What SAG re­sults mean for the Os­cars

Screen Ac­tors Guild Awards firmed up some races, threw oth­ers into chaos

USA TODAY US Edition - - FRONT PAGE - Brian Truitt

The 25th an­nual Screen Ac­tors Guild Awards on Sun­day night firmed up some races head­ing into next month’s Academy Awards, threw a bunch of oth­ers into chaos, and made the pos­si­bil­ity of a su­per­hero movie win­ning best pic­ture seem a lot more re­al­is­tic. ❚ The thes­pi­ans hon­ored their own at the SAG Awards, and although they are the largest vot­ing bloc for the Os­cars, lots of oth­ers will have a say in choos­ing which movies and stars are hon­ored at the cer­e­mony air­ing live Feb. 24 (ABC, 8 p.m. EST/ 5 PST). ❚ Let’s look at who’s up and who’s down go­ing into Hol­ly­wood’s big­gest night.

‘Black Pan­ther’ is roar­ing louder than ever.

Usu­ally we at least have one or two best pic­ture front-run­ners. This year’s con­tenders are more un­pre­dictable. With a SAG win for “Black Pan­ther,: it has mo­men­tum (it could go the route of SAG-ap­proved also-rans “Hid­den Fig­ures” and “Amer­i­can Hus­tle”). The Pro­duc­ers Guild named “Green Book” as its top movie. Then there’s “Roma,” with ma­jor Golden Globe and Crit­ics’ Choice wins. Not to men­tion an over­per­form­ing “Bo­hemian Rhap­sody” and un­der­per­form­ing “A Star Is Born.” The Academy’s pref­er­en­tial bal­lot may prove con­se­quen­tial in a race where there’s noth­ing close to a clear fa­vorite.

Glenn Close looks like a lock for her first Os­car.

Re­mem­ber when Lady Gaga had best ac­tress sewn up as soon as she started singing “Shal­low” in “A Star Is Born”? Nei­ther does any­one else. Close’s Golden Globes win for “The Wife” seemed a sur­prise at the time, but af­ter a Crit­ics’ Choice tie (with Gaga) and a SAG award – and she’s never won an Academy Award in six tries – now it seems more like kismet than up­set.

Will one, just one, best ac­tor please stand up?

The ac­tors have given a col­lec­tive thumb’s up to Rami Malek’s por­trayal of Fred­die Mer­cury in “Bo­hemian Rhap­sody.” What is un­clear is if he can woo vot­ers away from “Vice” star Chris­tian Bale’s per­for­mance as Vice Pres­i­dent Dick Cheney. Best ac­tor could be be­tween those two, though Bradley Cooper could get at­ten­tion.

Who’s go­ing to give Regina King a run for sup­port­ing ac­tress?

This is the wildest Os­cars cat­e­gory. Emily Blunt came out of nowhere to win the SAG equiv­a­lent but isn’t nom­i­nated for the Academy Award.

“If Beale Street Could Talk” star King won the Golden Globe but wasn’t up for the SAG honor.

She still seems like the safest bet. “The Favourite” ac­tresses Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz per­haps can­cel­ing each other out.

And “Vice” star Amy Adams should never be counted out.

Like Close, she’s an­other film fa­vorite who doesn’t have Os­car on her shelf.

Ma­her­shala Ali is pretty much the only sure thing.

At least one ac­tor ev­ery awards sea­son runs the ta­ble.

Af­ter wins at Globes and SAGs, Ali is likely un­stop­pable on the way to a sup­port­ing ac­tor Os­car for “Green Book,” just two years af­ter win­ning the same honor for “Moon­light.”

In an in­creas­ingly in­sane road to the Academy Awards, wins for Ali and Close seem to be the only things that make sense.

PHO­TOS BY ROBERT HANASHIRO/USA TO­DAY

Glenn Close racked up yet an­other best ac­tress win for her role in “The Wife.”

Lupita Ny­ong’o and Chad­wick Bose­man cel­e­brate as the ac­tors of “Black Pan­ther” are named out­stand­ing ensem­ble.

USA TO­DAY

Rami Malek shocked the SAGs by win­ning best ac­tor.

DAN MACMEDAN/USA TO­DAY

Awards sea­son loves Ma­her­shala Ali.

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