The State of the Oscar Race: A Crazy Week Offers Clarity to Key Categories | Festivals & Awards

Alas, two actors whose work was nominated this year weren’t present on Tuesday. Brendan Fraser, who was up for Best Actor in a Drama for his movie “The Whale,” stayed away from the awards show. The reason? In 2018, Fraser alleged sexual assault by Phillip Berk, a former HFPA president who is from South Africa. Berk was expelled in 2021 for calling Black Lives Matter “a racist hate movement.”

Then there is Tom Cruise, whose film “Top Gun: Maverick” was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama. Cruise would have likely been up for Best Actor, and could land there for the Academy, but he returned his three Golden Globes trophies in protest because of the controversies. The voting members decided to take the petty route and overlooked him.

In terms of timing, it’s worth noting that the Golden Globes winners were revealed on the same day that Academy Award members started casting their nominations ballots for the 95th annual awards. The slate of Oscar contenders will be unveiled on January 24, with the Oscars show set for March 12.

The Actors Have Their Say

The morning after the Globes, the Screen Actors Guild (aka SAG) revealed their choices for the best of 2022. There were few major surprises outside of Adam Sandler complicating the wildly unpredictable fifth spot in Best Actor, Ana de Armas continuing her awards season ascension for “Blonde,” and Paul Dano getting in while Michelle Williams missed (possibly over category confusion given she’s been pushed in lead but many consider the performance supporting). Once again, “The Banshees of Inisherin,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” and “The Fabelmans” are the strongest competitors for Oscar right now as their casts accounted for 9 of 20 acting nominations. Here are the key categories for SAG with Ensemble basically being their Best Picture.

“The Banshees of Inisherin”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once”
“The Fabelmans”
“Women Talking”

Austin Butler, “Elvis”
Colin Farrell, “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Brendan Fraser, “The Whale”
Bill Nighy, “Living”
Adam Sandler, “Hustle”

Cate Blanchett, “TAR”
Viola Davis, “The Woman King”
Ana de Armas, “Blonde”
Danielle Deadwyler, “Till”
Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Paul Dano, “The Fabelmans”
Brendan Gleeson, “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Barry Keoghan, “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Ke Huy Quan, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Good Nurse”

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