Numlock Awards: The state of the acting races post-SAG

Best Actress is going to be a fun one.

Numlock Awards is your one-stop awards season newsletter, and it’s back! Every week, join Walt Hickey and Michael Domanico as they break down the math behind the Oscars and the best narratives going into film’s biggest night. Today’s edition comes from Walter.

Last night was the SAG awards! It was a really fascinating night, particularly in the Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress prizes. Here’s how we look.

Best Supporting Actress

Based on her incredibly strong performance among local critics, as well as the more modest predictability of the Critics’ Choice and the Golden Globes, Yuh-jung Youn (Minari) has actually been a slight lead the whole race so far. The win at SAG really cements that, and this win will probably get people to realize the true state of the race.

The showdown at BAFTA will determine if it’s a tight race going into Oscar night between Youn and Bakalova, or if Youn is a strong favorite. Either way, last night’s result affirms what the critics indicated.

Best Supporting Actor

Supporting Actor is looking pretty much a lock at this point, with all evidence pointing to a massive lead for Kaluuya. The win at SAG confirms that he’ll be the frontrunner going into the Oscars and the outcome of the BAFTA Awards will tell us whether he’s considered a lock or merely a strong favorite.

Best Actor

I mean this is a lock at this point. This is an outstanding category with incredibly strong performances top to bottom but this is looking like a W for Boseman.

Best Actress

Madness reigns. I have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen in this.

Viola Davis’ win at SAG puts her in striking position for a second Oscar. She’s not up at BAFTA, but this category will not be settled going into Oscar night no matter what goes down in the U.K., so either way Davis is now leading the race.

The only nominees up at BAFTA are McDormand (Nomadland) and Kirby (Pieces of a Woman). Each has been nominated multiple times, but have not won any major televised awards. McDormand has the advantage of starring as lead in the current Best Picture front runner, but has not actually appeared at any of the major televised ceremonies this year.

Given the reliability trends we’ve seen over the past couple of years with this category, it will be very interesting to see which group, BAFTA or SAG, has a better read on the Academy, as both have been getting better and better and we’re guaranteed to have a split decision:

Davis has a few things on her side: Chadwick Boseman is probably going to win an Oscar for the movie she’s nominated for, and the film is available to watch on the most popular streaming service on the planet and is about an hour and a half, a series of facts that makes me think it’s a performance that will get in front of a lot of voters.

That all being said: who knows. This category rules and we have a race and I am very excited to see how it shakes out.