2021 SAG Awards Predictions (All Categories)

This year’s Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards are unusual: they’re pre-taped, an hour long, and airing at 9pm tonight on TNT/TBS. I’ll probably end up skipping it and just watching the acceptance speeches tomorrow or whenever I have free time. Remember when Parasite won Best Ensemble at last year’s SAG Awards? That was pretty dope, as the young people say. This year’s winners are both difficult and easy to predict, if that makes any sense. But, I’ll do my best. And, as I’ve seen all of the movies but not the films, I won’t say who I’d prefer to win in the TV categories. 

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Should win: Minari
Will win: The Trial of the Chicago 7
Possible spoiler: One Night in Miami

Minari is among my favorite films of the year, and as much as I enjoyed the other films in this category (except Da 5 Bloods)Minari clearly has the best, most talented, unique cast. Trial has the most number of recognizable faces — Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, among others — but it’s the only [almost] all-white cast. And, yes, while I really liked the movie, it doesn’t deserve to win here. It’s also possible that the SAG actors opted to reward Miami, which is a true ensemble piece, with equal narratives given to each principal character. After all, SAG has given this award to films that were long-shots for the Oscar (like Black Panther), but seeing as Miami missed the cut, it seems unlikely. 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Should/will win: Carey Mulligan
Possible spoiler: Viola Davis

While far from a shoo-in, Mulligan is currently the front-runner in the terrific Promising Young Woman (my #1 of 2020). She currently leads in critics wins overall, and because Golden Globe winner Andra Day is absent here, this gives her an opening. But, don’t count out previous winner Davis, who was the front-runner early in the awards season. She’s a well-respected actor who gives a fully transformative, dynamic performance in Ma Rainey’s Black BottomFrances McDormand is in 3rd place here, although with a win in this category just a few years prior, this doesn’t seem likely. Kirby and Adams should just be lucky to be nominated — Adams especially, who is actually bad in the horrendous Hillbilly Elegy

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Should win: Anthony Hopkins
Will win: Chadwick Boseman
Possible spoiler: Hopkins

At this point, the late, great Boseman truly is a shoo-in for this category. It’s a way of honoring the work of a talented artist who left us too young, too soon. And, while he certainly gives what is clearly the best performance of his career in Ma Rainey, it’s not the best in this category. This award should go to the legendary Hopkins, who is sensational and heartbreaking as an aging father suffering from dementia in The Father (review forthcoming). If it were any other year, and had Boseman not passed away, Hopkins would have this in the bag. He should be receiving his second Oscar and picking up numerous wins, but that won’t happen here at SAG. Hopkins is the only one who could unseat Boseman, but I’m not counting on it. 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role​

Should/will win: Yuh-jun Youn
Possible spoiler: Maria Bakalova

I’m torn over this category, as there’s been a different winner at just about every major race lately: Jodie Foster won the Globe, but was shut out here and at the Oscars, and Bakalova won the Critics Choice but lost (in a different category) at the Globes. Minari’s Youn and Borat‘s Bakalova are pretty much neck in neck as far as critics wins go. Youn should win here, as she’s excellent as the quirky, no-nonsense grandma whose chemistry with young co-star Alan S. Kim is among the film’s highlights. And, because SAG is likely to give the Ensemble award to another film, they may decide to reward Minari here. That could just be wishful thinking on my part, as Bakalova could take this. Some have predicted Glenn Close winning here, as she is much beloved by her fellow actors; they clearly didn’t hate the move as much as the rest of us did, and despite her recent win for The Wife, they could give it to her again. Honestly, even Close’s former awards nemesis Olivia Colman could win here; it’s anyone’s (except Helena Zengel’s) game. 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Should/will win: Daniel Kaluuya
Possible spoiler: Sacha Baron Cohen

Judas and the Black Messiah‘s Daniel Kaluuya is just as much a steamroller in this category as Boseman is in the leading category. Both Kaluuya and Boseman have yet to lose major awards in their respective categories, and despite Judas not being represented in any other category here, it’s Kaluuya’s to lose. That said, it’s possible for double-nominee to sneak in, as the actors may love Trial enough to give it two awards. Here’s hoping that’s not the case. 

TV Categories

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: The Crown

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series: Emma Corrin, The Crown (or Gillian Anderson)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series: Josh O’Connor, The Crown (or Jason Bateman, Ozark)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: Schitt’s Creek (or Ted Lasso)

Outstanding Performance by an Female in a Comedy Series: Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek

Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Comedy Series: Eugene (or Dan) Levy, Schitt’s Creek

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series: Anya Taylor-Joy, The Queen’s Gambit

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series: Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True

Stunt Categories

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture: Mulan 

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series: The Mandalorian