Tonight’s ceremony is only the 28th for the SAG Awards, but in that time SAG has proven a key port in the Oscar storm in terms of seeing the Academy eventually come close to matching the acting choices of this guild, which has a massive 124,000 eligible voters — well beyond just actors but also television personalities in news and other jobs who also get to cast a ballot ever since the merger with AFTRA. That makes it all a little less predictable in terms of matching Oscar, as well as Emmy, but still the track record is impressive.
This year the ceremony is back to a semblance of normality with a full red carpet and in-person event after last year’s pandemic-affected, stripped-down presentation in which SAG only wound up forecasting the two eventual Supporting Oscar winners, Daniel Kaluuya and Yuh Jung-Youn, and instead handed their lead acting awards to Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom as well as the streamer’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 for the all-important Outstanding Cast award which has been compared to SAG’s version of Best Picture. Oscar went in a different direction, but that is the exception, and for example the year before for 2019 achievements SAG matched Oscar 5 out of 5, and served as a real turning point for Parasite, the South Korean film that made history in taking the Cast award and rode it all the way to the Oscar Best Picture.
What is in store for tonight? We shall see if Netflix again scores with The Power of the Dog or other films, or if something else like Belfast, King Richard or CODA might walk away with all the momentum that can come from a win here. After all the critics awards of the past few weeks, SAG reps the first word from the industry itself. The race can change on a dime.
That is also true in TV, where another South Korean phenomenon, Squid Game could win its first major awards on a path to Emmy and follow in that same historic path at SAG forged by Parasite. Or will SAG, as has often been the case in the past, actually follow the lead of Emmys and crown winners like Hacks, Ted Lasso and Mare of Easttown?
Follow along below as we find out the answers to these and more questions, and give some perspective on what it all means.