Thursday, December 28, 2017

Speculative fiction nominees at the 2018 SAG Awards

I told my readers to "Stay tuned for posts on speculative fiction at the SAG Awards" in the list of future post topics that concluded Neutron star collision detected and other top science stories of 2017.  As an environmentalist, I love recycling ideas, including the theme of last year's post on these awards, Speculative fiction at the 2017 SAG Awards.  Without any further ado, watch the 24th Annual SAG Awards Nominations Ceremony from TNT.

Watch Olivia Munn and Niecy Nash announce the 24th Annual SAG Awards nominees LIVE from the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, CA!
I found Munn and Nash to be a hoot to watch, as Nash inspired Munn to be more fun and expressive.  I took it as one of the benefits of diversity.  Speaking of which, diversity was not a problem at the SAG Awards this year, either, as Variety noted SAG Awards Nominations Continue Strong Diversity Showing.  Yay!  I hope to say the same about the Oscar nominations next month.

Another Variety article listed the nominees. It showed that speculative fiction had at least one nominee in every acting category for movies, again demonstating both the high quality of this year's best speculative fiction films and the respect actors have for genre works.  The same two movies that have been recognized in every awards program I have reported on so far, "Get Out" and "The Shape of Water," earned two nominations each.

"Get Out" has a nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and Daniel Kaluuya garnered one for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role.  I still think neither will win, with Gary Oldman winning the acting award and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” winning the cast award, but it deserved both nominations.  I'm hoping Kaluuya earns a nomination for Best Actor in a Film at the Saturn Awards.  I'm pretty sure "Get Out" will be nominated for Best Thiller Film (nothing supernatural about it, so it won't be nominated as horror).

"The Shape of Water" earned nominations for Sally Hawkins as Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role and Richard Jenkins as Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.  I'm not optimistic about either winning, as the competition is very stiff in both categories.  That reminds me that I thought the actresses were better than the actors last year, both in film and on television.  This year, I think the men are as good as the women.

While "Downsizing" may be a disappointment at the box office, Hong Chau's performance hasn't been, as she has now been nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role to join her Critics' Choice and Golden Globes nominations.  KTLA interviewed her in Hong Chau Reacts to Her SAG Nomination.

This segment aired on the KTLA 5 Morning News, Wednesday, December 13, 2017.
Congratulations to Chau, as she is obviously the best thing about "Downsizing."  That won't be enough for her to win, as her competition is too stiff.  Holly Hunter, Allison Janney, and Laurie Metcalf are all established actresses and all delivered outstanding performances, so I think one of them will win.  Just the same, that she has been a consensus pick so far bodes well for her being nominated for an Oscar.

Speaking of nominations, I think she should be nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Film at the Saturn Awards.  However, I don't think she'll win, even if the professionals think she's the best supporting actress in a speculative fiction film (Olivia Spencer could just as easily have been nominated instead of Mary J. Blige for her role in "The Shape of Water," but wasn't).  I suspect the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films will also nominate Spencer as well as Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, and possibly Carrie Fisher for a seventh nominee if she isn't nominated for a leading role from "The Last Jedi."  They might also nominate Blige, as they could consider "Mudbound" an independent film, which would qualify her for the nomination.  For a sixth nominee, they could honor last year's winner Tilda Swinton for her role in "Okja."  That would make for a talented and diverse field, but I'd give the advantage to one of Dern, Fisher, or Tran, none of whom will get a nomination for their parts elsewhere.  Remember, the Saturn Awards are about entertainment not art, they don't care for subtle, and they love to stick it to the experts.

One final movie category recognized genre films for all of its nominations, Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture.  I'll let a picture say its 1000 words for me.

Oh, look, two superhero films, a science fiction movie, and two action flicks, making this the strongest category for speculative fiction in movies.

Follow over the jump for the television nominees.

Speculative fiction did very well in drama, but didn't make a single appearance in comedy or television movies and miniseries.  "Stranger Things 2" earned the most nominations among drama series with four, tying "GLOW" in comedy series and "Big Little Lies" in television movies and miniseries.  As the image above shows, it joined "Game of Thrones" and "The Handmaid's Tale" among the nominees for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.  Once again, speculative fiction nominees dominate drama.

"Stranger Things 2" also earned two individual acting awards for David Barbour in Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series and Millie Bobbie Brown in Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series.  As for whether it will win any of them, I think it might repeat last year's win for Ensemble in a Drama Series, as it beat "Game of Thrones."  However, it didn't have "The Handmaid's Tale" or "This is Us" to contend with, both of which could upset it. I'm not optimistic about Barbour and Brown, as both have tougher competition in their categories, which they didn't win last year, either.

In addition to its nomination for Ensemble in a Drama Series, Peter Dinklage is competing with Barbor for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series.  I think Dinklage has a better chance of winning, but I am still giving the advantage to Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown for "This is Us."

Elizabeth Moss of "The Handmaid's Tale" is competing with Brown of "Stranger Things 2" for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series and I think she has a better chance of winning as she won the Emmy.  However, the returning winner is Claire Foy, so either of them beating her would be an upset.

The closest speculative fiction came to being nominated in comedy, miniseries, or television movies was Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein in "Genius" for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries.  As great an actor as Rush is, he's not going to win against his fellow nominees, especially Robert De Niro or Alexander Skarsgard.

As for comedy, I will have to settle for Kristen Bell of "The Good Place" as the host.  Too bad she wasn't nominated, but that would have been awkward.

Finally, I will once again let a picture speak its 1000 words for the strength of speculative fiction in Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series.

This category lists the fourth nomination for "Stranger Things 2," the third nomination for "Game of Thrones," and the only nomination for "The Walking Dead."  I'm rooting for "The Walking Dead," but I think the award will go to "Game of Thrones" for the seventh consecutive time.  Insert joke about White Walkers beating Walkers here.

Stay tuned for an entry about the top political documentaries of 2017 tomorrow.

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