Next weekend we’ll get the second act in the most unpredictable awards race we’ve seen in a while. What we don’t yet know is if The Big Short, which took the Producers Guild, will take all of the major guilds – SAG, ACE, DGA, WGA — or not.
Since Best Picture expanded and both the Academy and the PGA implemented the preferential ballot in 2009, the SAG Awards Ensemble winner (which is still decided by a plurality ballot) has matched Best Picture only three times: The King’s Speech, Argo, and Birdman. All three of these films also won the PGA, so we have yet to see a PGA + SAG Awards Ensemble winner fail to win the Oscar during this expanded Best Picture era.
Still, it’s theoretically possible that Spotlight will win the SAG Awards Ensemble and The Big Short will have the PGA. Then we have to watch for the DGA. Gravity is the only film that won (tied) the PGA and the DGA and lost Best Picture since 2009.
What probably won’t happen, or what we’ve never seen happen since SAG gave out its first Ensemble award to The Birdcage, is for their Ensemble award winner not also be a Best Picture nominee – this is true of the acting categories as well. As such, those without an Oscar nomination can be tossed out from your predictions, barring some kind of fluke. That means only Christian Bale or Mark Rylance can win in supporting actor, and that only Spotlight or The Big Short can win in ensemble. Only Brie Larson, Cate Blanchett, or Saoirse Ronan can win Best Actress, and all but Johnny Depp in Best Actor can win.
Here is the contest! Let’s see how well you can predict these awards.