To begin with, Zero Dark Thirty missed the main target—now there was a change of awards-season pace.
A quick take on the shocks from the predictably Les Misérables-, Lincoln- and Silver Linings Playbook-led 19th annual SAG Awards nominations:
1. Zero Dark Thirty Got Taken Out by The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: So, no—Kathryn Bigelow's thriller didn't get nominated for the SAG Awards' equivalent of Best Picture: Outstanding Motion Picture Cast. And while four of the films named to the category were absolutely expected—Argo and the triad of Les Mis, Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook, which collectively led all films with four nods each—the fifth, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, was not.
2. The Shock Was That The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Was a Shock: It hasn't been high on our radar, like Zero Dark Thirty, but in retrospect its inclusion makes perfect sense. The movie stars a lot of favorites, including Judi Dench and Supporting Actress nominee Maggie Smith, and was a huge summer hit (for a gentle comedy about retirees). As pointed out by others, it was basically the art-house The Avengers, except it wasn't a comic-book movie, hence it was eligible for awards. (And yes, we know The Avengers was technically eligible for awards, too…)
3. Nicole Kidman! She pulled out a Supporting Actress nod for the provocative The Paperboy. Somewhere The Master's Amy Adams is wondering where her nomination went.
4. Javier Bardem! Maybe the Critics' Choice Awards voters weren't just being nice to the James Bond villain. Maybe the Skyfall star, now up for the Supporting Actor SAG Award, too, has a better-than-expected shot at an Oscar nomination.
5. No Leonardo DiCaprio, No Russell Crowe, No Matthew McConaughey: Bardem's gain was these gentlemen's loss, as Argo's Alan Arkin, Silver Linings Playbook's Robert De Niro, The Master's Philip Seymour Hoffman and Lincoln's Tommy Lee Jones took their expected places, leaving only one slot for a guy who always gets snubbed (Django Unchained's DiCaprio), a guy who's gonna need some Les Mis block voting (Crowe), a guy who's a year away from seriously making the awards-season scene (Magic Mike's and Bernie's McConaughey) or, as things turned out, Bardem.
6. Helen Mirren! Hitchcock's Anthony Hopkins couldn't break into Lead Actor—not with Silver Linings Playbook's Bradley Cooper, Lincoln's Daniel Day-Lewis, The Sessions' John Hawkes, Les Mis' Hugh Jackman and Flight's Denzel Washington doing their thing—but his movie wife could and, somewhat surprisingly, did. The Impossible's Naomi Watts was a semi-shock, too. Both Mirren and Watts benefited from the young Quvenzhané Wallis (and the rest of the nonunion cast of Beasts of the Southern Wild) being ineligible, and the venerable Emmanuelle Riva from the French drama Amour, being passed over. The rest of the Lead Actress category went according to plan: Zero Dark Thirty's Jessica Chastain, Rust and Bone's Marion Cotillard and Silver Linings Playbook's Jennifer Lawrence.
(Originally published at 6:45 p.m. on Dec. 12, 2012.)