SAG Predictions: Best Actress – Nicole Beharie Won the Gothams On the First Day of Voting, Did It Matter?

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2021 SAG AWARDS PREDICTIONS:
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

UPDATED: Feb. 3, 2021

One of the most competitive acting races for leading women has emerged, and with it, there are sure to be some surprises along the way. Nicole Beharie shocked at the Gotham Awards, winning best actress for “Miss Juneteenth.” The first reactions for “Malcolm & Marie” were very high for its performances, and Zendaya could be emerging as a formidable contender. The praise for Andra Day was the most consistent talking point when the social embargo lifted for “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.” At SAG, we typically get a jaw-dropper that pops up with a nomination, but nowhere else (examples like Sarah Silverman in “I Smile Back” or Patricia Clarkson in “The Station Agent”). Who could fill that spot this year?

PRECURSORS LEADER: Frances McDormand, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)
Awards Circuit Winners Chart (2020-2021)


Andra Day in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” (Paramount Pictures)
Courtesy of HULU

AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:

  1. Carey Mulligan
    "Promising Young Woman" (Focus Features)

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    ROLE: Cassandra "Cassie" Thomas
    SAG HISTORY: 3 nominations
    (2018) - "Mudbound" - Cast ensemble
    (2010) - "An Education" - Female actor in a leading role and cast ensemble


    DIRECTOR: Emerald Fennell
    SYNOPSIS: A young woman, traumatized by a tragic event in her past, seeks out vengeance against those who cross her path.
    STARRING:Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Laverne Cox, Molly Shannon, Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, Max Greenfield, Alison Brie, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Connie Britton, Chris Lowell, Adam Brody, Sam Richardson


  2. Frances McDormand
    "Nomadland" (Searchlight Pictures)

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    ROLE: Fern
    SAG HISTORY: 7 nominations, 4 wins
    (2019) - "Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri" - Female actor in a leading role (WINNER)
    (2019) - "Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri" - Cast ensemble in a motion picture (WINNER)
    (2015) - "Olive Kitteridge" in female actor in a television movie or miniseries (WINNER)
    (1997) - "Fargo" - Female actor in a leading role (WINNER)


    DIRECTOR: Chloé Zhao
    SYNOPSIS: After losing everything in the Great Recession, an old woman embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.
    STARRING: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Linda May, Swankie, Bob Wells


  3. Viola Davis
    "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" (Netflix)

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    ROLE: Ma Rainey
    SAG HISTORY
    : 8 nominations, 5 wins
    (2017) - "Fences" - Female actor in a supporting role (WINNER)
    (2016) - "How to Get Away with Murder" - Female actor in a drama series (WINNER)
    (2015) - "How to Get Away with Murder" - Female actor in a drama series (WINNER)
    (2012) - "The Help" - Female actor in a leading role in a motion picture (WINNER)
    (2012) - "The Help" - Cast ensemble in a motion picture (WINNER)


    DIRECTOR: George C. Wolfe
    SYNOPSIS: Chicago, 1927. A recording session. Tensions rise between Ma Rainey, her ambitious horn player and the white management determined to control the uncontrollable "Mother of the Blues". Based on Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson's play..
    STARRING: Chadwick Boseman, Dusan Brown, Jonny Coyne, Viola Davis, Colman Domingo, Taylour Paige, Michael Potts, Jeremy Shamos, Glynn Turman


  4. Andra Day
    "The United States vs. Billie Holiday" (Hulu)

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    ROLE: Billie Holiday
    SAG HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Lee Daniels
    SYNOPSIS: Follows Holiday during her career as she is targeted by the Federal Department of Narcotics with an undercover sting operation led by black Federal Agent Jimmy Fletcher, with whom she had a tumultuous affair.
    STARRING: Andra Day, Trevante Rhodes, Natasha Lyonne, Garrett Hedlund, Rob Morgan, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Tyler James Williams


  5. Nicole Beharie
    "Miss Juneteenth" (Vertical Entertainment)

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    ROLE: Turquoise Jones
    SAG HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Channing Godfrey Peoples
    SYNOPSIS: A former beauty queen and single mom prepares her rebellious teenage daughter for the "Miss Juneteenth" pageant.
    STARRING: Nicole Beharie, Kendrick Sampson, Alexis Chikaeze, Lori Hayes


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Vanessa Kirby in “Pieces of a Woman”
Courtesy of NETFLIX

NEXT IN LINE CONTENDERS:

  1. Vanessa Kirby
    "Pieces of a Woman" (Netflix)

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    ROLE: Martha
    SAG HISTORY: 2 nominations
    (2018) - "The Crown" - Cast ensemble in a drama series
    (2017) - "The Crown" - Cast ensemble in a drama series


