Which 5 films will SAG nominate for ensemble? That 5th slot becomes important. I’m gonna go Master. It may not still be a top 5 Oscar nomination, but I believe the force of its acting talent will cause it to slide into a nomination with the Actors branch. The main two alternatives are Zero Dark Thirty and Life of Pi.
Sometimes amidst a whole slew of various dates for nominations opening, nominations closing, winners opening, winners closings for several different races, it is helpful to take each at a time. The SAG nominations will be announced on the 12th of December, just about a month from now. A few short days later the voting for Oscars begins. The SAG awards are presented on January 27th, a few weeks ahead of Oscar winner voting begins. Therefore, the SAG will continue to have a major impact on shaping the race, who voters can consider those where votes might make a difference.
So we know that in about a month the battle lines will be clearly drawn for the Oscars as a whole. Therefore, here are my predictions for, specifically, the SAG nominations for film (no partiular order):
Tommy Lee Jones
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Robert De Niro
Silver Linings Playbook