2015 SAG Awards Preview

Your guide to the next hurdle in the Awards Season calendar
ByAl NeedhamMonday , 19 January 2015
2015 SAG Awards Preview
Some SAG Awards, waiting to be won

The red carpet is being dragged out once again in T'town, as the next major event in the Award Season calendar - the Screen Actors Guild Awards - approaches on Jan 25. So we thought we'd take a closer look at it...

So what is the Screen Actors Guild?
In a nutshell, it's an actors' union that was formed in 1933 to prevent cast members from being locked into long and unfair contracts, amongst other things. The actual SAG doesn't really exist anymore - it merged with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists in 2012 - but nobody's keen on calling it the SAG-AFTRA awards.

What's the difference between the SAG Awards and the Oscars?
Well, for starters it's a relatively new award - the first ceremony was in 1995. Like the Golden Globes, it's a film and TV awards ceremony, where the Oscars is film-only. The main selling point for the SAGs is that it cuts the fat - there are only five categories, as opposed to the Oscars' dozens. It's all about the performances of the year, with minimalflannel. There isn't even a Best Film award; the nearest you'll get here is an award for a cast in a film.

What are the big stories at the SAGs?
Obviously, everyone still sees the SAGs ad an indicator of how the Oscars are going to pan out, and we will see certain actors and films building up momentum towards the Big One. Last year, all four acting winners - Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong’o - won the same award at the Oscars. Due to the trimmed-down nature of the SAGs, some very big films and actors get left out entirely, with absolutely no nominations for Selma, Unbroken and American Sniper. On the other hand, Jennifer Aniston recieved her only nomination for her role in Cake; can she break her awards duck this weekend?

Who else are we going to see there?
The full list of presenters include Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Kevin Costner, Ethan Hawke, Ken Howard, Rashida Jones, Michael Keaton, Lorelei Linklater, Matthew McConaughey, Matt McGorry, Edward Norton, Julia Roberts and Emma Stone. So there'll be plenty of star-spotting afoot. 

And the nominees are...

Performance by a male actor in a leading role
Michael Keaton, Birdman 
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game 
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher

Performance by a female actor in a leading role
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Jennifer Aniston, Cake

Performance by a female actor in a supporting role
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood 
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman 
Meryl Streep, Into The Woods 
Naomi Watts, St. Vincent

Performance by a male actor in a supporting role
Robert Duvall, The Judge 
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood 
Edward Norton, Birdman 
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher 
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Performance by a cast in a motion picture
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

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