Now that the Oscar nominees have adjusted into their new roles, many won't have to wait long to see if they can grab a prestigious win along the way.
On Sunday, Jan. 29, the Screen Actors Guild will hand out their trophies. The Actor, as it is called, can be a huge step in establishing Oscar gold. Over the years, it is the SAG Awards that have proved to be a better barometer than the Golden Globes.
The following story will be a double whammy of sorts, as it will give the SAG nominees and some thoughts, plus, a few quotes from some of the recent Oscar nominees.
The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented by Dick Van Dyke to Mary Tyler Moore. A few items of note. Notice the name of the categories. As for "best picture" the SAG Awards stress the ensemble since this is the actors wing. Also, notice how they say the winner name. They will use "actor" for all, even for the actresses.
Here is the list of SAG nominees. THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURESOutstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture
"Midnight in Paris"
Note: They have five and Oscar has nine. There are no directors to contend with here and this produced a winner in "Crash" a few years back and helped launch an Oscar upset that year when it beat "Brokeback Mountain." A win here is big.
Outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role
DEMIÁN BICHIR as Carlos Galindo - "A Better Life"
GEORGE CLOONEY as Matt King - "The Descendants"
LEONARDO DiCAPRIO as J. Edgar Hoover - "J. Edgar"
JEAN DUJARDIN as George - "The Artist"
BRAD PITT as Billy Beane - "Moneyball"
Note - DiCaprio is not up for Oscar and if he wins, scratch your head, or chin, or anything else.
Oscar nomination reaction from Pitt: "This is an extraordinary honor. I am dizzy with joy - and caffeine."
Outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role
GLENN CLOSE as Albert Nobbs - "Albert Nobbs"
VIOLA DAVIS as Aibileen Clark - "The Help"
MERYL STREEP as Margaret Thatcher - "The Iron Lady"
TILDA SWINTON as Eva - "We Need to Talk About Kevin"
MICHELLE WILLIAMS as Marilyn Monroe - "My Week With Marilyn"
Note - If the actors speak for Streep, she very well may be on her way. Look to this one as the indicator come Oscar time. Over the past few weeks, Williams' odds have gone down and Davis has emerged. It's a race for sure.
Oscar nomination reaction from Streep: "I am honored to be in company with such beautiful artists, and touched deeply by my fellow actors for their generosity in giving me this acknowledgment."
And now from Davis: "The key to a great performance is surrounding yourself with talent and getting over your ego. One thing everybody gave up was their egos when they got on the set, and I think that showed in the final product.
Outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role
KENNETH BRANAGH as Sir Laurence Olivier - "My Week With Marilyn"
ARMIE HAMMER as Clyde Tolson - "J. Edgar"
JONAH HILL as Peter Brand - "Moneyball"
NICK NOLTE as Paddy Conlon - "Warrior"
CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER as Hal - "Beginners"
Note - Nolte was a surprise when Oscar nominations were announced. Maybe we should have looked here and then it would not have been. Hill is here, too. Four of the five , sans Hammer, are up for Oscar.
Oscar nomination reaction from Plummer: "It's a shot in the arm for a young kid of 82 to receive an Academy Award nomination this morning. My gratitude to writer/director Michael Mills, the Academy, and to everyone involved with 'Beginners.'"
Outstanding performance by a female actor in a supporting role
BÉRÉNICE BEJO as Peppy - "The Artist"
JESSICA CHASTAIN as Celia Foote - "The Help"
MELISSA McCARTHY as Megan - "Bridesmaids"
JANET McTEER as Hubert Page - "Albert Nobbs"
OCTAVIA SPENCER as Minny Jackson - "The Help"
Note - A slam dunk as all five got Oscar nods. So, again, maybe not such a surprise.
Oscar nomination reaction from Spencer: "I am never presumptuous because these sorts of things are beyond our control and I didn't want to be set up for disappointment," she said to Variety.
And now from Bejo: "I'm overjoyed and filled with happiness. I can't believe that a year ago I was learning how to tap dance and today I am nominated for an Academy Award.
TELEVISIONOutstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series
"Game of Thrones"
"The Good Wife"
Note - Only one show not on cable and that is "The Good Wife."
Outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series
"The Big Bang Theory"
Note - All of these shows are not on cable.
Outstanding performance by a male actor in a drama series
PATRICK J. ADAMS as Mike Ross - "Suits"
STEVE BUSCEMI as Enoch "Nucky" Thomson - "Boardwalk Empire"
KYLE CHANDLER as Eric Taylor - "Friday Night Lights"
BRYAN CRANSTON as Walter White - "Breaking Bad"
MICHAEL C. HALL as Dexter Morgan - "Dexter"
Note - "Friday Night Lights" is a show that never wants to die. Chandler was the upset winner at Emmy time. Can he repeat, even when Cranston is breathing down his neck?
Outstanding performance by a female actor in a drama series
KATHY BATES as Harriet Korn - "Harry's Law"
GLENN CLOSE as Patty Hewes - "Damages"
JESSICA LANGE as Constance - "American Horror Story"
JULIANNA MARGULIES as Alicia Florrick - "The Good Wife"
KYRA SEDGWICK as Dept. Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson - "The Closer"
Note - Close is in this category and up for actress in "Albert Nobbs." To think she could win twice, or lose twice. A split is more likely.
Outstanding performance by a male actor in a comedy series
ALEC BALDWIN as Jack Donaghy - "30 Rock"
TY BURRELL as Phil Dunphy - "Modern Family"
STEVE CARELL as Michael Scott - "The Office"
JON CRYER as Alan Harper - "Two and a Half Men"
ERIC STONESTREET as Cameron Tucker - "Modern Family"
Note - Two "Modern Family" actors are going against each other. When will this start causing friction on the set? Oh, it will.
Outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series
JULIE BOWEN as Claire Dunphy - "Modern Family"
EDIE FALCO as Jackie Peyton - "Nurse Jackie"
TINA FEY as Liz Lemon - "30 Rock"
SOFIA VERGARA as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett - "Modern Family"
BETTY WHITE as Elka Ostrovsky - "Hot in Cleveland"
Note - Vergara always gets the headlines yet Bowen won the Emmy. Here they are again.
Outstanding performance by a male actor in a television movie or miniseries
LAURENCE FISHBURNE as Thurgood Marshall - "Thurgood"
PAUL GIAMATTI as Ben Bernanke - "Too Big to Fail"
GREG KINNEAR as Jack Kennedy - "The Kennedys"
GUY PEARCE as Monty Beragon - "Mildred Pierce"
JAMES WOODS as Richard Fuld - "Too Big to Fail"
Note - Fine performances in these categories for small audiences these days. The days of "Roots" are over.
Outstanding performance by a female actor in a television movie or miniseries
DIANE LANE as Pat Loud - "Cinema Verite"
MAGGIE SMITH as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham - "Downton Abbey"
EMILY WATSON as Janet Leach - "Appropriate Adult"
BETTY WHITE as Caroline Thomas - "Hallmark Hall of Fame: The Lost Valentine"
KATE WINSLET as Mildred Pierce - "Mildred Pierce"
Note - When Winslet is in, the others do not expect to win. But, Betty is here and she has had a pretty good couple of years. Betty White, that is.
HONORS FOR STUNT ENSEMBLESOutstanding performance by a stunt ensemble in a motion picture
"The Adjustment Bureau"
"Cowboys & Aliens"
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2"
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon"
"X-Men: First Class"
Note - Oscar still refuses to put in this category, so SAG decided to do it.
Outstanding performance by a stunt ensemble in a television series
"Game of Thrones"
"Spartacus: Gods of the Arena"
Catch the SAG Awards on both TNT and TBS Sunday, Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT and 5 p.m. PT.
*SAG is the only televised awards shows to exclusively honor performers, it presents 13 awards for acting in film and television. And they do it all in a fast-paced two hour show.