With just four weeks to go until the Academy Awards, Hollywood checked another major step off its Awards Season list with the Screen Actors Guild Awards, hosted by the union that comprises the largest voting block in the Academy. And if the SAG choices are any result, it's going to be a very good night at the Oscars for Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette.
Interestingly enough, in three of the last five years, the SAG Award winners in the four major acting categories went on to win Oscars. And in the other two years, they got three out of four right. So the likes of Arquette, Moore and Simmons should be feeling pretty confident about a big win at the Dolby Theater next month. The Best Ensemble category doesn't have the same rate of correlation, though, so don't go assuming that "Birdman" has it all wrapped up.
Echoing a trend started earlier this month at the Golden Globes, voters seem to be favoring independent film and cable or streaming TV over big studios and networks. In the comedy category, the big networks were almost completely shut out -- except for Viola Davis for ABC's "How to Get Away with Murder" -- in favor of Showtime ("Shameless"), PBS "Downton Abbey" and Netflix ("Orange is the New Black" and "House of Cards").
And on the film side, festivals favorites "Boyhood," "Birdman" and "Whiplash" seem to be the only real contenders this year despite strong competition from Warner Bros. ("American Sniper") and the Weinstein Company ("The Imitation Game"). We'll know for sure in four weeks.
Best Film Ensemble: "Birdman"
Best Male Lead Actor: Eddie Redmayne, "The Theory of Everything"
Best Female Lead Actor: Julianne Moore, "Still Alice"
Best Female Supporting Actor: Patricia Arquette, "Boyhood"
Best Male Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, "Whiplash"
Best Drama Series Ensemble: "Downton Abbey"
Best Male Actor in a Drama Series: Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards"
Best Female Actor in a Drama Series: Viola Davis, "How to Get Away with Murder"
Best Comedy Series Ensemble: "Orange is the New Black"
Best Male Actor in a Comedy Series: William H. Macy, "Shameless"Male
Best Female Actor in a Comedy Series: Uzo Aduba, "Orange is the New Black"
Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Mark Ruffalo, "The Normal Heart"
Male Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Frances McDormand, "Olive Kitteridge"
RELATED: Metro hits the SAG Awards red carpet
"Was anyone listening? I'm worried I said, 'Oh s---' out there." — William H. Macy
"When my name was called, I thought my heart had stopped for a minute. Then I was like, 'Come on, heart!'" — Uzo Aduba
"If people are saying I'm the [Oscar] front-runner, that's a beautiful thing. I honestly don't know what I'm supped to do with myself between now and then." — J.K. Simmons
Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter: @nedrick