Is the SAG Award for Outstanding Movie Cast a Good Predictor for Best Picture Oscar?

When the Screen Actors Guild nominations are announced on Feb. 4, all eyes will turn to the top category: outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture. That is often looked to as a leading bellwether for the Academy Award for best picture.

Last year, Parasite won the SAG Award for outstanding cast (a first for a film not in English) en route to its Oscar win for best picture (again, a first for a film not in English).

But the two awards don’t always go hand-in-hand. Of the 25 films to win the SAG Award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture since the category’s inception in 1995 (the awards show’s second year), 12 have gone on to win the Oscar for best picture, 12 have gone on to be nominated for best picture (but not win), and one wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar for best picture. (That was Mike Nichols’ 1996 farce The Birdcage.)

Looking at it from the other direction, of the last 25 Academy Award winners for best picture, all but three were at least nominated for the SAG cast award. The three Oscar winners for best picture that were not SAG-nominated in the cast category were Braveheart (1995), The Shape of Water (2017) and Green Book (2018).

Are there any patterns to what types of films do best in the top category at each show? Speaking very broadly, big, epic films seem to do better at the Oscars. These include Braveheart, Titanic and Gladiator. Smaller, more intimate films seem to do better at the SAG Awards. These include The Full Monty, Sideways and Little Miss Sunshine.

The five films that seem to have the inside track for SAG nominations in the cast category this year are The Trial of the Chicago 7, One Night in Miami, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Da 5 Bloods and Mank.

Other strong contenders include Minari, The Prom, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal and Judas and the Black Messiah.

Here are all the SAG winners for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, separated into three categories based on how well the films did at the Oscars. Note: In the second and third categories, the second title on each line is the name of the film that won the Oscar for best picture.

Won the SAG Award; won the Oscar for best picture

Shakespeare in Love (1998)
American Beauty (1999)
Chicago (2002)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Crash (2005)
No Country for Old Men (2007)
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
The King’s Speech (2010)
Argo (2012)
Birdman (2014)
Spotlight (2015)
Parasite (2019)

Won the SAG Award; nominated for the Oscar for best picture

Apollo 13 (1995); Oscar: Braveheart
The Full Monty (1997); Oscar: Titanic
Traffic (2000); Oscar: Gladiator
Gosford Park (2001); Oscar: A Beautiful Mind
Sideways (2004); Oscar: Million Dollar Baby
Little Miss Sunshine (2006); Oscar: The Departed
Inglorious Basterds (2009); Oscar: The Hurt Locker
The Help (2011); Oscar: The Artist
American Hustle (2013); Oscar: 12 Years a Slave
Hidden Figures (2016); Oscar: Moonlight
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017); Oscar: The Shape of Water
Black Panther (2018); Oscar: Green Book

Won the SAG Award; not even nominated for the Oscar for best picture

The Birdcage (1996); Oscar: The English Patient

SAG Trivia

Of the 25 winners of the SAG cast award, the film with the largest ensemble cast was Gosford Park (20 actors shared the award). The film with the smallest ensemble cast was Sideways (just four actors — Thomas Haden Church, Paul Giamatti, Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh — shared the award).

Black Panther is the only superhero film to win the ensemble cast award.

The Full Monty, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and Parasite are the only winners not to be nominated in any other category at the SAG Awards.

Paris Jackson Unveils ‘Eyelids’ Video With Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull

Paris Jackson shared an emotional visual on Friday (Jan. 22) to accompany her collaboration with Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull, “eyelids.”

The black-and-white vignette finds the duo standing — first separately, then back-to-back — in a dark room as a light circles them. “Now I don’t know your name / It wouldn’t matter if I did anymore / Now I don’t know your name / I’m afraid of what’s under the floor,” they belt in the heartbreaking chorus.

Jackson worked with Hull throughout the process of writing, producing and recording her debut album Wilted, which was released in December 2020. “Manchester Orchestra was the soundtrack to the most vital time in my life in regards to mourning and becoming who I am today,” she told Billboard of working with one of her personal heroes. “[Hull’s] voice has guided me through some of the roughest times where I really had to lean into healthy coping skills, and to hear [him] singing lyrics from my heart was one of the coolest things in the world. I remember just being so blown away that I physically leaned back in my chair and was gripping the armrest.”

Watch the “eyelids” music video below.


U.K. Nurse Tells Kate Middleton About Being Asked to Sing Bon Jovi to Dying COVID Patient

The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton praised nurses from U.K. hospitals performing “acts of kindness” for their COVID-19 patients in a new video — including one wife’s musical request.

The Duchess hopped on a video call with nurses from University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and commended them for “going that extra mile” apart from their usual job duties. A senior nurse, Vasu Lingappa, told her about one of his dying patients and how the patient’s wife asked him to sing Bon Jovi while holding his hand.

“She said, ‘I can’t come to see you. But can you make sure you sing Bon Jovi and hold his hand?’ If I sing Bon Jovi in my accent, it won’t be appropriate,” Lingappa recalled with a laugh to Middleton. “So I took my phone out and played a YouTube video of Bon Jovi, and I held his hand.”

