The Oscar race may be missing in-person glitz this year, but it doesn’t lack for star power. Will Smith, Lady Gaga and Ben Affleck landed individual nominations for the 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards on Wednesday, while the casts of Belfast and CODA were among those nominated for the guild’s top award, best ensemble.
The nominees were announced Wednesday by actors Vanessa Hudgens and Rosario Dawson on Instagram Live. While the nominations were conducted virtually due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, the streamed announcement still represented one of the most meaningful mornings in an awards season largely snuffed out by the pandemic.
Joining Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical Belfast and the coming-of-age drama CODA for best ensemble were the casts for Ridley Scott’s true-tale, high-camp House of Gucci, Adam McKay’s apocalypse comedy Don’t Look Up and the family tennis drama King Richard. Notably left out were the casts of Steven Spielberg’s lavish West Side Story revival (which landed a supporting nod for Ariana DeBose) and Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog. Campion’s gothic drama, though, landed individual SAG nominations for Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Kodi Smit-McPhee.
The SAG Awards have more of the awards season spotlight this year since the Golden Globes — usually the kickoff party to final Oscar stretch — made barely a peep. The Globes were unceremoniously announced Sunday on Twitter in a private ceremony due to Hollywood’s boycott of the beleaguered Hollywood Foreign Press Association over diversity and ethical issues. The omicron surge also prompted the Critics Choice Awards to postpone its Jan. 9 in-person gala. For the second straight year, Oscar season has gone virtual — and struggled to make much noise.
But the SAG nominations suggest that plenty of famous faces are in the hunt this year. Along with Will Smith (King Richard) and Cumberbatch, the nominees for best male lead actor are: Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth), Andrew Garfield (Tick, Tick ... Boom!) and Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos).
Up for best female lead are: Lady Gaga (House of Gucci), Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye), Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter), Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos) and Jennifer Hudson (Respect).
Joining Dunst and DeBose in the best female supporting category are Caitriona Balfe (Belfast), Cate Blanchett (Nightmare Alley) and Ruth Negga (Passing). The best male supporting nominees are: Affleck (The Tender Bar), Bradley Cooper (Licorice Pizza), Troy Kotsur (CODA), Jared Leto (House of Gucci) and Smit-McPhee.
Kotsur is the first deaf actor to land an individual SAG nomination.
The SAG Awards, presented by the actors guild SAG-AFTRA, are among the most reliable Oscar bellwethers. Seldom does a movie or performance not nominated by the screen actors end up winning at the Academy Awards. Actors make up the biggest percentage of the film academy, so their choices have the largest sway.
But last year, SAG and the academy diverged more than usual. Only one of its acting winners — Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah) — repeated at the Oscars. (The other SAG winners were Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and Yuh-Jung Youn in Minari.) The Aaron Sorkin courtroom drama The Trial of the Chicago 7 won best ensemble at a virtual SAG Awards while Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland — which included many nonprofessional actors and went unnominated for SAG’s ensemble award — triumphed at the Oscars.
That history will give hope to supporters of Kristen Stewart (Spencer), may be the most notable performer overlooked Wednesday. Others that missed out include Peter Dinklage (Cyrano), Ciaran Hinds (Belfast) and Rachel Zegler (West Side Story).
While some have rooted for some of the year’s most popular blockbusters to give the flagging Oscars a populist jolt, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Dune and No Time To Die received no major nominations from the actors guild. Dune and No Time to Die did, though, join Black Widow, The Matrix Resurrections and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in the stunt ensemble category.
Yet possibly the most popular TV series of last year did haul in plenty of recognition. Netflix’s much-watched Squid Game was nominated for four SAG awards including best drama series.
Series creator Hwang Dong-hyuk on Wednesday recalled watching the hoopla at awards ceremonies held at the Shrine Auditorium across the street from the University of Southern California when he was studying there.
“At the time, I told myself I’d like to feature my work at American film awards one day,” he said in an interview. “Now, I think back to those memories.”
The series’ star Lee Jung-jae said he felt an “electrical shock” when his name was announced among the nominees. A veteran of Korean TV and film, he’s laughed off US media questions about overnight success.
“I’ve decided I’m now a newbie actor!” he said Wednesday, clutching a bottle of wine.
The television nominations were also led by HBO’s Succession (four nods including best drama series and best actor for Jeremy Strong and Brian Cox); Ted Lasso (five nods including best comedy series); and The Morning Show (four nods including best drama series).
The 28th annual SAG Awards are to be held Feb. 27 and will be broadcast on TNT and TBS. The Oscars are scheduled for March 27.
It’s as if the outside world conspired to rob Yanshuei (鹽水) of its importance and prosperity. As waterways filled with silt, access to the ocean — which had made it possible for this little town, several kilometers from the sea in the northern part of Tainan, to become a major entrepot — was lost. The north-south railway, a key driver of economic development during the 1895-1945 period of Japanese rule, never arrived. Then, in the 1970s, the sugar industry went into terminal decline. Like Taiwan’s other old settlements, Yanshuei used to be a walled town. The defensive barrier is long
Taiwan’s history is full of three-digit numbers indicating the month and day of major events: there’s 228 denoting the pivotal White Terror incident in 1947 and 921 for the devastating Jiji earthquake of 1999. Not quite as well remembered are 823, which represents the start of the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis of 1958 or, 524, the date of an attack on the US Embassy in Taiwan by rioters the year before. One date that is now forgotten by all except the staunchest Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) nostalgists is the snappiest of the lot: 123. On Jan. 23, 1954,
We weave our way through an old cemetery in the dark, as the sound of our quarry gets closer. At the foot of an old tomb, beneath a pile of rubble, we find what we are looking for. Tonight we embark on the seventh and final stage of the Taipei Grand Trail (台北大縱走). Starting with an ascent up to Zhinan Temple (指南宮), on past the famous Maokong Potholes (貓空壺穴), we then meander through the tea plantations and tea houses overlooking Taipei city, finally ending the epic adventure back down at National Chengchi University (國立政治大學). This section was deliberately left until the end
Are you in control of your smartphone or is it in control of you? Sometimes it is difficult to tell. One minute you might be using FaceTime to chat with loved ones or talking about your favorite TV show on Twitter. Next, you’re stuck in a TikTok “scroll hole” or tapping your 29th e-mail notification of the day and no longer able to focus on anything else. We often feel like we can’t pull ourselves away from our devices. As various psychologists and Silicon Valley whistleblowers have stated, that is by design. Many people are making efforts to resist and step away