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SAG Awards predictions: A 'Black Panther' cast win will shift the Oscar best picture race

Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

The motion picture academy's recent membership drive has increased its voting numbers to 7,902. But that's a drop in the bucket compared with the 120,782 dues-paying SAG-AFTRA members eligible to vote for this year's SAG Awards winners.

That kind of volume lends itself to naming winners with broad appeal. Let's look at who might benefit this year.

CAST IN A MOTION PICTURE

The nominees: "Black Panther," "BlacKkKlansman," "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Crazy Rich Asians," "A Star Is Born"

And the winner is: "Black Panther." Get ready for a bunch of Oscar pundits to update their best picture predictions.

Unless: "A Star Is Born" and "BlacKkKlansman" figure to get some votes, but their casts aren't as deep as "Panther's." And quantity (not necessarily over quality) usually matters with SAG Awards voters in this category.

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FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

The nominees: Emily Blunt, "Mary Poppins Returns"; Glenn Close, "The Wife"; Olivia Colman, "The Favourite"; Lady Gaga, "A Star Is Born"; Melissa McCarthy, "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"

And the winner is: The last six women to win this trophy have gone on to take the Oscar, a streak that will probably end this year because this category is so competitive. Here, I'll lean toward Gaga for her star turn in a show-biz tale.

Unless: There's going to be a fair amount of sentiment for Close, who has never won a SAG Award on the film side. (She took the lead actress miniseries/movie award in 2005 for "The Lion in Winter.") A Close victory would be akin to Julie Christie winning for "Away From Her" in 2008. Colman, another highly regarded veteran, is a possibility too.

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