“That’s what matters so much now, these acts of kindness to the patients that you’re looking after, that are in your care, that family members aren’t able to be there,” Middleton told the nurses after hearing his story.

See the Duchess’ heartwarming video call below:

Grimes Didn’t Give Dave Chappelle COVID-19, Joe Rogan Says

Dave Chappelle tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday (Jan. 22), which led the comedian to cancel a string of shows in Austin, Texas.

Following the news, sleuths on the Internet began to speculate that Grimes infected the star, as she and her partner Elon Musk were photographed hanging out at Stubb’s in Austin with Chappelle, Joe Rogan and a bunch of other comedians earlier this week.

The singer revealed on Jan. 11 (less than two weeks ago) that she also tested positive. “Finally got COVID but weirdly enjoying the DayQuil fever dream…2021,” she wrote via Instagram Stories with a leaf and fairy emoji, over a screenshot of the single art for SZA’s new track “Good Days.”

Rogan, however, says that Chapelle’s COVID diagnosis was not Grimes’ fault. He debunked the rumors via Instagram while announcing the show cancellations. “Because people are asking, I was not exposed to the person who had covid and I have tested negative every day this week,” he wrote. “Also, the person that gave covid to Dave was NOT Elon’s partner @grimes.”

See here.

Luke Bryan Wanted This Top 10 Country Hit, But Morgan Wallen Got It First: ‘Sorry, Luke’

Morgan Wallen has had a successful streak on the Billboard charts this week, and another country superstar wanted to get his hands on one of his new hits: Luke Bryan.

“Sand in My Boots” is the first track on Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album, which topped the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums in the week ending Jan. 23, and it hit No. 8 on the Hot Country Songs chart. Wallen chatted with his frequent collaborators HARDY, who co-wrote “Sand in My Boots,” and Charlie Handsome on Apple Music Country’s Happy Hour Radio on Friday (Jan. 22) about how the song came to be and how both Wallen and Bryan “fell in love” with it.

“I just had that idea in my phone for forever. And I went in to write with Ashley Gorley and Josh Osborne at Smack, right across the street from Big Loud. And I just had this idea called ‘Sand in My Boots,'” HARDY said. “I just had this idea about just a summer love kind of thing. And I wanted to call it ‘Sand in My Boots.'”

“I listened to it. I immediately fell in love with it, man,” Wallen chimed in about his initial reaction to hearing the demo. “I knew I was going to have to change some of your Mississippi sh– off of there, but that’s all right,” Wallen laughed.

However, that “summer love kind of thing” wasn’t meant to be between the song and Bryan. HARDY told Wallen during the interview that the “Play It Again” hitmaker “fell in love with it too,” but he and Wallen didn’t know how he had even heard the demo.

“We were all like, ‘Man, we wanted you [Wallen] to have it. We thought you could make it cool.’ So he missed out, dawg,” HARDY said.

“Sorry, Luke,” Wallen teased at the end.

Since Wallen is still slated to open for Bryan’s Proud to Be Right Here Tour this summer, maybe they’ll get to perform “Sand in My Boots” together soon.

Listen to their entire conversation on Apple Music Country’s Happy Hour Radio here, and listen to “Sand in My Boots” below.

First Spin: The Week’s Best New Dance Tracks From Bicep, Logic1000, Artbat & More

As the visionary Rebecca Black once observed, “It’s Friday, Friday; gotta get down on Friday.” While getting down these days means kitchen dance parties for one, the weekend sentiment remains, and we’ve got the music to match it. Let’s dig in.

Bicep, Isles

“On an album, you want loads of detail for people listening at home,” Bicep’s Andy Ferguson said in a press release for the Belfast duo’s second LP, Isles. While Bicep presciently forecast popular dance music’s return to rave years ago, it’s less likely the guys knew that home would be the only place where people could listen to their new project upon its release.

Whether through clairvoyance or luck, Isles meets the moment. It’s intricate, moody, nostalgic, introspective and emotional, with melodies (“Atlas”) that swirl somewhere between euphoria and melancholy and fidgety synths and percussion (“Fir,” “Sundial”) that bypass the feet in favor of cerebral stimulation. The star of the album (out via Ninja Tune) is its vocals, whose sample origins span the globe from Malawi to Bulgaria to Bollywood, alongside original contributions from the UK’s Clara La San. Every contribution is united in its atmospheric unease: a looming, almost transcendent presence that makes Isles seem materialized from another dimension entirely. — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ

Artbat & Dino Lenny, “Fading”

Track ID requests spiked when Ukrainian duo Artbat — a mashup of duo’s Artur and Batish – first dropped a hypnotic and never before heard tech house cut while performing from the top of Sugarloaf mountain in Rio de Janeiro during their Cercle performance in March of 2019. Nearly two years later, the song is out and we know its name: “Fading.” A collaboration with Italian producer Dino Lenny, the song is an eight-minute mood-fest, with spare synths serving as a foundation for lyrics about everything being faded that themselves fade away to make way for a powerful build and slow burn release. The long-awaited track is out via Tale Of Us’ Afterlife label. — KATIE BAIN

Logic1000, You’ve Got the Whole Night to Go

The title of Logic1000’s EP, You’ve Got the Whole Night to Go, sounds like a mantra you’d offer a friend (or yourself) before going out, lest the desire to party too hard, too quickly, leads to a premature exit and gnarly hangover.

