A Guide To The SAG Awards, aka The Pre-Oscars

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Stars and studios received their first taste of 2020 awards with the Golden Globes earlier this month, but there's more prizes ahead for the most celebrated television shows and films of the year. Next up on the award season calendar are the Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 19, 2020. If you're the person who can't stop raving about how Charlize Theron transformed into Megyn Kelly for Bombshell or how deliciously brilliant the whole cast of Fleabag is, this is the one you'll really want to tune in for.
This year, notable films honoured in the award show circuit include Quentin Tarantino’s revisionist history of the Manson murders, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood; Bong Joon-ho’s class warfare pic Parasite; controversial villain origin story Joker; Greta Gerwig’s love letter to Little Women; and the emotionally gut-wrenching divorce drama Marriage Story. TV shows included everything from Big Little Lies to The Crown to Barry. Only one aspect of these movies and shows — the performances — will be honoured at the upcoming SAG Awards, which makes the program different from the Oscars that will conclude award season.
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The SAG Awards are voted upon by members of the SAG-AFTRA guild. In the film categories, men and women receive nominations in supporting and leading roles individually. Casts as a whole are also nominated: This year, the casts of Bombshell, The Irishman, JoJo Rabbit, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood, and Parasite all earned nods. 
In the TV categories, actors are nominated individually the same way, with the exception that the category is divided between comedy and drama. TV movies and mini-series also receive separate leading and supporting actor and actress categories. 
One thing that makes the SAG Awards stand out from other Hollywood shows is that they give out specific awards for stunt performance. There are two stunt categories at the show: one award is given out for Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture, and another for best performance in a comedy or drama series. 
The Oscars, meanwhile, are voted upon by the roughly 7,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The award show includes no categories for television, and does not give out any stunt performance accolades. Outside of performance, prizes for directing, producing, sound design, sound mixing, editing, as well as overall “best films” are awarded.
One reason why people tend to chat about the SAG Awards leading up to the Oscars is because the show is often a great predictor of which actors will take home gold at the Academy Awards. Last year, the SAG Awards awarded Glenn Close (The Wife) and Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), who would go on to win Academy Awards for their roles.  
For those watching at home, there’s one other reason why you might want to tune into the SAG Awards, even if you're not a diehard fan of the season. Due to their limited amount of categories, the SAG Awards clock in at roughly two hours in length — practically breezy by award show standards. The Oscars, on the other hand, generally average just under twice that length.

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