Award season continues tonight with the Screen Actors Guild Awards, which air at 8 p.m. on TNT and TBS. I love actors—I love the way just the smallest change in their expression, just the slightest shift in their body language, or just the hint of a tremor in their voice can make us feel things that go beyond the pages of script.
Actors bring life to words, and as someone who lives in a world of words, I have always admired the courage and dedication it takes to make sentences on a page become a physical reality. So I love the fact that there’s an award ceremony every year where actors gather together to honor one another, to give the most deserving among them awards that mean so much because they were given by a group of respected peers.
However, I will admit that this year’s crop of nominees has left me less excited than usual about the ceremony. No love for Amy Adams, Christian Bale, or Joaquin Phoenix? Why do I have to suffer another year of Parks and Recreation being snubbed for even a nomination for best comedic TV ensemble? And where the heck is Amy Poehler’s name on the list of nominees?
I have a prior family commitment that will be keeping me from watching/live tweeting the red carpet and start of the ceremony, but I’ll join the party on Twitter as soon as I can tonight. Until then, here are my predictions for tonight’s big winners. Let me know in the comments who you think will be victorious this evening!
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role:
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)
My Pick: Matthew McConaughey. Dern could be honored for his storied career, but I think McConaughey’s fellow actors will appreciate his physical transformation and emotional commitment to this role. Does this mean we’ll be hearing “All right, all right, all right…” on Oscar night?
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role:
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
My Pick: Cate Blanchett. Another award ceremony, another victory on Blanchett’s road to the Oscars.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role:
Barkhad Abbi (Captain Phillips)
Daniel Bruhl (Rush)
Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
James Gandolfini (Enough Said)
Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
My Pick: Jared Leto. An incredible transformation, an emotionally compelling role, and a comeback—it’s a trifecta Leto’s fellow actors won’t be able to ignore.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role:
Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
June Squibb (Nebraska)
Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)
My Pick: Jennifer Lawrence. Lawrence’s manic, scene-stealing work in American Hustle is the spark that ignites the film, and it adds a new layer of versatility to the body of work that has already placed her in the inner circle of Hollywood’s most respected actors.
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture:
12 Years a Slave
August: Osage County
Dallas Buyers Club
Lee Daniels’ The Butler
My Pick: American Hustle. Say what you will about the film as a whole, but there’s no denying that American Hustle’s cast was a true all-star team of actors at the tops of their respective games. Every member of the ensemble not only turned in impressive individual performances; they had excellent chemistry as a whole. They looked like they were having the times of their lives filming this movie, and that’s something that should be rewarded at a ceremony designed to honor actors.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries:
Matt Damon (Behind the Candelabra)
Michael Douglas (Behind the Candelabra)
Jeremy Irons (The Hollow Crown)
Rob Lowe (Killing Kennedy)
Al Pacino (Phil Spector)
My Pick: Michael Douglas. A respected Hollywood veteran with a tour-de-force performance in a biopic—that’s a recipe for success at any award show and has been for Douglas for the last year.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries:
Angela Bassett (Betty & Coretta)
Helena Bonham Carter (Burton and Taylor)
Holly Hunter (Top of the Lake)
Helen Mirren (Phil Spector)
Elisabeth Moss (Top of the Lake)
My Pick: Elisabeth Moss. Much beloved for her work on Mad Men and in Top of the Lake, Moss should take home this award as recognition for both of her strong performances.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series:
Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire)
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom)
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)
My Pick: Bryan Cranston. Everyone was talking about Cranston’s work in Breaking Bad’s home stretch of episodes. It was the kind of performance that other actors will want to honor for its ferocity.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series:
Claire Danes (Homeland)
Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)
Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Coven)
Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)
Kerry Washington (Scandal)
My Pick: Anna Gunn. Don’t count out Washington, but I think Gunn’s gut-wrenching work in the much-hyped “Ozymandias” (as well as her op-ed piece in the New York Times) has earned her the respect of not only audiences but her peers.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series:
Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
Jason Bateman (Arrested Development)
Don Cheadle (House of Lies)
Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
My Pick: Alec Baldwin. One more win for old times’ sake.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series:
Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory)
Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
Tina Fey (30 Rock)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
My Pick: Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Since Amy Poehler was so unjustly snubbed, Louis-Dreyfus is the only other person I can see (and want to see) winning this award—unless SAG voters really want to celebrate 30 Rock’s final season with a win for Fey, too.
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series:
Game of Thrones
My Pick: Breaking Bad. This is the last chance SAG voters have to honor the cast of one of the most respected dramas in television history, and I don’t think they’re going to pass up the chance to honor a season that gave audiences episode after episode of brilliant acting.
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series:
The Big Bang Theory
My Pick: Modern Family. This large cast is genuinely funny and perennial award-show darlings. I could see The Big Bang Theory playing spoiler, but I think this will be another win for everyone’s favorite funny TV family.