What the SAG Winners mean for this year’s Oscars

Cillian Murphy, Lily Gladstone, Robert Downey Jr, and Da'Vine Joy Randolph are all seeking their first Oscar win this year. Given these odds, here are our picks for who may upset these front runners:

By: Taylor Fox February 26, 2024 Articles

This year’s award season is drawing to a close, and with just two weeks remaining before the Academy Awards, it’s clear that some frontrunners are emerging for this year’s Oscars.

This past Saturday, thanks to Netflix, audiences were treated to the Screen Actors Guild Awards, marking the first time the show was available on the streaming service.

While it came as no surprise, as the frontrunners all season claimed their respective awards, Lily Gladstone made history as the first Native American and Indigenous person to win an individual SAG Award for her portrayal in “Killers of the Flower Moon” as Mollie Burkhart.

“Oppenheimer” continued its dominance, with Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr. both claiming their first SAG wins in a feature film. Downey Jr. had previously won the award in 2001 for his role in the TV series “Ally McBeal,” making this his first win in a motion picture after being nominated for “Good Night, and Good Luck” and “Tropic Thunder.”

“Oppenheimer” also took home the top award of the night, Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, establishing itself as the clear frontrunner to win Best Picture at this year’s Oscars.

Da’Vine Joy Randolph’s role in “The Holdovers” continues to dominate the supporting actress award race, as Randolph claimed the award for her portrayal of Mary Lamb. Randolph has gone 3-for-3 this year with wins also at the BAFTA and Golden Globes.

These four SAG winners have maintained a strong hold on their respective award races throughout the past couple of months. Historically, only seven performers have failed to win the Oscar after winning the unique combination of Globe and SAG.

Will Cillian Murphy Secure his First Oscar for his Role in “Oppenheimer”?

Since “Oppenheimer” debuted last summer, it has been apparent that Murphy would be a strong contender for the top award. The seasoned actor is no stranger to the spotlight, having collaborated with Christopher Nolan, the director of “Oppenheimer,” for some time, appearing in multiple films by the acclaimed director.

Murphy has already clinched the Golden Globe and BAFTA for his role in “Oppenheimer” and has been lauded with top awards by most film circles across the world. Christopher Nolan, who himself is seeking his first Oscar win after being nominated eight times, shared his thoughts about Cillian Murphy’s contribution:

“You’re looking at these people to come and bring an expert eye to the aspect of the film that they are solely responsible for. And what that means is you get incredible input from Cillian Murphy, having looked at the script, looked at the history, really thought deeply about the emotional truth of the journey of the character” says Nolan.

Since 2001, 16 actors have won their respective BAFTA and Golden Globe, with 13 of those going on to win the Oscar. With an 81% success rate, it seems highly likely that Murphy will claim the top award, especially given the film’s success in other top awards throughout the award season. One of the three actors who missed out on their Oscar after winning a BAFTA and Golden Globe was last year’s Austin Butler, who lost to Brendan Fraser.

Will Lily Gladstone Make History at the Oscars?

“Killers of the Flower Moon,” the film for which Gladstone is nominated, finished production almost three years ago. Despite facing delays throughout its production process, it seems like the wait will finally pay off for Gladstone.

Already making history as the first Native American and Indigenous person to claim an individual SAG Award for her portrayal of Mollie Burkhart in “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Gladstone’s journey is poised to continue at next month’s Oscars.

What sets Gladstone’s Oscar campaign apart from others on this list is her absence from not only a BAFTA win but also a nomination. Had she secured the top award at this year’s British Academy Film Awards, confidence in her Oscar win would be high.

Since 2001, 15 actresses have claimed both a BAFTA and Golden Globe, all of whom went on to win an Oscar. The most recent instance of this was in 2020 with Renée Zellweger’s performance in “Judy.”

However, Emma Stone, who won this year’s BAFTA for her role in “Poor Things,” poses a potential upset for Gladstone, joining unique company with both a BAFTA and Golden Globe win this year.

