The SAG Awards Snubbed The Best Performance Of The Year

Every year, there is an awards snub that cuts to the heart of who we are as human beings, and lays bare our deepest impulses to decry the "Academy" and whatever horse the lot of them rode in on. Truly, it happens every year. This year, it just so happened to be the one no one expected: the princess herself, Kristen Stewart.

Stewart's critically hailed performance as Princess Diana in Pablo Larraín's "Spencer" was curiously shut out of the Best Actress race for the Screen Actors Guild Awards, according to the nominations list announced on the morning of January 12. Even more curious was the choice to include Jennifer Hudson's performance in "Respect," which hasn't seen much attention on the awards circuit this season.

Naturally, all of the Best Actress SAG nominees — including Hudson — are incredibly talented, and the list is stacked. The other potential winners are Jessica Chastain for "The Eyes of Tammy Faye," Olivia Colman for "The Lost Daughter," Lady Gaga for "House of Gucci," and Nicole Kidman for "Being the Ricardos." It just makes absolutely zero sense to omit Stewart from this list.

In fact, it makes even less sense than that. I'm willing to bet that nearly everyone who has seen "Spencer" knows that, even if not every element of the film works for you, the fire in Stewart's performance is undeniable. Even if the accent she puts on comes off too exaggerated for you, or the cadence of Larraín's directing too horror movie-adjacent, you simply cannot deny that she is acting her tail off in this fictionalized account of Diana's last Christmas as a royal.

Decisions, Decisions...

Personally, I don't believe any of those things — Stewart's accent was pitch perfect, as was her heightened and stylized performance as the beloved princess of Wales. Larraín's directing style deeply captured the horror Diana was feeling during that time in her marriage to Prince Charles, and it was a great tactic to convey the emotional and mental chaos she undoubtedly dealt with leading up to her split from Queen Elizabeth's son. It is, without question, the best performance of the year.

Another point that makes this decision interesting is that one of the films highlighted in the Best Actress category hasn't exactly been an overwhelming hit. Nicole Kidman is Nicole Kidman, of course, and we know she's a skilled performer — but considering the two films side by side, I'd much rather have Stewart's performance in here because it comes from a stronger work on the whole. Maybe I'm being hard on Kidman, but hey, she's had a great career thus far, it's okay to have a dud now and then.

This year's Best Actress SAG nominees are just another example of awards bodies automatically giving accolades to actors doing the best impressions of real-life people — four out of the five nominees portray historical figures — even if biopics have been proven to be bad for acting. Which makes Stewart's snub even more baffling; she is, after all, playing Princess Diana, albeit an extremely fictionalized version in an unconventional take on the biopic.

And therein, folks, lies the story of this season's snub. Though it never fails to happen, we didn't expect it to cut quite so deep this year. May this momentary bump in the road do little to keep K. Stew from her rightful throne: the Oscar.