SAG Nominations 2017: Biggest Snubs and Surprises

Captain Fantastic
Courtesy of Bleecker Street

Every nominations announcement comes with its share of snubs and surprises and SAG is no different. On the film side, acclaimed indie “Captain Fantastic” made a strong showing, while the hit “Sully” and its leading man Tom Hanks were shut out. In TV, it was a surprisingly good year for new series as “The Crown,” “Stranger Things,” and “Westworld” all collected multiple noms, and veteran nominees like Viola Davis, Jim Parsons, and Maggie Smith were unexpectedly snubbed.

The SAG Awards are the only major awards show that honor only actors, and are voted on by fellow actors, SAG-AFTRA members. The 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards will air at 8 p.m. EST, Jan. 29 on TNT/TBS.

SNUB: No “La La Land” for Ensemble
The best picture frontrunner was fighting a tough battle to be seen as an ensemble piece despite featuring a great supporting cast of actors like J.K. Simmons, Tom Everett Scott, and Rosemarie DeWitt. Not landing an ensemble nod won’t dent the film’s awards path — it’s likely that voters saw it as more of a two-hander between leads Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, both of whom were nominated. And the film is in good company; several great ensembles in films likely to land best picture nods like “Hacksaw Ridge” and “Hell or High Water” also didn’t make the cut.

SURPRISE: Viggo Mortensen and the “Captain Fantastic” Ensemble
Once considered a dark horse, Mortensen could be shaping up to be a real contender with his stellar turn as a father living off the grid with his six children. It’s a role tailor-made for the actor, who managed a best actor nod from both the Golden Globes and SAG. While his inclusion is a welcome surprise, even more shocking is that the film’s excellent ensemble was able to snag a nomination over such flashier groups as “La La Land” and “Florence Foster Jenkins.”

SNUB: Tom Hanks, “Sully”
Poor Tom Hanks. His movie is a giant hit and earned him glowing reviews, yet the actor was overlooked by both the Golden Globes and SAG Awards this week. It’s possible the category was just too tough. Or maybe people just take his greatness for granted.

SURPRISE: Emily Blunt, “The Girl on the Train”
Despite tepid critical reaction overall, the British thesp earned admiration for her work as a struggling alcoholic in the adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ bestseller, but has been shut out of all previous awards talk. Her inclusion on this list is particularly surprising, considering how tough the actress race is this year. Which leads us to…

SNUB: Annette Bening, Jessica Chastain, Taraji P. Henson, Isabelle Huppert, Ruth Negga for Actress
It’s been a great year for women in film, which sadly means that a lot of heralded performances didn’t make the cut. Annette Bening seemed a lock for “20th Century Women,” but that film was completely shut out of the SAG Award nominations. Same with Ruth Negga and her acclaimed flick “Loving.” While “Hidden Figures” earned recognition for its ensemble and Octavia Spencer in supporting, lead Taraji P. Henson failed to make the cut. Though she landed a Globe nom two days ago, Jessica Chastain couldn’t break into SAG for “Miss Sloane.” And despite collecting critics’ group prizes, Isabelle Huppert was shut out for “Elle.”

SNUB: “20th Century Women,” “Loving”
Both films seemed to be a lock for at least one nod thanks to their leading ladies, but also contenders for ensemble. “20th Century Women” also had a strong case for Greta Gerwig in supporting, while “Loving” had buzz for lead Joel Edgerton. In the end, neither film registered with SAG voters.

SNUB: Kevin Costner, “Hidden Figures”
It’s tough to complain about the supporting actor field when all the nominees are so solid, but Kevin Costner’s turn in the crowd-pleasing “Hidden Figures” is one of his best, yet failed to land either a Globe or SAG Award nomination. Voters clearly liked the film, awarding nods to Octavia Spencer and the ensemble, but it might just be a case of too many good actors to choose from.

And on the television side:

SURPRISE: “Stranger Things”
In a remarkable showing for a freshman series, Netflix’s retro thriller scored three noms for actresses Winona Ryder and Millie Bobby Brown and the ensemble cast. The possible secret weapon? SAG voters have a strong history of recognizing younger performers (witness “Captain Fantastic” this year too).

SNUB: Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder”
Although she’s a double nominee on the film side for “Fences,” Davis missed out for her small screen work for the first time in three years of eligibility. Are audiences getting tired of the “Murder” antics?

SNUB: “Atlanta”
FX’s breakout comedy apparently didn’t break big enough for SAG voters. They have a history of ignoring major series in their first seasons only to catch up with them later — the ensembles of “Breaking Bad,” “Homeland,” “House of Cards,” “Orange Is the New Black,” “30 Rock,” “Transparent,” and “Veep” were all overlooked in the past — but that changed on the drama side this year.

SURPRISE: “Westworld” and “The Crown”
Along with “Stranger Things,” these hot freshmen combined for an unusually fresh list of SAG drama contenders. Both nominated in the ensemble category, “Westworld” earned a nom for standout Thandie Newton and “The Crown” ruled with noms for leading lady Claire Foy and scene stealer John Lithgow.

SNUB: “This Is Us”
Although star Sterling K. Brown was recognized for his performance (in addition to a nom for his Emmy-winning turn in FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story), the ensemble and the rest of the cast was shut out. Typically that’s not unusual for first year dramas, but this year SAG went to bat for several other freshmen.

SNUB: Julianna Margulies in “The Good Wife” and Maggie Smith in “Downton Abbey”
The SAG veterans were both left out for the final seasons of their beloved series. While the “Downton” ensemble received its customary nom, Smith’s Dowager Countess is MIA for the first time in the show’s entire run. And Margulies’ Alicia Florrick is on the bench after scoring a nom in every one of her previous eligible years except for 2014.

SURPRISE: Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin
SAG loves celebrating veteran performers, so it’s not a huge surprise to see the “Grace and Frankie” stars break into the comedy actress field. But they were overlooked by the voters in season one and Fonda had yet to receive a major TV nomination, so it’s nice to see them both in the mix.

SNUB: Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
With four consecutive noms, he’s a SAG regular. But he’s MIA this year, even though the show’s ensemble once again made the cut.

SNUB: Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black”
The one-time SAG nominee missed the cut for the season that brought her a surprise Emmy win back in September.

SURPRISE: Bryce Dallas Howard, “Black Mirror”
One of the year’s finest performances came in the “Nosedive” episode of Netflix’s eerie anthology “Black Mirror.” And SAG voters caught it, rewarding Howard with her first individual nom.

SNUB: “House of Cards” and “Transparent” ensembles
Both nominated last year, the Netflix drama and Amazon dramedy are the only TV ensembles eligible for repeat noms this year that failed to get them.

SNUB: Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
After breaking in last year for season one, the man who will be Saul Goodman was surprisingly left out for the equally acclaimed season two.

SURPRISE: “Black-ish”
Now in its third season, ABC’s family sitcom finally scored its first SAG noms for ensemble and star Anthony Anderson.

SNUB: “The Americans”
After finally breaking into the top Emmy races and landing Golden Globe noms for stars Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell, this could’ve been the year SAG finally took notice. Instead, the Russian spies are still a little too covert for the voters.

SNUB: “Silicon Valley”
With a cast that seems tailor-made for SAG’s ensemble award you’d expect HBO’s acclaimed comedy to find some SAG love. Instead, it’s never been nominated for a single SAG award.