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SAG Awards 2021: The Final Predictions

by Diego Andaluz
A collage of our SAG 2021 predictions featuring The Mandalorian, The Queen's Gambit, and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.

The next major ceremony in this final awards season lap, the Screen Actors Guild could once again become the final key to determine the Academy Awards. With various acting races up in flames and even the biggest award of the night being martyred with doubts, after this Sunday, the Oscar race will continue to redefine itself once more. Who will get one step closer to glory? Awards Editor Diego Andaluz is here to guide the way and help you get a leg up on your predictions as the last ceremonies draw closer. With these final predictions for the 2021 SAG Awards, will frontrunners like The Trial Of The Chicago 7 and the ensemble-less Nomadland still lead the way? Let’s find out!

The number 1 slots are reserved for who we firmly believe will be striking gold on Sunday, April 4th. The films under our predicted winners in bold are runner-ups ranked in how likely they are to cause an upset. Read along to see all the categories with more analysis as to how this will affect the Oscars later this month! The nominations for the 2021 Academy Awards can also be found on DiscussingFilm.

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture 

1. WINNER: The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
2. NEXT IN LINE: Minari (A24)
3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
4. Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
5. One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios)

Ultimately, this is a race that has narrowed itself down to two major candidates: The Trial Of Chicago 7 and Minari. Having a defining impact on the rest of the awards race, if Trial wins here, it will be a sign that points to it still being alive for a potential upset come Oscar night. However, if Minari takes the crown, Nomadland‘s Best Picture win would be all but guaranteed with Minari serving as the dark horse over Trial. While Minari’s recent uptick in buzz and the showing of strong actor support in both the nominations here and at the Oscars does seem promising, the SAG’s affinity for Sorkin’s past projects, its multidisciplinary cast, and an array of showy big-name performances that cannot be singled out make Trial the top contender in this case.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture

1. WINNER: Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
2. NEXT IN LINE: Anthony Hopkins – The Father
3. Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
4. Gary Oldman – Mank
5. Steven Yeun – Minari

Sweeping virtually every precursor, it is clear that the late Chadwick Boseman’s performance is the indubitable frontrunner of this category. Yet, after The Father’s recent wide release, in which far more of the general population got the chance to see the film, a good number of filmgoers seem to prefer Anthony Hopkin’s performance over Boseman’s – this could point to a possible change in tune if SAG members were as impacted as more of the general public. Nevertheless, due to the months of buildup and solidified frontrunner status for Boseman, one must not be surprised if he triumphs here as expected.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture

1. WINNER: Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman
2. NEXT IN LINE: Frances McDormand – Nomadland
3. Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
4. Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman
5. Amy Adams – Hillbilly Elegy

Watch this space; this is one of the categories in which the whole awards world is looking towards to see who can prevail on Oscar night. With the Golden-Globe winner having failed to be nominated here (a key nomination needed to win at the Oscars), it will most likely be Carey Mulligan who pulls ahead of the race. But with Nomadland‘s incredible dominance across all other awards failing to show up here because of its solitary nature, it is possible that SAG could reward Frances McDormand as a way to show their love of a film that couldn’t be rewarded elsewhere in the other categories. 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

1. WINNER: Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah
2. NEXT IN LINE : Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7
3. POSSIBLE UPSET: Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods
4. Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami
5. Jared Leto – The Little Things

While Daniel Kaluuya is a near-lock here, his runner-ups must not be completely discounted. While Sacha Baron Cohen has failed to pick up a major precursor, if the Trial love is strong enough, it is possible that it could carry over to this category as well. Additionally, if Anthony Hopkins pulls through in the lead actor category, the guild could use this slot to still reward Chadwick Boseman in what would be the last awards cycle for him.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

1. WINNER – Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy
2. NEXT IN LINE – Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
3. POSSIBLE UPSET – Youn Yuh-jung – Minari
4. Olivia Colman – The Father
5. Helena Zengel – News of the World

The other category that everyone will be looking towards to define the Oscar race, the only nominee here that is almost certainly out of the picture is that of Helena Zengel. However, the other four Academy-Award nominees have created such a tight race that any of the four prevailing wouldn’t be much of a shock. While we are going with Glenn Close due to her proven popularity amongst SAG (on top of a very showy performance), don’t count out Maria Bakalova (the only name in the category to have been nominated across all major precursors), Youn Yuh-jung (part of the cast of a film that has overperformed due to the extent to which the guild has embraced it), or Olivia Colman (who has been nominated by this guild three times this year alone) in the slightest.

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

1. WINNER: Wonder Woman 1984
2. NEXT IN LINE: Mulan
3. POSSIBLE UPSET – Da 5 Bloods
4. The Trial of the Chicago 7
5. News of the World

In the SAG stunt category, the more action-packed the film is, the better the chances. High-profile blockbusters Mulan or Wonder Woman 1984 should prevail here, although don’t count out Trial or Da 5 Bloods slyly sneaking into this race. 

TV

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

1. WINNER: The Crown
2. NEXT IN LINET: Ozark
3. POSSIBLE UPSET: Bridgerton
4. Lovecraft Country
5. Better Call Saul

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

1. WINNER: Schitt’s Creek
2. NEXT IN LINE: Ted Lasso
3. The Great
4. Dead to Me
5. The Flight Attendant

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series

1. WINNER: Mark Ruffalo – I Know This Much is True
2. NEXT IN LINE: Hugh Grant – The Undoing
3. Ethan Hawke – The Good Lord Bird
4. Daveed Diggs – Hamilton
5. Bill Camp – The Queen’s Gambit

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series

1. WINNER: Anya Taylor-Joy – The Queen’s Gambit
2. NEXT IN LINE: Cate Blanchett – Mrs. America
3. Michaela Coel – I May Destroy You
4. Nicole Kidman – The Undoing
5. Kerry Washington – Little Fires Everywhere

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

1. WINNER: Josh O’Connor – The Crown
2. NEXT IN LINE: Jason Bateman – Ozark
3. Regé-Jean Page – Bridgerton
4. Sterling K. Brown – This Is Us
5. Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

1. WINNER: Emma Corrin – The Crown
2. NEXT IN LINE: Olivia Colman – The Crown
3. POSSIBLE UPSET: Gillian Anderson – The Crown
4. Laura Linney – Ozark
5. Julia Garner – Ozark

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series

1. WINNER: Jason Sudeikis – Ted Lasso
2. Eugene Levy – Schitt’s Creek
3. Daniel Levy – Schitt’s Creek
4. Nicholas Hoult – The Great
5. Ramy Youssef – Ramy

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

1. WINNER: Catherine O’Hara – Schitt’s Creek
2. Christina Applegate – Dead to Me
3. Linda Cardellini – Dead to Me
4. Annie Murphy– Schitt’s Creek
5. Kaley Cuoco – The Flight Attendant

Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series

1. WINNER: The Mandalorian
2. NEXT IN LINE: The Boys
3. Lovecraft Country
4. Cobra Kai
5. Westworld

Get the nominees for the 2021 Oscars!

Follow Awards Editor Diego Andaluz on Twitter: @thediegoandaluz

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