The Screen Actors Guild Award nominations were announced five minutes ago and the awards won't be announced for another month. But let's take a wild stab at predicting the winners anyway. Not that this group is that hard to read. SAG voters have established clear favorites over the years (Alec Baldwin has never lost for "30 Rock"), and, because of the size of the voting body, the prizes typically go to consensus candidates. Here's an early take on the awards.
CAST IN A MOTION PICTURE
And the winner is: "12 Years a Slave." SAG voters love volume here, giving the ensemble award to the movie with the biggest cast five years running. Though "12 Years" counts two fewer actors than "The Butler," we have a hard time believing that the Oscar front-runner will lose simply because of numbers.
Unless: With its big-name cast (Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper, among them), "American Hustle" looms as a significant threat. Yes, Lawrence was the film's only actor nominated individually, but the winners are voted on by the 100,000 active SAG-AFTRA members, while the noms come from a randomly selected panel of 2,300.
MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
And the winner is: McConaughey. Actors will find his career makeover inspiring and irresistible.
Unless: The season's other inspirational story — Bruce Dern — siphons votes from McConaughey. Then look for Ejiofor to win for his harrowing work.
FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
And the winner is: Blanchett has never won and should receive her due for a turn that has dominated the conversation in this category since July.
Unless: Voters decide that, after five nominations, Dench is even more overdue.
MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
And the winner is: Leto. SAG giving "Dallas Buyers Club's" small group an ensemble nomination indicates that voters love this bunch.
Unless: It's Fassbender, with voters going for "12 Years" in a big way.