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Oscar Nominations Backed Up by SAG Choices

Thursday’s Academy Award nominations underlined the continued reliability of SAG voters in forecasting Oscar nods.

Seventeen of the 25 SAG feature nominations landed Oscar mentions — an impressive record that’s in line with historical performance. The SAG winners will be announced Saturday in ceremonies at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

Three of the five SAG Ensemble nominations showed up Thursday in the Oscar Best Picture  category with “12 Years a Slave,” “American Hustle” and “Dallas Buyers Club” while the Academy overlooked “August: Osage County” and “The Butler.”

Most of the divergences between Oscar and SAG nominations in the individual categories stemmed from “American Hustle” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” not having been in theaters when SAG voters were casting their ballots. The SAG noms were announced on Dec. 11.

In the lead actor category, Bruce Dern (“Nebraska”), Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years”) and Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club”) followed up SAG nods with Oscar noms; SAG nominees Tom Hanks (“Captain Phillips”) and Forest Whitaker (“Lee Daniels’ ‘The Butler'”) were excluded in favor of Christian Bale (“American Hustle”) and Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Wolf of Wall Street”).

Oscar nominations matched SAG’s in the lead actress category with Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”), Sandra Bullock (“Gravity”), Judi Dench (“Philomena”) and Meryl Streep (“August: Osage County”). The Academy selected Amy Adams (“American Hustle”) for the fifth slot while SAG had opted for Emma Thompson (“Saving Mr. Banks”).

The supporting actor race saw Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips”), Michael Fassbender (“12 Years a Slave”) and Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”) follow their SAG nominations with an Oscar nom. SAG nominees Daniel Bruhl (“Rush”) and the late James Gandolfini (“Enough Said”) were overlooked by Oscar in favor of Bradley Cooper (“American Hustle”)  and Jonah Hill (“The Wolf of Wall Street”).

Four of SAG supporting actress nominations matched Oscar nominations with Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”), Jennifer Lawrence (“American Hustle”), June Squibb (“Nebraska”) and  Julia Roberts (“August: Osage County”). But Oprah Winfrey did not receive her second Oscar supporting actress nomination despite being nominated for a SAG Award for  “Lee Daniels’ ‘The Butler.” Instead, Sally Hawkins received an Oscar nom for “Blue Jasmine.”

The winner of the SAG ensemble trophy has matched the best pic Oscar winner in nine of the last 18 years including “Argo” last year.

The performers union served as a strong indicator in the Oscar acting categories last year with 14 of its 20 nominees going on to receive Oscar noms. Jennifer Lawrence and Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln”) won both the Oscar and SAG lead acting trophies and Anne Hathaway won both awards for supporting actress for “Les Miserables” while Tommy Lee Jones won the SAG supporting actor trophy for “Lincoln” and Christoph Waltz won the supporting actor Oscar for “Django.”

The entire SAG-AFTRA membership of about 150,000 is eligible to cast ballots for the winners. Actors constitute the largest branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with 1,176 active members or about 20%.

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