Thursday, December 17, 2009

SAG Nominees: Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture

My predictions: 3/5, missing “An Education” and “Precious
Not nominated for Best Picture at the Golden Globes: “An Education
Who’s missing: “Up in the Air

The most shocking snub of all – “Up in the Air,” which earned the most individual performance nominations of any film, isn’t considered to have one of the best ensembles of the year. Director Jason Reitman’s last film, “Juno,” wasn’t nominated here either, though, so it’s just another senseless omission that shouldn’t mean much for the Oscars. This is wonderful news for An Education, however, which couldn’t earn Alfred Molina an individual nomination but is able to recognize the stellar cast, which includes Peter Sarsgaard and Dominic Cooper. The Hurt Locker stars lesser-known actors, and it’s great that it’s here, in addition to the magnificent ensemble of Inglorious Basterds. All of the singing and dancing paid off for the actresses in Nine, as they and Daniel Day-Lewis join nominee Penelope Cruz in this category. The fifth nominee is about of a disappointment, since there were far better ensembles out there than the cast of Precious, though it is a good way to acknowledge the contributions of Mariah Carey and Paula Patton without affording them undeserving supporting slots.

Who could win? The likeliest best is probably Nine, though it could also be either “The Hurt Locker” or “Inglorious Basterds,” or either “Precious” if voters are feeling especially affectionate towards that film.
What does this mean for the Oscar race? This category sometimes predicts Best Picture and sometimes doesn’t (5/5 in 2001, 1/5 in 2007). It’s definitely a good thing for “An Education” and “Precious,” whereas it doesn’t necessarily mean anything for “Nine” (“Hairspray” was nominated in 2007 before getting shut out at the Oscars), and the other two don’t need any help. As mentioned previously, it shouldn’t hurt the chances of “Up in the Air.”

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