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SAG Brings Back the Big Sick With 2 Nominations – and Thawed Out My Cold Dark Heart

The Big Sick was bizarrely shut out of the Golden Globes, especially since they have a whole category for comedies and it’s probably the best comedy of the year, along with Lady Bird, I Tonya, Battle of the Sexes, Girls Trip, and the Disaster Artist. The Big Sick has a sweetness about it that thaws out this bitter season like no other. Sight unseen I thought it was going to be a snarky dudebro chore in laughing at dumb jokes dudebros think are funny but I could not have been more wrong. This optimistic love story celebrates the diversity of American life in such a memorable, permanently affecting way that even I emerged a fan. So it was disappoint, to say the least, that it was left off the Golden Globes entirely – not even a casual nod in its direction, not even a supporting nod for Holly Hunter.

But the SAGs seemed to have turned around the Big Sick’s fate, giving it a SAG ensemble nomination and a supporting nod for Hunter. What does that mean? Does it mean this sweet movie – one of the few released this year that makes me feel true happiness – has a shot at Best Picture? In a perfect world that’s exactly what it would mean. Like all of the films that hover on the fringe it will need about 100 or 150 people picking this film as their number one for it to get in. Do that many people love this movie enough?

It’s possible that Lady Bird’s success means there is only one room for a comedy in the race. Maybe it means that. Maybe it doesn’t. I’ll say this about The Big Sick: I’m old, I’m mean, I’m bitter and I’m angry most of the time and this movie pried open my icy and miserable insides and turned the hunk of coal where my heart used to be back into a beating, alive, hopeful thing. It really should have made me even more angry because fuck these people in love at a time like this. Alas, I was “completely overwhelmed” by it.

The SAG AFTRA voters are the most diverse of the entire guild. They nominated Get Out AND Mudbound. Last year, Moonlight AND Hidden Figures AND Fences. They nominated Beasts of No Nation AND Straight Outta Compton. Their intersectionality knows no bounds. It is rare that the asian story, let alone the Pakistan/American story is told very often, if ever. But Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani decided their own love story was unique enough, and weird enough, to share with the world. 

So here’s to the SAG for giving the Big Sick a well deserved boost in a race that really doesn’t deserve a movie this good.