What the 2022 SAG Awards might mean for the Oscars

Will Smith
(Image credit: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

As the road to the 2022 Oscars continues, a few contenders just picked up momentum.

The 2022 Screen Actors Guild Awards were held Sunday, and experts keep a close eye on the show for a potential preview of the Oscars given the overlap between the voting bodies. With that in mind, one of the most significant wins was Troy Kotsur taking the best supporting actor award for CODA, defeating Oscar frontrunner Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog). Some already viewed Kotsur as a supporting actor dark horse, and now, an Oscar win over Smit-McPhee seems quite possible.

Meanwhile, West Side Story's Ariana DeBose, as expected, won best supporting actress following a previous Golden Globe victory. Her Oscar win appears increasingly locked.

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The lead actress race remains rather competitive, but The Eyes of Tammy Faye's Jessica Chastain got a major boost by winning the SAG Award, while Nicole Kidman's Oscar chances took a hit considering many experts thought she would win on Sunday like she did at the Golden Globes. But for Best Actor, Will Smith is more of a frontrunner than ever after scoring a SAG victory over his main competitor, Benedict Cumberbatch.

Finally, the top film prize of Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture went to CODA. But The Power of the Dog wasn't nominated, so its position as Best Picture frontrunner is unchanged, and considering CODA missed some key Oscar nominations like Best Director, its path to a Best Picture win is narrow. Belfast, though, is looking weaker as a challenger to The Power of the Dog after failing to win the top SAG prize despite being nominated.

As the season's first major televised awards show, the SAG Awards also crucially offered winners an opportunity to make an impression on Oscar voters with their speeches, and Smith's seemed especially well received. But there remains time for momentum to shift before the Oscars, which are now exactly a month away.

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