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Predicting the Screen Actors Guild Nominees

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Tomorrow the Screen Actors Guild will announce their nominees, so I thought it would be fun to venture a few guesses as to who's going to be included and who's going to get left behind. I plan to be a little adventurous with my guesses as there's only one category where all five nominees appear to be locks, so don't be surprised if some of these choices seem a little out there (i.e. wrong). So without further ado, let's dive into the first of the five categories.

Best Actor: This category has a number of competitors who appear to be locks, those being Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Redford, and Joaquin Phoenix, but who will take that fifth slot? Chances are it will be Tom Hanks for "Captain Phillips" or Bruce Dern for "Nebraska," but I'm going to venture out on a limb and say it will be Leonardo DiCaprio for his performance in "The Wolf of Wall Street," if for no other reason than the fact that Hanks and Dern were rather underwhelming in there roles and DiCaprio has been receiving great buzz for his part in Scorsese's latest flick. So my final choices are:

Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years a Slave"
Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"
Joaquin Phoenix, "Her"
Robert Redford, "All is Lost"

Best Actress: This is the category where all five competitors appear to be locks for the five slots, so it would be rather surprising if it were anyone other than the following five nominees:

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

Best Supporting Actor: This is where things start getting a little more interesting as there aren't many locks to be found. I think we'll definitely be seeing frontrunner Jared Leto in the mix, but the other slots are a little more open. I think another fairly confident inclusion is Tom Hanks for his marvelous performance in "Saving Mr. Banks," leaving us three more slots to fill.

For those, I'm going to go out on a limb a little bit and say that Sam Rockwell will get some notice for his outstanding performance in "The Way, Way Back." He's started to earn some nominations for it recently, and given that he got snubbed for "Moon," I think they'll finally give him the recognition he deserves. As for the other two slots, I'm thinking there will be a posthumous nomination for James Gandolfini for "Enough Said," but that fifth slot remains a bit of a mystery.

Michael Fassbender has been receiving a great amount of praise for his role in "12 Years a Slave," but Jonah Hill has also been getting great word of mouth about his role in "The Wolf of Wall Street." However, I do believe it will be one of them, so I will predict that the love of "12 Years a Slave" will continue, making my final five predictions:

Michael Fassbender, "12 Years a Slave"
James Gandolfini, "Enough Said"
Tom Hanks, "Saving Mr. Banks"
Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"
Sam Rockwell, "The Way, Way Back"

Best Supporting Actress: Just like with Best Supporting Actor, here is an instance where several slots are up in the air. The only solid lock in the category belongs to Lupita Nyong'o for her powerful performance in "12 Years a Slave," leaving us with four other slots to fill. I think two of those slots will go to Octavia Spencer, for her strong performance in "Fruitvale Station," and Jennifer Lawrence, who has already received much praise for her part in "American Hustle."

There was a time when everyone thought Oprah Winfrey was a lock for this category, but given that she's hardly been mentioned lately for the awards, it seems safe to rule her out. However, a pair who have come into the forefront lately are Scarlett Johansson for her amazing vocal performance in Spike Jonze's "Her" and Julia Roberts for her captivating performance in "August: Osage County." So my very adventurous final predictions for the category are:

Scarlett Johannson, "Her"
Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle"
Lupita Nyong’o, "12 Years a Slave"
Julia Roberts, "August: Osage County"
Octavia Spencer, "Fruitvale Station"

Best Cast of a Motion Picture: Finally, we've arrived at the biggest category of the night, oh so important because of its special relation to the eventual Best Picture winner on Oscar night. Ever since SAG started handing out this award back in 1996, there has only been one instance in all those years of the eventual Best Picture winner not being found among its nominees, which was actually the very first year it was handed out ("Braveheart" was not nominated). That year was even more of an anomaly given that "Apollo 13" was the clear frontrunner for Best Picture, having taken top honors from the PGA, DGA, and SAG, only to be beaten at the last second by "Braveheart." But enough of a history lesson, let's look at what will more than likely be nominated this year.

The only very solid lock in the category is "12 Years a Slave," which seems very much in the lead at the moment to take the win. However, others will try, and given that really good ensembles are somewhat rare nowadays, this category wasn't all that hard to narrow down to the five I think will be the final nominees:

"American Hustle"
"August: Osage County"
"Inside Llewyn Davis"
"Saving Mr. Banks"
"12 Years a Slave"

So there you have my choices for all five Screen Actors Guild categories. Some are a bit wild, I know, but any or all of them could end up making it. Be sure to check back tomorrow when the full list of nominees will be revealed. In the meantime, feel free to leave comments below regarding who you think will be included in tomorrow's list.

Now playing in theaters: Out of the Furnace, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Dallas Buyers Club, Thor: The Dark World, Ender's Game, Carrie, Kill Your Darlings, Gravity, Argento's Dracula, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Despicable Me 2

Recent Blu-ray/DVD releases: The Hunt, Touchy Feely, The Rooftop, Drinking Buddies, Inpractical Jokers: Season One, Planes, Paranoia, The To Do List, Blackfish, Paradise, White House Down, Grown Ups 2, Girl Most Likely, Robotech: The Complete Set, The Way, Way Back

Follow me on Twitter @BeckFilmCritic.

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