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SAG Awards Serve Up A Whopper (Plus All The 2022 Nominees)

A photo of five members of the cast of the movie "House of Gucci" in formal dress.
Jared Leto, Al Pacino, Lady Gaga, Adam Driver and Jeremy Irons in "House of Gucci," a surprise nominee for the top trophy in the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
(United Artists Releasing)
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Hollywood awards show run from the distinguished (the Oscars) to the dispensable (the Critics Choice Awards) to the disreputable (the Golden Globes).

Orbiting just beyond them all are the Screen Actors Guild Awards, whose nominations were announced Wednesday.

Actors make up the biggest voting bloc in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, so the SAG Awards are usually a reliable bellwether for the Oscars. But if you’ve ever spent a lot of time with an actor (my condolences), you know that performers sometimes can be a little irrational, which might explain one spectacular SAG Awards snub.

While many SAG nominations followed predictions, there was a true shocker: the category for best ensemble, SAG’s equivalent of the best picture Academy Award.

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The shortlist includes “Belfast,” “Coda,” “King Richard” and “Don’t Look Up” — all deserving. The fifth spot, however, didn’t go to Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog,” among the most acclaimed films of last year. And SAG voters also failed to include Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story.”

Instead, the final nominee for best ensemble? “House of Gucci.”

Director Ridley Scott’s over-the-top fashion fable certainly has its admirers.

Unfortunately, not a lot of them are film critics.

A brief sampling:

Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal:

“I found the film so insistently campy yet painfully mirthless—its style lies somewhere between opera buffa and telenovela—that my mental state of acute anguish may have skewed my perceptions of whatever the story has to offer.”

Richard Brody, The New Yorker:

“With its indifference to the physical stuff of its subject, the thematic implications of its story, and the psychological twists of its characters, ‘House of Gucci,’ in its briskly efficient professionalism, is the very exemplar of one-size-fits-all dramaturgy, of off-the-rack cinematic style, of directorial hack work.”

Alonso Duralde, The Wrap:

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“Despite the film’s A-list trappings — Ridley Scott directs a cast of Oscar winners and nominees, including Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Jared Leto — ‘House of Gucci’ most often resembles one of those soapy 1980s miniseries like ‘Lace’ or ‘Scruples,’ all about lust, greed and murder among the rich and famous.

A.O. Scott, The New York Times:

“The kindest thing I can say about ‘House of Gucci’— and also the cruelest — is that it should have been an Italian movie. Set mostly in Milan, it spins out a sprawling, chaotic, borderline-operatic tale of family feuding, sexual jealousy and capitalist intrigue, with plenty of drinks, cigarettes and snacks (the carpaccio comes highly recommended).”

The "Power of the Dog" snub was especially perplexing because three of its cast members — Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Kodi Smit-McPhee — were nominated for individual SAG honors. (“House of Gucci” stars Jared Leto and Lady Gaga were nominated for male actor in a supporting role and female actor in a leading role, respectively.)

As one SAG nominating committee voter told me of the selections: “So weird. Very strange nominations.”

The SAG Awards are set to be handed out on Feb. 27.

Here Are All The Nominees:

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John Horn, entertainment reporter and host of our weekly podcast Retake, explores whether the stories that Hollywood tells about itself really reflect what's going on?

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