Usually, the SAG [Screen Actors Guild] Awards are good predictors of most of the acting category at the Oscars, especially because the largest branch of the Academy is the acting branch. However, most of the SAG members tend to vote for the movie they liked best, instead of the cast they liked best – thus, the ‘Best Ensemble’ category is generally the equivalent of Best Picture at the SAGs, and thus is a good way to look at how the Oscars are going to go.
When it comes to Best Ensemble, it really comes down to Silver Linings Playbook versus Lincoln, which is also the way the Oscars are shaping up. While ‘Lincoln’ is definitely dominated by Daniel Day-Lewis, other actors have their share of stand-out moment, and Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones are powerhouses in the film. Despite all that, Daniel Day-Lewis is still the dominant force in the movie and everyone else, despite how good they are, are overshadowed by him. ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, on the other hand, is a movie with much more ‘equal’ acting, an ensemble in the truest sense of the word, where everyone is on the same ground and everyone gets equal chances to shine.
In addition, Silver Linings Playbook is more likely to triumph because they are represented in both the Best Actor and Best Actress race, whereas ‘Lincoln’ is only represented in the Best Actor one. And apart from Best Actor, Lincoln is far more likely to lose to Silver Linings Playbook in the other categories.
This is not to discount other films – in fact, apart from Best Actress [where it’s a Jennifer Lawrence versus Jessica Chastain race], and Best Actor [where Daniel Day-Lewis is a lock], Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor are likely going to other movies. Anne Hathaway is a sure bet for Best Supporting Actress because of her bravura turn in ‘Les Miserables’, and it’s likely Philip Seymour Hoffman’s to lose in the Best Supporting Actor category [although both Robert DeNiro and Tommy Lee Jones may give him a run for his money]. Either way, we’ll find out for sure on January 27th, when the SAGs will air live from Los Angeles.