How will this weekend’s PGA and SAG awards shape the race?

Hot on the heels of the Academy Award nominations, this coming Saturday and Sunday will see a pair of guild awards give out their big prizes. Yes, the Producers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild will have their ceremonies, with both acting as huge Oscar precursors. It’s no exaggeration to say that what PGA and SAG does will heavily shape what the Academy does next month. Will they make a La La Land romp into a foregone conclusion? Will they really open the door for a Moonlight upset? What about Manchester by the Sea? Read on to see the possibilities. Below you will see my takes on both precursors, including predictions for what will go down this weekend with each guild. Tomorrow I will have a first set of post nomination Academy Award predictions, though just note that PGA and/or SAG could make those predictions that immediately need to be amended. That’s something to keep in mind for later. For now though, it’s Guild prediction time! First up is the Producers Guild, which for me really does seem like the one to watch in the Best Picture race. The nominees here are Arrival, Deadpool, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, and Moonlight.

That’s the Oscar nine, plus Deadpool, which you can count out. This is essentially a three horse race between La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, and Moonlight. La La Land seems like the heavy favorite, though if there’s an upset, it’s probably Moonlight. If that happens, this race officially becomes bonkers. If not, La La Land is closing in on locking up Best Picture at the Oscars. The PGA voters will certainly have an important choice on their hands this Saturday night. Next we have the Screen Actors Guild, which is very notable for its La La Land exclusion in Best Ensemble. That category consists of Captain Fantastic, Fences, Hidden Figures, Manchester by the Sea, and Moonlight. In all likelihood, this is between Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight. A win by the former would upend things a bit, as well as help out La La Land. A win by the latter keeps it as the number two option for Academy members. Just how much SAG likes La La Land will be seen in the Lead Actor and Lead Actress categories. In the former, Ryan Gosling seems likely to lose to either Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea or Denzel Washington for Fences. Affleck is the Oscar frontrunner, though Washington is seem as a probable victor here. An Affleck win sews the category up (and look below for my prediction on which will emerge). If Gosling pulls the upset, it might move him up to two at the Oscars, but it shows that voters really did still love the film. In the latter category, Emma Stone could become the frontrunner if she wins Actress over Natalie Portman for Jackie. Watch out for Isabelle Huppert to potentially upset for Elle though. The Supporting categories seem less exciting, with Viola Davis a lock in Supporting Actress for Fences (unless somehow Michelle Williams shocks for Manchester by the Sea), while Mahershala Ali is the odds on favorite in Supporting Actor for Moonlight (barring a Jeff Bridges in Hell or High Water upset). We shall see what happens this Sunday night.
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