The first round of guild nominations are in, specifically the PGA (Producer’s Guild Awards) and SAG (Screen Actor’s Guild) awards.
Of the four major guilds, these two are generally less predictive of Oscar than the DGA (Director’s Guild Awards) and WGA (Writer’s Guild Awards), but they’re more reliable than most other precursor awards as well. The DGA and WGA nominations will be announced in another week.
Figure three and a half of the PGA Best Picture nominees will make the Oscar list, and four SAG nominees in each acting category will make it. That means that a surprise omission from any of these lists will likely be swapped out for a different surprise omission in the Oscars.
The surprise omissions at the PGA are Letters From Iwo Jima, omitted from the Best Picture list, and Over the Hedge, omitted from the Best Animated Feature list. Though it’s not a huge surprise, I was disappointed not to see the PGA go for United 93, one of the best films I’ve seen this decade.
As for the SAG, despite Best Supporting Actress double-dipping with Babel and an oddity with Leonardo diCaprio (a lead nomination for Blood Diamond and a supporting for The Departed; for the Oscars, it seems he’ll go lead in The Departed), all the surprises seem to be piled into the Best Supporting Actor category. Jack Nicholson (The Departed), Michael Sheen (The Queen), and Brad Pitt (Babel) are nowhere to be found. Instead, Djimon Hounsou squeezes in for Blood Diamond, and the critical favorite Jackie Earle Haley scores for Little Children.
Things will clear up a lot next week, when we see if the oddities are peculiar to a particular guild or part of a surprising trend. The PGA missing Letters means nothing…unless the DGA and WGA miss it too.