall"), Nicole Kidman ("The Paperboy"), Maggie Smith ("The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"), John Hawkes ("The Sessions"), Marion Cotillard ("Rust and Bone") and Helen Mirren ("Hitchcock") did not get Oscar nominations despite their SAG nominations. As a result, those actors who were snubbed on Wednesday still have hope for an Oscar nomination come January.