For better or worse, this Oscars season is also the Golden Age of Men Wearing Harnesses Like They’re Giant, Fashionable Dogs.
Malek Over Bale
With apologies to the great Jackson Maine, the Best Actor category is shaping up to be a two-person race between Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) and Christian Bale (Vice). And with both winning at the Golden Globes in their respective acting categories, whoever captured the SAG award—in a category in which they were competing directly against one another—would have the advantage heading into February. Nineteen of the 24 SAG winners in this category also won Best Actor, and the only actor in the past 14 years to win the category but lose at the Oscars was Denzel Washington for Fences, who was beaten by Manchester by the Sea’s Casey Affleck.
You know where I’m going with this: Malek won Sunday night, giving him the official edge over Bale. It’s not a done deal by any means. Bohemian Rhapsody, for starters, is mired in controversy after The Atlantic published an exposé detailing sexual assault stories about director Bryan Singer. Voting for the SAG Awards closed January 25—two days after the report was published—but began December 18. With Oscar voting not even open yet (that begins February 12 ), theAtlantic story may have more of an effect than the mere rumors regarding Singer did on previous awards ceremonies. That all remains to be seen; based on history alone, Malek can feel cautiously optimistic about his chances of winning an Oscar in four weeks.
Emily Blunt Is an Agent of Chaos
If there’s an acting category that remains unpredictable post-SAGs, it’s Supporting Actress. The latest GoldDerby odds still have Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) as the front-runner, but she was a surprise SAG snub, which left room for another actress to challenge her in the category. This was a great opportunity for someone like Amy Adams (Vice), Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) or Emma Stone (The Favourite) to gather some momentum before the Oscars.
But it was Emily Blunt, for her performance in A Quiet Place, who nabbed the award. It’s a new wrinkle, because Blunt isn’t even nominated at the Oscars. If anything, this is a win in King’s favor—though the fact the SAG and the Academy members have the most overlap is perhaps not a great sign, considering that the actress wasn’t even nominated. It’s still probably King’s to lose—she did win a Golden Globe, after all—but of the acting categories, Supporting Actress remains the most wide-open heading into the Oscars.