Behold the SAG Awards Braveheart Rule

Sandwiched between various at-odds critics group awards and tomorrow’s Golden Globe nominations, the announcement this morning of SAG’s five candidates for “Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture” is a welcome respite. That’s because only once at the very outset of the history of the guild honors has a film not nominated in the Cast category gone on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Will Hugo or Extremely Loud… pull off the upset and, like Braveheart in 1995, leapfrog over a SAG snub to claim the 2011 Oscar for Best Picture? Unlikely. Instead, this winter’s AMPAS crowing rights at the Kodak Theater look to be a battle between three “The” dramas:

The Artist
The Descendants
The Help
Midnight in Paris

Today’s SAG Awards candidates were selected by a nominating committee of 2,100 union members. Full list of film and TV nominees here.