How the SAG Awards sucker-punched Netflix and Lady Gaga

It turns out the dog isn’t as powerful as everybody thought.

“The Power of the Dog,” a frontrunner for the Best Picture Oscar, was neutered by the 2022 SAG Awards Sunday night. That’s not good — because actors make up the biggest voting bloc at the upcoming Academy Awards.

As Scooby Doo would say, “Ruh roh!”

Netflix, the producer of director Jane Campion’s drama, started getting nervous when the favored Best Supporting Actor contender Kodi Smit-McPhee lost to the wonderful Troy Kotsur for “CODA” early in the evening.

Moments later, Kirsten Dunst was brought to heel for Best Supporting Actress by Ariana DeBose for her ferocious turn as Anita in “West Side Story.”

The final yell of “bad dog!” came when Benedict Cumberbatch surrendered Best Actor to Will Smith (“King Richard”), who will now surely go on to win the same award at the Oscars, after nabbing the SAG and the Golden Globe.

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“Power of the Dog” didn’t even manage a nomination for Best Ensemble.

That slight doesn’t necessarily mean it’s out of the Best Picture Oscar race completely — “Nomadland,” “Green Book” and “Shape of Water” also didn’t nab nods for the biggest SAG prize — but winning zero acting awards will have rabid Netflix execs growling Monday morning.

Leo (Daniel Durant), Jackie (Marlee Matlin) and Ruby (Emilia Jones) swipe left on Tinder profiles in the movie "CODA."
“CODA” was the big winner at the SAG Awards, taking Best Supporting Actor (Troy Kotsur) and Best Ensemble.
©Apple TV/Courtesy Everett Coll

That big ensemble win instead went to “CODA,” the heartwarming dramedy that premiered at Sundance about a hearing woman who grows up in a deaf family. Its victory opens up the Best Picture Oscar race — Oscar bait “Power of the Dog” vs. Oscar bait “Belfast” has voters exhausted — and also delivers a blow to Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical “Belfast.”

The biggest upset came when Nicole Kidman (“Being the Ricardos”) and Olivia Colman (“The Lost Daughter”) lost the Best Actress trophy to the transformative Jessica Chastain as Tammy Faye Bakker in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.” Chastain was widely admired in the part when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in the fall, but quickly lost momentum to Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”), Colman and, somehow, Lady Gaga in the drivel that was “House of Gucci.”

Last year’s SAG winner, Viola Davis, did not go on to win an Oscar for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” but Chastain’s Tammy Faye has God on her side.

Jessica Chastain gained Best Actress Oscar momentum by winning the same prize at the SAG Awards.
Jessica Chastain gained Best Actress Oscar momentum by winning the same prize at the SAG Awards.
©Searchlight Pictures/Courtesy

“Gucci,” by the way, lost all its awards: Best Actress (Lady Gaga), Supporting Actor (Jared Leto) and Best Ensemble.

“Gucci” fans have better savored every moment of the evening — because this is the last you’ll be seeing this cast on TV during award season. Arrivederci!

Artmotion U.S.A

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