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Going into Saturday night’s SAG Awards, the top prize of best cast seemed to be a toss-up between the stars of Spotlight and The Big Short. The cast of the former film, about The Boston Globe‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into child sex abuse by the Catholic Church, emerged victorious. While that award was the only one for which Spotlight was nominated, The Big Short lost both of the SAG Awards for which it was nominated, going home empty-handed.
In addition to best cast, The Big Short‘s Christian Bale was nominated for best supporting actor, an award that pundits predicted he had a good shot at winning, including The Hollywood Reporter‘s awards analyst Scott Feinberg, who still gave the edge to Room‘s Jacob Tremblay. But instead, that award went to Idris Elba for his performance in Netflix’s first original feature film, Beasts of No Nation. Elba wasn’t nominated for an Oscar for his role, just one of the many nonwhite actors who failed to land Academy Award nominations. Elba won two SAG awards, also taking home the trophy for best actor in a TV movie or miniseries for his role in Luther, an award pundits predicted would come down to him and his best supporting actor in a movie competitor Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), also nominated in the TV category for Wolf Hall. But the experts gave the nod to Rylance, who lost in both categories.
Also going home empty-handed: the actors in Trumbo, despite going into the SAG Awards with three nominations, more than any other film. The film about famous blacklisted screenwriter and outspoken Communist Dalton Trumbo was up for best cast, best supporting actress (Helen Mirren) and best actor (Bryan Cranston). A win by Cranston, who plays the titular writer, seemed possible, given that he’d won multiple SAG awards for his role as Walter White on TV’s Breaking Bad.
Carol and Steve Jobs also lost both of the awards for which they were nominated, continuing a disappointing losing streak for the ‘50s-set lesbian love story, which was also shut out at the Critics’ Choice Awards and Golden Globes. While Jobs actor Michael Fassbender wasn’t even in attendance at the awards, neither he nor co-star Kate Winslet collected trophies for their work in the film about the Apple co-founder.
After the outcry over the Oscars’ lack of nonwhite acting nominees, the SAG Awards honored a diverse group of talent, with Elba proclaiming at one point in the show, “Welcome to diverse TV.” That trend and backlash from the #OscarsSoWhite controversy made it seem possible for Straight Outta Compton to take home the SAG Awards’ top prize of best cast, but the N.W.A biopic lost that award.
On the TV side, House of Cards, Game of Thrones and Homeland each scored a leading three nominations, but Thrones and Homeland each received a stunt ensemble mention. With House of Cards star Kevin Spacey winning best actor in a drama series for the second straight year, depriving Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm of his final shot at winning a solo SAG Award for his role as Don Draper, and Thrones taking home the stunt trophy, only Homeland went home without a win. Indeed, despite scoring two nominations apiece, Mad Men, The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family and Veep were all shut out.
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