Is This Robert Downey Jr.’s Post-MCU Renaissance?

Robert Downey Jr. has graced our screens since the 1980s, and while many know him as Tony Stark, the billionaire-turned-superhero in Marvel’s “Iron Man,” his latest role as Lewis Strauss may mark a new pinnacle in his career.

Since his iconic portrayal of Iron Man in 2008, Downey Jr. has appeared in 10 projects as Mr. Stark, concluding his tenure in 2019. During this time, he also starred as Sherlock Holmes in two films and earned an Oscar nomination for his role in “Tropic Thunder.”

Now, Downey Jr. sets his sights on claiming the top award with his third Oscar nomination, following nods for “Tropic Thunder” and 1992’s “Chaplin.” Since 2001, 13 actors have claimed both a BAFTA and Golden Globe for “Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture.” Only one of these actors missed out on the Oscar: Clive Owen in 2005’s “Closer,” losing to Morgan Freeman in “Million Dollar Baby.”

Downey Jr hopes to claim the top award with his third Oscar nomination after Tropic Thunder and 1992′ Chaplin. Since 2001 – there has been 13 actors who claimed a BAFTA and Golden Globe for ‘Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture’. Only 1 of these actors missed out on their Oscar with Clive Owen in 2005’s Closer. He missed out to Morgan Freeman in Million Dollar Baby.

Can Da’Vine Joy Randolph Shine Bright in a Stiff Oscar Competition?

Entering this year’s award season, “The Holdovers,” featuring Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Mary Lamb, didn’t initially appear as a strong contender in most circles. However, after securing key nominations and wins, the film may emerge as a dark horse this year.

Randolph faces tough competition from Emily Blunt, Jodie Foster, Danielle Brooks, and America Ferrera. Yet, the data suggests that her name could very well be announced next month.

Since 2001, 13 actresses who won both the BAFTA and Golden Globe have received Oscar nominations in their respective years. Only two of these actresses missed out, namely Jennifer Lawrence in 2014 and Kate Winslet in 2016. Since 2017, Viola Davis, Allison Janney, Laura Dern, and Ariana DeBose have won all three, indicating that Randolph could likely join this esteemed group.

Can All Four SAG Winners Secure Their Respective Oscars?

Cillian Murphy, Lily Gladstone, Robert Downey Jr., and Da’Vine Joy Randolph are all vying for their first Oscar win this year, marking the first time that Murphy, Gladstone, and Randolph have been nominated for the prestigious award.

Given these odds, let’s delve into who could potentially upset these frontrunners:

Best Actor:
– Frontrunner: Cillian Murphy
– Potential Upset: Colman Domingo (Domingo’s surprise Oscar nomination ahead of favorites like Leonardo DiCaprio or Andrew Scott suggests strong momentum. His absence from the Golden Globe nominations may indicate overlooked potential in “Rustin.”)

Best Actress:
– Frontrunner: Lily Gladstone
– Potential Upset: Emma Stone (Stone’s BAFTA and Golden Globe wins usually secure an Oscar win. However, Gladstone’s buzz for “Killers of the Flower Moon” poses stiff competition, especially after surpassing Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro in this year’s award race.)

Best Supporting Actor:
– Frontrunner: Robert Downey Jr
– Potential Upset: Ryan Gosling (Gosling’s performance in “Barbie” gained significant online buzz. While a long shot, surprises are common, and Gosling could be this year’s dark horse.)

Best Supporting Actress:
– Frontrunner: Da’Vine Joy Randolph
– Potential Upset: Emily Blunt (Randolph’s Golden Globe, SAG, and BAFTA wins put her in a strong position, but Blunt’s performance in “Oppenheimer” presents formidable competition. A shift in momentum could occur if Blunt snags the award early in the night.)

The 96th Academy Awards, also referred to as ‘The Oscars, ‘ takes place on March 10, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. EDT at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

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