And SAG voters did pretty much as expected. Since the actors branch comprises nearly 20% of the Motion Picture Academy's membership, is it safe to assume the SAG Awards winners will need to make additional room on their mantels come March 2? The academy hasn't always followed SAG's lead, but this year we're guessing Oscar voters will add their stamp of approval across the board.
Let's look at the SAG winners and size up their Oscar prospects in the new light:
The winner: "American Hustle"
History: The movie that won this award went on to win the best picture Oscar nine of 18 years. (The ensemble prize wasn't awarded in 1994, the SAG Awards' first year.)
Will history repeat itself?: If "American Hustle" goes on to win the Producers Guild award Sunday night, then the odds will tilt heavily in its favor to win the Oscar as well. (Because the PGA uses the same preferential ballot as the academy, it's a more accurate Oscar indicator. The last six PGA winners have gone on to win the Oscar, coinciding with the academy's expansion of the best picture ballot.)
As for its SAG win, "Hustle" clearly has a lot of love among actors, what with its four acting Oscar nominations too. Safe to say "Hustle" writer-director David O. Russell won't have too much trouble attracting talent to his next movie. He has become the most reliable way for an actor to win an Oscar nomination these days.
The winner: Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"
History: SAG winner has gone on to win the Oscar 15 of 19 times, including the last nine years. (The last SAG lead actor winner not to take the Oscar: Johnny Depp, "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.")
Will history repeat itself: Yes. Coming into the nominations, the lead actor race was crowded and competitive enough to leave out several deserving contenders, including Robert Redford ("All Is Lost"), Tom Hanks ("Captain Phillips") and Joaquin Phoenix ("Her"). But now that the dust has settled, McConaughey has emerged as a clear favorite, not only for his respected performance in "Dallas," but also for the other exemplary work (HBO's "True Detective," his cameo in "The Wolf of Wall Street") that voters are watching right now.LEAD ACTRESS
History: SAG and the academy have matched 13 of 19 years.
Will history repeat itself?: Absolutely. Has Blanchett lost anything this year? Anything? No? Not even her marbles through this red-carpet circus? We didn't think so.
The winner: Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"
History: SAG winner has gone on to win the Oscar 11 times in 19 years.