With each new twist in the Oscar race there is the assumption that all of the same people are voting for the same awards. They aren’t. This is true of the critics awards, the Golden Globes, the Critics Choice and the Screen Actors, Producers and Directors Guilds. The Academy voters often reflect a slightly different perspective because the various branches, those who have been invited to join, or are Oscar winners themselves, do the voting. Best Picture is the only category where everyone votes. The actors branch is roughly 1200 members, not so different from the SAG nominating committee. But it is worth noting that the SAG voters are randomly selected, as opposed to being a group of members who have reached high points in their careers. I think that makes them slightly different.

The match-up between Academy and SAG is secure enough to make them one of the most important of the precursors but it isn’t 100%. These SAG nominations are coming very early, it feels like, compared to how the rest of the race might play out, but it feels that way every year, particularly when there is a last minute rally for a handful of films.

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  • Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
  • Sandra Bullock, Gravity
  • Judi Dench, Philomena
  • Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
  • Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks


  • Bruce Dern, Nebraska
  • Chiwitel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
  • Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
  • Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
  • Forest Whitaker, The Butler


  • Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
  • Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
  • Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
  • June Squibb, Nebraska
  • Oprah Winfrey, The Butler


  • Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
  • Daniel Bruhl, Rush
  • James Gandolfini, Enough Said
  • Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
  • Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club


  • 12 Years a Slave
  • American Hustle
  • August: Osage County
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • The Butler


  • All is Lost
  • Fast & Furious 6
  • Lone Survivor
  • Rush
  • Wolverine

TV nominees after the cut:

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Finally uploaded – the year Gladiator beat Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Traffic!


Since beginning his career in France in 1985, Alexandre Desplat has scored 150 films including two Best Picture winners. His first Golden Globe nomination came in 2004 for Girl with a Pearl Earring, and he won that same accolade in 2007 for The Painted Veil. That same year, Desplat received his first Oscar nomination for The Queen, and has since been Oscar-nominated for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The King’s Speech, and Argo. Other recent credits include Zero Dark Thirty, The Tree of Life, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2. Desplat has become the composer of choice for numerous acclaimed filmmakers, having scored multiple films for Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom), Roman Polanski (The Ghost Writer), and George Clooney (the upcoming The Monuments Men).
One of Desplat’s most consistent collaborations has been with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Stephen Frears, which has included The Queen, Cheri, and Tamara Drew. Frears’ latest film, Philomena, finds Desplat back in the Oscar race, along with star Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love), and co-star and co-writer Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder). Philomena recounts the true story of journalist Martin Sixsmith (Coogan) helping the title character (Dench) find her long-lost son, which may involve uncovering one or more horrible secrets being tightly guarded by the convent where Philomena was held captive after becoming pregnant as a teenager.

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Desplat about his collaboration with Frears and their latest film. Here’s what Desplat shared with me about finding the themes for this unique film, recording at Abbey Road Studios, and working with the some of the best musicians in the world on Philomena.

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Our first No Guts, No Glory of the season for the SAG nominations. You can pick three. The winners will get prizes but only if you predict upsets. Anything that was a generally predicted contender doesn’t count.

My choice:

Out of the Furnace for ensemble.
Brie Larson for actress.
Joaquin Phoenix for actor.

Alan of Montreal
I don't understand the argument that Chastain is overdu ...
Alan of Montreal
Yeah, I was confused about Mo'nique's inclusion in Sash ...
I would love to see Charlize Theron get in for The Last ...
Yeah, they were talking about this over on Awardswatch ...
This past Oscars was the last best chance AMPAS had of ...

Contender Tracker


Best PicturEBirth of a Nation
Manchester by the Sea

Best ActorCasey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Nate Parker, Birth of a Nation

Best ActresS

Supporting ActoR

Supporting ActresS

Nate Parker, Birth of a Nation
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Original Screenplay

Adapted Screenplay



Production Design

Sound Mixing

Sound Editing

Costume Design

Original Score

Foreign Language Feature

Documentary Feature

Animated featureZootopia
The Little Prince

Visual Effects



Live Action Short

Animated Short

Documentary Short

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