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What the SAG Awards snubs and surprises mean for the Oscars
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What the SAG Awards snubs and surprises mean for the Oscars

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What do we think about the surprise nominations for "House of Gucci," Javier Bardem ("Being the Ricardos"), and Cate Blanchett ("Nightmare Alley"). What happens now that Best Actress Oscar front-runner Kristen Stewart ("Spencer") has been snubbed? And can any film beat "Belfast" in the race for best cast?

LOS ANGELES — The Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations landed Wednesday morning, news that could be viewed as the kickoff to this year's awards season, provided you weren't following the Golden Globes' Twitter account Sunday night. In that case, you'd know that Kenneth Branagh has the "write stuff," it takes 43 muscles to smile and that, murdered teenagers aside, the laugh riot "West Side Story" has the "cure for what ails you." (That tweet was, as you might guess, eventually deleted.)

So, OK, let's just say awards season actually starts now. The SAG Awards nominations, voted on by two panels of 2,500 randomly selected SAG-AFTRA members (one for film, another for TV), offer a reliable indication of how the Oscar acting races will take shape.

And the honors themselves often mirror the Academy Awards, though last year Oscar voters went their own way in the lead acting categories, choosing Frances McDormand ("Nomadland") and Anthony Hopkins ("The Father") over the SAG Award-winning "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" duo of Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman.

On the TV side, the notion of one's awards futures being "up" or "down" is less central to the SAG discussion — the Emmy Awards calendar, still set to the rhythms of the broadcast TV year, doesn't follow the Oscar circuit's momentum-building rhythm. Still, with the Golden Globes under a cloud this year, the SAG Awards are the first time fall 2021 titles are eligible for awards consideration.

Unfortunately, beyond Netflix's viral juggernaut "Squid Game" — the first non-English language series to nab an ensemble cast prize, and actors Jung Ho-Yeon and and Lee Jung-Jae, the first individual performers to be nominated for non-English language TV roles — this year's crop followed tradition — if not always taste.

Who's exercised those 43 smiling muscles yesterday? And who went right back to bed? Let's take a look.


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