The SAG Awards are considered the best indicator of who will win Oscar gold; actors make up the largest part of the Academy voting body. Last year, all four actors who won SAG Awards went on to receive Oscars.
While best ensemble does not correlate strongly to best picture (in recent years, “12 Years a Slave,” “The Artist,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “The Departed” and “The Hurt Locker” all failed to win SAG ensemble), it can indicate strong support for a movie. In the past, films like “The King’s Speech” and “Argo” bested starrier casts to win the ensemble prize, which solidified their frontrunner status. With wins from PGA and SAG, “Birdman” appears to have leapt over “Boyhood” to take frontrunner status in less than 24 hours.
The show was not without some surprises. In the showdown between Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”) and Michael Keaton (“Birdman”), it was Redmayne who emerged victorious for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking. But he will still have to face competition from Bradley Cooper, who was not nominated for a SAG Award, at the Oscars. With “American Sniper” breaking box office records and Cooper a three-time nominee, he could pose a serious threat in the actor race.
Julianne Moore continued her winning streak with a win for female actor in a lead role for “Still Alice”; her win at the Oscars seems assured. And wins for J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash”) and Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”) sealed their frontrunner status in the supporting categories.