Why Wasn't Star Wars Nominated For A SAG Award? 'The Force Awakens' Performances Deserve Recognition
A little over a month after its release, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is already the highest grossing film — not directed by James Cameron, that is — of all time! Star Wars' commercial success was matched with an equally strong showing of critical acclaim, reaching 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, it seems that The Force Awakens is finding itself being snubbed this awards season, receiving only a few Oscar Nominations for technical categories. While The Force Awakens absolutely deserves those nominations, it's a shame to see the great cast get snubbed for their work, which makes it especially distressing to see that the film didn't garner any Screen Actors Guild Award nominations this year either. What gives? Why didn't The Force Awakens get a single SAG nomination?
Well, "snub" may not be the right word here. The SAG Awards announced their nominees on Dec. 9, a little over a week before The Force Awakens opened in theaters. While most films hoping to bring home trophies during awards season send out screeners, the team behind The Force Awakens likely didn't want to risk the film getting leaked before it opened. So, they didn't provide screeners to the voters and, therefore, the movie wasn't eligible for nominations. While it's a shame that The Force Awakens cast won't get any recognition at the SAG Awards this year, that's not going to stop me from honoring them by mentioning the categories they could have been up for — and deserved to win.
John Boyega As Finn — Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Leading Role
Boyega's performance isn't typical awards show bait. He's not emotionally wrought like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant or embodying a beloved public figure like Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs, but that didn't stop Boyega from delivering a performance full of heart and conflict. There are so many moments in The Force Awakens where the audience gets insight into Finn's mindset, not because of what Finn is saying, but because of Boyega's nuanced posture and expressions. Finn becomes a completely different person by the end of The Force Awakens, but it never feels rushed or out-of-place — that's due, in large part, to Boyega's level of talent.
Daisy Ridley As Rey — Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Leading Role
What solidified Rey as an icon and a role model for years to come was Ridley's performance in the role. Without explanation, audiences were able to chart her thoughts, feelings, hopes, and wishes through words unspoken. Rey is stoic, but not un-empathetic. Rey is strong, but knows when to run away from a fight. Rey is a complex, conflicted hero for a complex, conflicted world. Fortunately, Ridley's performance will make her a star, SAG award or not.
Harrison Ford As Han Solo — Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Supporting Role
We live in a world where, according to Gold Derby, Sylvester Stallone is the frontrunner for the Oscars' Best Supporting Actor award for playing the role of Rocky Balboa, his seventh time in the role. If Sylvester Stallone has a legitimate chance of winning an Oscar for playing his most iconic role 40 years after originating the role, Harrison Ford deserved a SAG nomination for doing the same. The Han Solo we see in The Force Awakens reminds everyone who doubted him that he can still pull off an outstanding, emotional performance.
Adam Driver As Kylo Ren — Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Supporting Role
The best Star Wars villain since Darth Vader, and possibly the best villain in all of cinema since Christoph Waltz's career-defining role as in Inglorious Basterds , Kylo Ren is terrifying because he's in way over his head. He has immense ambition, yet lacks the patience or strength that Darth Vader, who he idealizes, is known for. This makes Kylo Ren prone to temper tantrums and rash decisions that would be unbecoming of a leader of his stature. And, yet, every action and reaction Kylo Ren gives makes complete sense when the mask is removed and all that's left is Driver's boyish face. Driver's performance brings a sharp intensity to every word of dialogue uttered. His character does awful, hateful things, and yet it's still easy to empathize with him and hope that he finds the light. Driver delivered a career-defining performance in this role, as is possibly the most deserving member of the cast when it comes to award recognition.
The entire cast of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is an ensemble of some of the finest actors of various generations providing everything from powerhouse lead roles to small, but strong, supporting performances. The screen is populated by new stars like Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, and Domhnall Gleeson sharing the screen with film legends like Andy Serkis, Max Von Syndow, and, of course, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill. The whole cast is strong enough to deserve an Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture award, but, unfortunately, fans will just have to give them these awards in their hearts.
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