Although the Screen Actors Guild constantly denies that their annual ensemble award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture is meant to be anything but that, pundits and prognosticators stubbornly label it SAG’s equivalent of a best picture award. Since the SAG membership overlaps with Academy voters, nominees, and winners of SAG Awards, along with other key guild contests orchestrated by the PGA, DGA, and WGA, they are widely considered to be great harbingers of things to come at the Oscars. In the case of the SAG Awards, which have been presented annually for the past 18 years, it is certainly true that their individual acting winners often agree with Oscars, at least 75% of the time.
However the stats for the ensemble or cast award, as it is officially known, are much spottier. Indeed, out of the 17 times it has been awarded, only eight films have gone on to match it at the Oscars (Shakespeare in Love, American Beauty, Chicago, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Crash, No Country for Old Men, Slumdog Millionaire, and The King’s Speech). On the bright side, only one past SAG cast award winner, The Birdcage at the third annual awards, failed to go on to get at least a best picture nomination (or even a single acting nom). SAG’s cast award for TV series tends to align more closely with eventual Emmy winners in both comedy and drama categories, but often enough goes its own way there, too. (more…)