The Screen Actor’s Guild awards might not be the most well-known award show but it’s a vital milestone in the Oscars race. This year’s SAG nominations confirm a lot of what we thought about which films and actors will be heading for Oscars glory.

However, there are also a few curve balls. There are a few noteworthy omissions, and some nominees who are quite surprising. Safe to say, these nominations are going to shake up a lot of what we think we know about the Oscars race.

What are the SAG awards and who is nominated?

First thing’s first: what are the Screen Actors Guild awards? Well, they’re essentially what it says on the tin. They’re awards given out by Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. They recognise excellence in film and television.

Since 1995, the awards have been seen as a barometer of Academy Awards hype.

The SAG awards 2018 date:

The 2017 SAG Awards will have their first ever host in the form of Kristen Bell. The awards will be presented on January 21, 2018.

The nominees:

Motion Picture Awards

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

  • Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
  • James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”
  • Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
  • Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
  • Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

  • Judi Dench, “Victoria & Abdul”
  • Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
  • Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri”
  • Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
  • Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Steve Carell, “Battle of the Sexes”
  • Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
  • Woody Harrelson,”Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
  • Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
  • Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
  • Hong Chau, “Downsizing”
  • Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”
  • Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
  • Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Theatrical Motion Picture

  • “The Big Sick”
  • “Get Out”
  • “Lady Bird”
  • “Mudbound”
  • “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

  • “Baby Driver”
  • “Dunkirk”
  • “Logan”
  • “Wonder Woman”
  • “War for the Planet of the Apes”

Television Awards

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

  • Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock”
  • Jeff Daniels, “Godless”
  • Robert De Niro, “The Wizard of Lies”
  • Geoffrey Rush, “Genius”
  • Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

  • Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”
  • Jessica Lange, “Feud: Bette & Joan”
  • Susan Sarandon, “Feud: Bette & Joan”
  • Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies”
  • Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

  • Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
  • Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”
  • Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
  • David Harbour, “Stranger Things”
  • Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

  • Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”
  • Claire Foy, “The Crown”
  • Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
  • Robin Wright, “House of Cards”
  • Laura Linney, “Ozark”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
  • Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
  • Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
  • Sean Hayes, “Will & Grace”
  • William H. Macy, “Shameless”
  • Marc Maron, “GLOW”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Uzo Aduba, “Orange Is the New Black”
  • Alison Brie, “GLOW”
  • Jane Fonda, “Grace and Frankie”
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
  • Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

  • “The Crown”
  • “Game of Thrones”
  • “The Handmaid’s Tale”
  • “Stranger Things”
  • “This Is Us”

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

  • “Black-ish”
  • “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
  • “GLOW”
  • “Orange is the New Black”
  • “Veep”

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series

  • “Game of Thrones”
  • “GLOW”
  • “Homeland”
  • “Stranger Things”
  • “The Walking Dead”

How all this shakes up the Oscars race:

Television aside, these nominations are interesting and noteworthy, especially in regards to Oscars discussion.

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The obvious front-runner is Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The film is nominated no less than four times. Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, and Woody Harrelson are all nominated for acting awards. Meanwhile, there’s the general nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast.

It’s that latter one which really shakes it up. Since 1996 the Academy Award for Best Picture has consistently been won a SAG nominee for Outstanding Performance by a Cast. Essentially, one of those films is going to be Best Picture at the Oscars. And that shakes up the Oscars debate in a big way.

For a start, it means that Call Me By Your Name, The Shape Of Water, The Post, and The Florida Project, all front-runners will have their odds of winning slashed. In fact, it may be fair to say that their chances are around nil.

What does it all mean?

On the other hand, with four nominations here, Three Billboards has just gained a huge significant boost in its chances. The only other film with more than two SAG nominations is Lady Bird which could also definitely stand a chance at Best Picture.

The latter would be a historically significant choice too. After all, Greta Gerwig would be only the second female director ever to win Best Picture, if she won. And let’s be honest, in the year of #MeToo, a woman winning Best Picture would be great optics for the Academy.

This nomination is also a huge boost to Mudbound. It might still be unlikely to win Best Picture due to its female director and its place on Netflix (two things that have historically counted against movies from the Academy) but now the Oscars committee will have a difficult time ignoring it.

Other surprises from the SAG nominations.

Aside from those elements, there are also a few other surprises.

Steve Carrell’s nomination for Best Supporting Actor is unusual. Most analysts had effectively ruled Battle Of The Sexes out after it failed to find an audience. But Carrell’s nomination could push it back into Oscar contention. The same goes for Judi Dench’s nomination for Victoria And Abdul.

Another major surprise comes in the form of an Outstanding Supporting Female nomination for Hong Chau from Downsizing. The film received mixed to average reviews and has been widely written off. An uneven pacing and script will probably hold it back, but it’s still an interesting inclusion.

Aside from that, there aren’t too many massive surprises. But still, the bookies odds will no doubt be changed significantly in light of these nominations.