Here, the rising Berlin-based producer condenses hours of a club night into four tracks across 18 minutes. Opener “Like My Way” sets the pace with a syrupy house groove; its successor, “I Won’t Forget,” raises the tension with sharp snares and moody breakbeats. The EP reaches its peak on the trippy “Medium” — a whirlwind of acid-laced, stuttering and fleeting synth lines, and the soundtrack behind blurry selfies you don’t remember taking — and finishes on a happy plateau on “Her,” which is just weird and groovy enough to keep the party going until you’re ready to head home, hit the hay, and do it all over again tomorrow. – K.R.

Fontaine D.C., “A Hero’s Death” (Soulwax Remix)

Life has been pretty, pretty tough these last 10 months, five years or forever. The never-ending trials of COVID-19 has everyone feeling all types of  down, but sometimes, a song comes along that reminds you that “life ain’t always empty.” Irish post-punk revivalists Fontaine D.C. struck a deep chord with their 2020 LP title track “A Hero’s Death.” The droning, guitar-driven jam delivers thoughtful lyrics like a series of mantras, and there’s truth and exultation in this genuine advice.

Belgian dance-rock duo Soulwax heard the tune and couldn’t resist. “Whatever the part of the brain is that sparks the idea for a remix when you hear a great song,” they wrote on Instagram, “even though it doesn’t always work, it was definitely fully functional when we heard [this].” Nominated for Best Remixed Recording at last year’s Grammys, the duo here bring a solid beat and muted disco-funk flourishes, brightening the silver-lining anthem with all the stuff we love about what Soulwax can do. The digital version is streaming now, but stay sharp, because there’s a limited, 1,000-copy run of hand-stamped, one-sided vinyl coming Feb. 12. – KAT BEIN

Nina Las Vegas, “Busy” (Bayli Remix)

We already liked “Busy” when Nina Las Vegas dropped the single in October of 2020. The sweltering beat drips down your back like smoky warehouse sweat, pushing your heart beat and your body forward toward whatever the heck kind of future we’ve got in store these days. It’s inspiring, to say the least, but even more so now that Bed-Stuy-born singer-songwriter Bayli added about 10 layers of lyrical attitude. With a background in alt-R&D, Bayli’s no stranger to killer beats and funky bass lines, but this powerful pairing takes our brain to the next level. It’s the roller-rink cyber banger of our dreams. If you need us, we’ll be “Busy” listening to it for the next 200 hours. – K. BEIN

‘Ghost Ship’ Organizer Pleads Guilty in Warehouse Fire That Killed 36 People

The master tenant of a San Francisco Bay Area warehouse where 36 people perished when a fire ignited during a 2016 dance party pleaded guilty Friday to the deaths, avoiding a second trial after the first ended in a hung jury.

Derick Almena, 50, pleaded guilty to 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in exchange for a 12-year sentence. Already free on bail, Almena likely won’t return to jail because of the nearly three years he already spent behind bars and credit for good behavior.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Trina Thompson read each count with the name of the victim. When she asked Almena his plea for each charge, he answered “guilty,” but his quiet responses were sometimes inaudible through an online stream of the hearing held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Thompson scheduled sentencing for March 8, when she will determine whether he will pay restitution, continue to be monitored electronically at his home in rural Northern California and be subject to supervised probation. Families of the victims will be allowed to give victim impact statements at that time.

Prosecutors say Almena was criminally negligent when he illegally converted the industrial Oakland warehouse into a residence and event space for artists dubbed the “Ghost Ship,” stuffing the two-story building with flammable materials and extension cords. It had no smoke detectors or sprinklers.

The Dec. 2, 2016, fire broke out at the warehouse during an electronic music and dance party, moving so quickly that victims were trapped on the illegally constructed second floor. Prosecutors said the victims received no warning and had little chance to escape down a narrow, ramshackle staircase.

The case has been emotionally wrenching for family and friends of the victims. Many of them packed a courtroom for months in 2019, only to see a jury split on whether to convict Almena, who leased the building. The jury also found co-defendant Max Harris, who was the Ghost Ship’s “creative director” and rent collector, not guilty at the same trial.

Zita Gregory, grandmother of victim Michela Gregory, said Almena’s punishment could never compare to the pain and suffering her family has endured the last four years. She said her husband, already in ill health from cancer, died a year after Michela.

“His condition got worse. He used to say, ‘Why didn’t God take me instead?’” Gregory said in a tearful interview.

Another grandchild who was born on Dec. 2 no longer celebrates her birthday on that solemn date, Gregory said.

“The fire destroyed our family — we have never been the same,” she said. “There’s never going to be just punishment for what all the victims lost.”

Almena had been jailed since 2017 until he was released in May because of coronavirus concerns and after posting a $150,000 bail bond. He is on house arrest with an ankle monitor in the city of Upper Lake, where he lives with his wife and children.