2018 SAG Award nominations: 5 biggest surprises in the movie categories

Kevin Polowy
Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment
Daniel Day-Lewis in ‘Phantom Thread’ (Focus Features)

The thespians have spoken. The nominations for the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards were announced Wednesday morning, with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri leading the way with Four Nods Inside West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center. That’s especially impressive considering there are five film categories for dramatic entries (the sixth category recognizes stunt ensembles). And it wouldn’t be a nomination announcement without some big surprises — or complaints worth harassing your local sheriff about. Here’s are the five biggest SAG surprises in the movie categories.

No Phantom Thread or The Post?
Every year there are high-profile, late-year releases that don’t make the cut, largely due to the inability of SAG’s monstrous membership to screen the films in time. This year’s victims appear to be Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread (out Dec. 25) and Steven Spielberg’s The Post (Dec. 22). Those films’ leads, Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread) and Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks (The Post), are almost guaranteed Oscar contenders, but they’ll be sitting out the SAGs.

The Big Sick rebounds from Golden Globes snubbing.
One of the biggest shockers from Monday’s Globes nominations was the complete shutout of the acclaimed rom-com The Big Sick. But the Kumail Nanjiani-starring crowd-pleaser was nursed back to health by the SAG Awards, where it will contend for the top prize, Best Ensemble. That race will be dominated by dramedies: with Lady Bird and Three Billboards making the cut along with Get Out (which qualified as a “comedy” for the Globes). Mudbound is the only pure drama to be represented as neither the acclaimed Call Me by Your Name or Darkest Hour scored a nod.

The Shape of Water loses ground after Golden Globes showing.
Guillermo del Toro’s woman-meets-sea creature feature is shaping up to be one of the most difficult films to peg when this awards season. Critics groups haven’t exactly embraced the oddball film, but on Monday it topped the Golden Globe nominations. The film had a relatively weak showing at the SAG nominations; stars Sally Hawkins and Richard Jenkins made the cut, but co-star Octavia Spencer was snubbed for Best Supporting Actress and the cast failed to register for Best Ensemble, which might lessen the film’s overall chances come Oscar time.

Margot Robbie in ‘I, Tonya’ (Neon)

Margot Robbie, James Franco, and Daniel Kaluuya are real-deal contenders.
Three presumed bubble contenders made big strides in the major acting categories. Get Out breakout Daniel Kaluuya (whose stock is rising by the day) and The Disaster Artist actor-director James Franco edged out the likes of Hanks, Day-Lewis, and Jake Gyllenhaal (Stronger) for Best Actor. Meanwhile, Margot Robbie (I, Tonya) appears to be skating closer to her first Oscar nomination after edging out Streep and Jessica Chastain (Molly’s Game).

Woody Harrelson and Steve Carell battle for Best Supporting Actor.
Beyond Best Ensemble, SAG’s most surprising category might just be Best Supporting Actor. Call Me by Your Name co-stars Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg may have split the vote, opening the door for Steve Carell (whose September release Battle of the Sexes was looking like a forgotten contender before this week) and Woody Harrelson, who scored his first major nod this season for playing a grumpy sheriff in Three Billboards, and will go head to head with his more celebrated co-star Sam Rockwell.

Watch our Role Recall interview with Woody Harrelson:

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