We are now running full-bore at awards season, with Oscar nominations announced and one last set of precursor prizes to give out: the Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be presented Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern on TNT and TBS.
The show should be relatively calm, handing out trophies to the expected winners from both film and TV. But there are a couple of key categories that feature some interesting competition — and could potentially have an impact on the Oscar race.
Here's our breakdown of who will win in the film categories — and whether the win will affect the Oscar race. (The full list of nominations can be found here.)
Outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role
How many times can we say "Casey Affleck is going to win this award despite a slow-but-steady rollout of stories republishing his two settlements of sexual harassment suits"? Assume that if Affleck is up for a prize for Manchester by the Sea, he will win.
Should win: Affleck
Will win: Affleck
Will it affect the Oscar race: Only that Affleck's win will be all but assured.
Outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role
This is a bit of a long shot, but Natalie Portman could win here. Her work as Jackie Kennedy in Jackie feels like an actor's dream, and SAG seems chillier on La La Land than most awards bodies (not getting a best ensemble nod, for example), so Emma Stone's not as locked in as she is for the Oscar. It could still be Stone, but we'll take a leap of faith here. (Amy Adams will sadly not be winning here, either.)
Should win: Adams
Will win: Portman (but could be Stone)
Will it affect the Oscar race: The Academy's love for Stone makes us think Stone's fine even if Portman wins here, but it would certainly make for a tighter race.
Outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role
Should win: Ali
Will win: Ali
Will it affect the Oscar race: It would be odd for Ali to win without either SAG or Globe support, so while he's likely a frontrunner no matter what, winning here will make him feel a bit more like a sure thing.
Outstanding performance by a female actor in a supporting role
Viola Davis, devastatingly powerful in Fences, has won four SAG awards before: for her individual and ensemble work in The Help, and twice for her leading work in How to Get Away With Murder. She's more than likely going to take home her fifth Sunday.
Should win: Davis
Will win: Davis
Will it affect the Oscar race: Viola Davis is going to win an Oscar! We will never get tired of saying that.
Outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture
Okay, this race is fascinating. La La Land didn't earn a nomination for its ensemble — because there really isn't one, no matter how hard studio Lionsgate pretends J.K. Simmons and Rosemarie DeWitt had anything to do in the film. So anything could take home the statue here.
We can probably rule out Fences, just because it feels like such a Denzel Washington-Viola Davis show (though that ensemble is surprisingly great). Captain Fantastic is a fun inclusion, but won't be taking home gold. That leaves us with Moonlight, Hidden Figures and Manchester by the Sea. Once upon a time, we thought Hidden Figures could make a run of it, but its momentum seems to have fizzled a bit (despite huge box office numbers).
That leaves Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight. The latter seems to have gotten a bit of a second wind following its disappointing Golden Globes showing (though even there it won best drama), so that gives the Moonlight cast the edge.
Should win: Hidden Figures (but Moonlight is also great)
Will win: Moonlight
Will it affect the Oscar race: Only one film has ever won the best picture Oscar without an ensemble nomination in the 23 years of the SAG Awards' existence (Braveheart). Unfortunately for Moonlight, that slight precedent will be enough; La La Land is still winning in February.
Just for fun, here are some quick predictions in the TV races:
Outstanding performance by a male actor in a miniseries or television movie: It's nigh-unfathomable that Courtney B. Vance's work in The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story wouldn't inspire his fellow actors to rally around him.
Outstanding performance by a female actor in a miniseries or television movie: It's wonderful that Bryce Dallas Howard got recognition for her slow descent into madness in the season three premiere of Black Mirror. She is still going to lose to Sarah Paulson for The People vs. O.J. Simpson. (This is the last major awards show where Paulson will be eligible to win for that performance.)
Outstanding performance by a male actor in a drama series: Sterling K. Brown is a double nominee who is going to lose to his The People vs. O.J. Simpson costar Vance in one category. Give him the win for This Is Us here.
Outstanding performance by a male actor in a comedy series: Betting against Jeffrey Tambor for Transparent is a bad bet. But we deeply wish Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's Tituss Burgess would take this one.
Outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series: Lily Tomlin is accepting a lifetime achievement award Sunday, so it'd be sweet if SAG gave her Grace and Frankie co-star Jane Fonda a prize of her own.
Outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series: Game of Thrones should easily take this home after a strong season.
Outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series: Orange Is the New Black has won this two years running, so let's pick a curveball. It'd be fun to see Black-ish take home the prize.