Will Win - The Help
Should Win - The Help or Bridesmaids
Could Win - The Artist
Commentary - I firmly believe that the ensemble award should go to the film in which the cast truly performs as an ensemble, each character intricate to the plot, and not necessarily about one actor or even two that make it worth while. That is why I cheered decisions like Inglorious Basterds and abhorred decisions like Slumdog Millionaire (although I still thought it deserved Best Picture). This year, the two films that fit that mold are The Help and Bridesmaids. Either deserve it, and both could be left out if The Artist sweep is strong enough. But my guess is that the actors love The Help enough to give it a win here.
Best Actor - Film
Will Win - George Clooney "The Descendants"
Should Win - Brad Pitt "Moneyball"
Could Win - Jean Dujardin "The Artist"
Commentary - I recently rewatched Moneyball, and was reminded of just how damn good Brad Pitt was. While I think he has a shot here, my guess is that his friend, and frequent co-star George Clooney will win instead for his emotional portrayal in The Descendants. The wild card here is Dujardin. If the actors become infatuated with The Artist, he could be swept into the mix.
Best Actress - Film
Will Win/Should Win - Viola Davis "The Help"
Could Win - Meryl Streep "The Iron Lady" or Michelle Williams "My Week With Marilyn"
Commentary - This is a tough race to call, with three leading ladies all having a legitimate shot. My guess though is that the acting power of The Help, combined with the possibility that two biopic stars steal votes away from each other, will be too much for any other contenders to overcome and Davis will take home the gold. But watch out for Streep, she is hot on her tails.
Best Supporting Actor - Film
Will Win/Should Win - Christopher Plummer "Beginners"
Could Win - Really can't see anyone else doing so, although Branagh looks like his next biggest competition.
Commentary - Without Albert Brooks, this category is quite simply incomplete, but it paves the way for the legendary Christopher Plummer to finally get some recognition. At the Oscars, the inclusion of Von Sydow complicates matters, but here it looks like smooth sailing to the podium.
Best Supporting Actress - Film
Will Win - Octavia Spencer "The Help"
Should Win - Spencer or Jessica Chastain "The Help"
Could Win - Melissa McCarthy "Bridesmaids", Chastain, or Berenice Bejo "The Artist"
Commentary - The only person I think who doesn't have a shot in hell is Janet McTeer. Each of the other contenders could hear their name's called. My guess is Spencer continues her march to the Oscar, but Chastain could pull votes away. Bejo, like Dujardin, could ride an Artist wave. But my guess is that Spencer's longtime friend Melissa McCarthy is her biggest challenger. Yes, Melissa McCarthy. She will have the television crowd in her corner, and could be enough to propel her to a shocking victory.
Best Ensemble - Drama Series
Will Win - Boardwalk Empire
Should Win - The Good Wife or Breaking Bad
Could Win - Game of Thrones
Commentary - The exclusion of Homeland is interesting to me, and the inclusion of Dexter is just appauling. But that being said, it is a four way race. The Good Wife or Breaking Bad should win, and both certaintly could pull off a win. But the sprawling casts of Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones seem more up the SAG's alley. Of the two, my guess is that Empire repeats.
Best Ensemble - Comedy Series
Will Win - Modern Family
Should Win - The Big Bang Theory
Could Win - Glee or 30 Rock
Commentary - Glee, with its huge cast is always a possibility, and The Big Bang Theory's quirky group is deserving. But the power of Modern Family has overtaken the awards circuit, and should take the prize.
Best Actor - Drama Series
Will Win/Should Win - Bryan Cranston "Breaking Bad"
Could Win - Steve Buscemi "Boardwalk Empire" or Kyle Chandler "Friday Night Lights"
Commentary - Bryan Cranston is mesmerizing on Breaking Bad, but Buscemi won this last year, and could repeat. The one to look out for is Kyle Chandler who pulled off a surprise Emmy win, and could get an outgoing prize for FNL.
Best Actress - Drama Series
Will Win - Julianna Margulies "The Good Wife"
Should Win - Margulies or Jessica Lange "American Horror Story"
Could Win - Lange or Glenn Close "Damages"
Commentary - Jessica Lange shold win for her biting turn in AHS, and especially since she will most likely not be back next season, this is her chance. Margulies though will probably win, which is perfectly fine with me. Watch out also for Close, who could win this as an honor for both Damages and Albert Nobbs.
Best Actor - Comedy Series
Will Win - Alec Baldwin "30 Rock"
Should Win - Steve Carrell "The Office"
Could Win - Carrell or Burrell or Stonestreet
Commentary - Alec has won this five times in a row, and while it would be nice to see Carell to get some recognition, and completely possible that one of the Modern Family guys steals it away, but it is probably not a safe to bet against Baldwin
Best Actress - Comedy Series
Will Win - Betty White "Hot in Cleveland"
Should Win - Julie Bowen "Modern Family"
Could Win - Tina Fey "30 Rock"
Commentary - Fey could win, or one of the Modern Family women, but the SAG's love Betty White, and probably as long as she is still working they will find a way to honor her.
Best Actress - TV Movie/Miniseries
Will Win - Kate Winslet "Mildred Pierce"
Should Win - Winslet or Lane
Could Win - Betty White "The Lost Valentine"
Commentary - As is the case with all of the awards this year, Winslet seems to have this one in the bag, and I would be shocked if anyone else wins.
Best Actor - TV Movie/Miniseries
Will Win - Guy Pearce "Mildred Pierce"
Should Win - Laurence Fishburne "Thurgood"
Could Win - Laurence Fishburne "Thurgood" and Paul Giamatti "Too Big to Fail"
Commentary - Laurence Fishburne gives a masterful performance and Giamatti is an actor's favorite. But my money is with Guy Pearce who won an Emmy for his role in Mildred Pierce.