    DIRECTOR: Kornél Mundruczó
    SYNOPSIS: When a young mother's home birth ends in unfathomable tragedy, she begins a year-long odyssey of mourning that fractures relationships with loved ones in this deeply personal story of a woman learning to live alongside her loss.
    STARRING: Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf, Ellen Burstyn, Iliza Shlesinger, Benny Safdie, Sarah Snook, Molly Parker


  2. Michelle Pfeiffer
    "French Exit" (Sony Pictures Classics)

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    ROLE: Frances Price
    SAG HISTORY: 2 nominations
    (2008) - "Hairspray" - Cast ensemble in a motion picture
    (2003) - "White Oleander" - Female actor in a supporting role in a motion picture


    DIRECTOR: Azazel Jacobs
    SYNOPSIS: An aging Manhattan socialite living on what's barely left of her inheritance moves to a small apartment in Paris with her son and cat.
    STARRING: Michelle Pfeiffer, Lucas Hedges, Tracy Letts, Valerie Mahaffey, Susan Coyne, Imogen Poots, Danielle Macdonald, Daniel di Tomasso


  3. Sophia Loren
    "The Life Ahead" (Netflix)

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    ROLE: Madame Rosa
    SAG HISTORY: 1 nomination
    (2010) - "Nine" - Cast ensemble in a motion picture


    DIRECTOR: Edoardo Ponti
    SYNOPSIS
    : In seaside Italy, a Holocaust survivor with a daycare business takes in a 12-year-old street kid who recently robbed her..
    STARRING
    : Sophia Loren, Ibrahima Gueye


  4. Zendaya
    "Malcolm & Marie" (Netflix)

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    ROLE: Marie
    SAG HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Sam Levinson
    SYNOPSIS: A director and his girlfriend's relationship is tested after they return home from his movie premiere and await critics' responses
    STARRING: John David Washington, Zendaya


  5. Kate Winslet
    "Ammonite" (Neon)

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    ROLE: Mary Anning
    SAG HISTORY: 12 nominations, 3 wins
    (2016) - "Steve Jobs" - Female actor in a supporting role in a motion picture
    (2012) - "Mildred Pierce" - Female actor in a television movie or miniseries (TV) - WINNER
    (2009) - "Revolutionary Road" - Female actor in a leading role in a motion picture
    (2009) - "The Reader" - Female actor in a supporting role in a motion picture - WINNER
    (2007) - "Little Children" - Female actor in a leading role in a motion picture
    (2005) - "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" - Female actor in a leading role in a motion picture
    (2005) - "Finding Neverland" - Cast ensemble in a motion picture
    (2001) - "Quills" - Female actor in a supporting role in a motion picture
    (1998) - "Titanic" - Female actor in a leading role in a motion picture and cast ensemble in a motion picture
    (1995) - "Sense and Sensibility" - Female actor in a supporting role in a motion picture - WINNER
    (1995) - "Sense and Sensibility" - Cast ensemble in a motion picture


    DIRECTOR: Francis Lee
    SYNOPSIS
    : 1840s England, acclaimed but overlooked fossil hunter Mary Anning and a young woman sent to convalesce by the sea develop an intense relationship, altering both of their lives forever.
    STARRING
    : Kate Winslet, Saoirse Ronan, Fiona Shaw, Gemma Jones, James McArdle


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Courtesy of Universal Pictures

UNRANKED AWARDS CONTENDERS:

  • Jessie Buckley, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” (Netflix)
  • Carrie Coon, “The Nest” (IFC Films)
  • Sidney Flanigan, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (HBO Max)
  • Rashida Jones, “On the Rocks” (A24/Apple TV Plus)
  • Sienna Miller, “Wander Darkly” (Lionsgate)
  • Elisabeth Moss, “The Invisible Man” (Universal Pictures)
  • Elisabeth Moss, “Shirley” (Neon)
  • Meryl Streep, “Let Them All Talk” (HBO Max)
  • Meryl Streep, “The Prom” (Netflix)
  • Robin Wright, “Land” (Focus Features)

† = no release date scheduled / could be delayed / may not be eligible
†† = could be campaigned in lead or supporting categories / original or adapted screenplay categories

The Screen Actors Guild Awards, hosted by SAG-AFTRA, is an annual award show that has become one of the most important and key indicators for the Oscars. Four films have won the most SAG awards with three: 1999’s “American Beauty,” 2002’s “Chicago,” 2011’s “The Help” and 2017’s “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Three movies have been nominated for the most SAG awards with five: 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love,” “Chicago” and 2008’s “Doubt.”

The SAG Awards are scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 4, 2021

Academy Awards Predictions (All Categories)

2021 Golden Globes Predictions (Film)

2021 SAG Awards Predictions (Film)

 

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