‘A Star Is Born’ leads SAG AwardsLOS ANGELES - Popular musical romance “A Star Is Born” - featuring the powerhouse duo of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga - leads the field for Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, which are seen as a major predictor of Oscars’ success.
This year, the SAG Awards come at a key point in the race to next month’s Academy Awards - just after the Oscars’ nominations, and before the voting for the winners begins.
The SAG accounts for a major percentage of the 8,000-odd Oscar voters, so the SAG winners crowned Sunday at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles will earn a lot of awards season momentum.
“A Star Is Born,” the latest iteration of the classic Tinseltown story of an aging star and the ingenue he discovers, earned four SAG nominations for Cooper, Gaga, Sam Elliott and best ensemble cast - the award show’s top prize.
“BlacKkKlansman,” Spike Lee’s latest film, is just behind with three and could spark a surprise, pundits say, due to the great respect for the veteran U.S. director among Hollywood’s actors.
And superhero juggernaut “Black Panther” could pull a major upset in the best ensemble category - giving its star-studded cast the chance to give the signature “Wakanda Forever” salute from the stage.
One major absence at the 25th edition of the starry event is Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” - the top Oscar nomination-getter was left out of SAG contention.
Longtime Oscar watcher Sasha Stone sees the race as a major toss-up. “‘A Star Is Born’ could win big, setting it up as once again the season’s frontrunner. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ could win - yes, even still,” Stone wrote on her website, Awards Daily.
But she ultimately put her money on “BlacKkKlansman,” which is based on the true story of a black cop who successfully infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan with the help of his white partner, who acts as his surrogate.