Oscar 2007: Are SAG Nominations Good Indications for Oscar Gold

December 22, 2007–The nominees for the SAG Awards, which were announced Dec 20, are picked by a randomly selected panel of 2,100 SAG members. The guild's entire membership of 120,000 is eligible to vote for the final awards. About 60% of SAG members live in the Hollywood area, and another 25% are based in New York City.

The nominations are closely watched as a signal of sentiment within the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, since actors comprise about 21-22 percent of the Academy's membership.

Best Picture

Unlike other guilds and organizations, such as PGA, SAG doesn't give a Best Picture per se, but its Ensemble Award may serve as predictor.

The SAG Ensemble Award has matched the Best picture Oscar only five times in the past 12 years. Last year, SAG diverged by honoring the indie comedy “Little Miss Sunshine” while the Academy opted for Scorsese's crime-gangster “The Departed.”

Individual Categories

SAG voting is a better indicator in the four individual categories. The guild's 20 nominations for 2006 films matched all but one in the four Oscar races.

The winners of the SAG actor trophies have matched the Best Actor Oscar in 9 of the past 13 years, and the Best Actress Oscar in 10 of the 13 years, including Helen Mirren and Forest Whitaker in 2007.