Andrew's 2015 SAG Awards predictions

Who will emerge victorious at this year's Screen Actors Guild Awards? Will The Big Short drive a stake through Spotlight's heart, all but ending the latter's chances of winning the Best Picture Oscar? Will it be Christian Bale or Mark Rylance who prevails, emerging top competitor to Sylvester Stallone? And just who will take the four-way jump ball of a category that is Best Supporting Actress?

Here are my two cents...

Best Ensemble

  1. Spotlight
  2. The Big Short
  3. Straight Outta Compton
  4. Trumbo
  5. Beasts of No Nation

Sorry, Trumbo and Beasts, but you'll be sitting on the sidelines on this one. Had Compton garnered a Best Picture nod from the Academy, I suspect it may have been well-positioned for an upset here. Alas, it's proven a very tough task for non-Best Picture nominees to win this Ensemble prize - only one, the star-studded The Birdcage, has managed to pull it off in all of SAG history. Ultimately, I see this as quite a tight battle between Spotlight and The Big Short. If SAG wants to foreshadow the Best Picture Oscar winner, as they did with the likes of The King's Speech and Slumdog Millionaire, Spotlight probably takes this one. If, however, they want to let loose and go for the more fun cast, regardless of what Oscar does, ala American Hustle or yes, The Birdcage, it's probably The Big Short ensemble that triumphs.

Best Leading Actor

  1. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
  2. Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
  3. Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
  4. Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
  5. Johnny Depp, Black Mass

Will be smooth sailing for inevitable Oscar-winner DiCaprio, though expect Cranston to garner quite a few votes from the TV side of the guild. Still, it won't be close.

Best Leading Actress

  1. Brie Larson, Room
  2. Cate Blanchett, Carol
  3. Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
  4. Helen Mirren, Woman in Gold
  5. Sarah Silverman, I Smile Back

The entirely unexpected nominations for double-nominee Mirren and Silverman, who seemingly tried to pull what Jennifer Aniston did with Cake last year, will ultimately have to be what these two ladies settle for. Ronan will have a much better shot at winning at BAFTA in just over a week. In the end, I actually think Larson will triumph here rather comfortably, though if anyone can keep her from victory, it's probably Blanchett, who has worked alongside a whole lot of SAG members in her career. Still, Blanchett just prevailed here two years ago, already has two SAG trophies under her belt and the lack of an Ensemble nod for Carol suggests the acting branch isn't entirely head-over-heels for the picture. On the other hand, SAG nominated Larson's amazing co-star Jacob Tremblay, a sign that bodes quite well for Room's leading lady.

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Christian Bale, The Big Short
  2. Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
  3. Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
  4. Jacob Tremblay, Room
  5. Michael Shannon, 99 Homes

Prior to the Oscar nominations announcement, I was fully prepared to predict Elba here, given his respect in the acting community (both in film and television) and the shocking Ensemble nomination for his picture. Alas, an Oscar nod wasn't in the cards for Elba and, as a result, it's all but impossible to predict him (or fellow non-nominees Tremblay or Shannon) here. This will be a barn burner between the category's only two Oscar nominees and, given all of the momentum for The Big Short, I have to side with Bale. For the Oscar, however, I suspect Rylance will have the leg-up (and Sylvester Stallone the edge over him).

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
  2. Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
  3. Rooney Mara, Carol
  4. Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
  5. Helen Mirren, Trumbo

This category, I suspect, is the most wide-open, with only Mirren definitively benched. If the guild is truly ga-ga for Spotlight and wishes to pair its Ensemble win with a complimentary acting prize, McAdams is their only option. The thing is, it doesn't seem very many are that terribly passionate about the performance. Mara and Vikander have been this category's front-runners for seemingly the whole Oscar season, given the critical and awards attention for their pictures and their borderline-Lead status and either could surely win here. But it's awfully difficult to decide between the two and, the more I think about it, the more I believe Winslet, who has simply worked with more SAG members than Mara and Vikander, and who might be riding a bit of momentum post-Golden Globes, will triumph here. I don't think Winslet will win the Oscar - I suspect Vikander is best-positioned, given the likely BAFTA win - but this reeks to me of when Meryl Streep won at SAG for Doubt because it was an unsettled category and she had the highest name recognition.

2015 Screen Actors Guild Award nominations

Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture

Beasts of No Nation
The Big Short
Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton
Trumbo

Best Male Actor in a Leading Role

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Johnny Depp, Black Mass
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Best Female Actor in a Leading Role

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Helen Mirren, Woman in Gold
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Sarah Silverman, I Smile Back

Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Christian Bale, The Big Short
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Jacob Tremblay, Room

Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Helen Mirren, Trumbo
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs