In terms of the surprise nomination that made me the happiest it would have to be in the form of the pint-sized Jacob Tremblay who helped anchor the moving film Room as Jack, along with Brie Larson who played Ma. As the awards season has progressed, his performance has been consistently overlooked, despite giving a powerful performance that far surpasses many performance this year from actors who have already been in the business for decades. It’s his performance that film truly relies on and he’s equally inquisitive, heartbreaking and warm. He should be an obvious contender rather than a surprise, and I dare anyone to make it through the film without turning into a bucket of sap after a scene with him and a dog.
Bryan Cranston and Sarah Silverman
Bryan Cranston and Sarah Silverman both earned nominations this morning for their respective performances in Trumbo and I Smile Back with the later possibly being the most surprising moment of the announcements. While Silverman is very good in the role, the film (which I didn’t like very much at all) hasn’t exactly won raves. Cranston isn’t as surprising, but before this morning a nomination for him and the film seemed like slim possibilities, listed around eight on personal polls. Is Silverman that Jennifer Aniston of this year? Does Cranston have a lot of goodwill after his work on Malcolm in the Middle and Breaking Bad?
Helen Mirren – Woman in Gold/Trumbo
Here we have, in as good of an example as we’ll ever get, the power of Harvey Weinstein. While I’m sure that Mirren is great in Woman in Gold as she so often is (I personally haven’t watched the film yet) let’s not pretend that this film was only passable by critics standards. Her nomination for this and Trumbo almost seem to be filling the Meryl Streep role of the year, where any performance of hers will be considered award worthy, even if the film surrounding the performance was either inconsequential or downright bad. What makes it more frustrating is that her nomination shut out actresses such as Charlotte Rampling (45 Years), Jane Fonda (Youth) and Carey Mulligan (Suffragette) all of whom were deserving of the spot.
No Mark Ruffalo
I’m sure some would categorize this one as a snub but I’m too pleased with who it allowed to sneak in to call it as such. It is however, without question a surprise that he (or Michael Keaton for that matter) was left out of the Supporting Actor category despite winning raves for his role in Spotlight, one of the only films people consider a front runner. Instead, well deserving actors such as the aforementioned Jacob Tremblay got in, along with Michael Shannon’s great turn in 99 Homes (if I had my way, both Shannon and Andrew Garfield would be up for serious consideration for their roles in that film). The only real possibility I can think of is that he and Keaton split the vote, but it’s an interesting development so early on in the season.
Key & Peele for best Comedy Ensemble
Not much in the television category surprised me, although much of it annoyed me. It’s time for Big Bang Theory and Downton Abbey to be cycled out of the lineup and make room for not only newer shows, but, more importantly, better shows. So yeah, the television category is largely bland and boring in the SAG television field, as always (look to the Golden Globes for more interesting picks) aside from one, peculiar but great choice. Key and Peele getting a nomination is both surprising and well deserved, especially as it’s the first time they’ve gotten one and it’s for their last season. Did enough voters tune in finally? Word of mouth? Their knack for creating viral clips? Who knows, but we can shut up and just be happy about it for now.
Let us know in the comments what nominations surprised you and who you thought was unfairly snubbed?