12 Years a Slave Dominates the SAG Awards Nominations

Oscar season is officially in full swing with today’s announcement of the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards (SAG Awards) nominations, and as predicted, 12 Years a Slave has emerged as a clear winner in the eyes of industry professionals – many of whom are also Oscar voters – with four nominations, including Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Ensemble Cast (the SAG Awards equivalent of “Best Picture”).

The SAG Awards also favored Lee Daniels’ The ButlerDallas Buyers Club and August: Osage County with three nominations a piece, cementing – for those in the business of handicapping such things – their positions in the Oscar nominations short list. Although not a clear indicator of future Academy Awards nominations, since only Screen Actors Guild members are eligible (and many prospective Oscar nominees are not officially members), the Screen Actors Guild is the largest voting body in the Oscar nomination process, and they clearly have their favorites.

Few surprises are to be found in the SAG Awards nominations: many were beginning to assume that Rush‘s Daniel Brühl, as real-life racing legend Niki Lauda, would be forgotten by the time awards season came around, but he made the cut for Best Supporting Actor after all. The late James Gandolfini was also nominated in the category for his supporting turn in Enough Said, a film that might have been considered too slight for awards consideration, but pulled out a nomination for his sweet, soulful performance. Julia Roberts hasn’t been spotlighted often as an awards contender for her emotional turn in August: Osage County​, but made it into the Best Supporting Actress race. And last year’s Best Actress winner, at both the SAG Awards and the Oscars, Jennifer Lawrence has turned into a major late-in-the-game Best Supporting Actress spoiler for her scene stealing turn in David O. Russell’s American Hustle.

As far as snubs go, CraveOnline can’t help but be saddened by the absence of James Franco’s instantly iconic performance as the drug dealer “Alien” in Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, a film that was probably too extreme – in every possible sense – to appeal to the majority of most voting bodies. (Although Franco did win “Best Supporting Actor” from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, in a tie with Dallas Buyers Club‘s Jared Leto.) Robert Redford was expected to be a frontrunner for his solo turn in J.C. Chandor’s survival drama All is Lost, but was denied a nomination. And Tom Hanks was expected by sum to be nominated in two categories – Best Actor, for Captain Phillips, and Best Supporting Actor, for Saving Mr. Banks – but only turned up in the lead actor category.

The complete list of SAG Awards motion picture nominations, excluding the nominations for television (which we will leave to the TV experts to comment about), are as follows. The SAG Awards winners will be announced on January 18, 2014.

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

12 Years a Slave

American Hustle

August: Osage County

Dallas Buyers Club

Lee Daniels’ The Butler


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Bruce DernNebraska

Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips

Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Forest Whitaker, Lee Daniels’ The Butler


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Sandra Bullock, Gravity

Judi Dench, Philomena

Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

Daniel Brühl, Rush

Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave

James Gandolfini, Enough Said

Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

Julia Roberts, August: Osage County

June Squibb, Nebraska

Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels’ The Butler

William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline’s Film Channel and co-host of The B-Movies Podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.