HOLLYWOOD—Now the fun begins! Awards season has been in full-force, but one of the strongest predictors in foreshadowing what might transpire on Oscar night is the Screen Actors Guild Awards. The ceremony was held on Saturday, January 30 from the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall.
As usual the show opened with actors and actresses chronicling their start in the acting arena including Jeffrey Tambor, Anna Chlumsky, Kunal Nayyar, Rami Malek and Queen Latifah before kicking off the big awards of the night.
The big prize of the night Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion picture went to “Spotlight.” So it looks like we may indeed have a battle for Best Picture come Oscar time. It looks like “Spotlight,” “The Big Short” and “The Revenant” could all be vying for the big prize, but this win gives “Spotlight” a ton of momentum. Michael Keaton delivered an emotional moment during the speech pointing out the water crisis taking place in Flint, Michigan.
The award for Outstanding Female Actor in a Comedy Series was a victory for Uzo Aduba for the second consecutive year. She was taken aback while accepting her award on the stage; a pure, authentic speech that did not seem rehearsed in any matter.
The SAG award for Outstanding Male Actor in a Comedy Series went to Jeffrey Tambor for his work in “Transparent.” It was Tambor’s first win and he was quite emotional as he took to the stage. Wow, the ceremony was moving quite fast with handing out the awards. The prize for Ensemble in a Comedy Series went to the cast of “Orange is the New Black.”
In a race that has been up and down all awards season, Supporting Actress, the SAG membership awarded the prize to Alicia Vikander “The Danish Girl.” I’d argue that her win solidifies her potential win for the Oscar, but I’m always on an edge of caution because the Academy is known to deliver a surprise in the Best Supporting Actor or Best Supporting Actress race.
The prize for Outstanding Male Actor in a Supporting Role went to Idris Elba for his performance in “Beasts of No Nation.” That was indeed a shocker, which is an indicator that Elba was indeed snubbed for that Oscar nomination this month. So his win delivers a wicked surprise in the Best Supporting Actor race at next month’s Oscar ceremony.
The SAG award for Outstanding Female Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie went to Queen Latifah for her performance in “Bessie.” The actress was a bit flabbergasted while giving her speech on stage. It was Idris Elba who took home his second win of the night for Outstanding Male Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie for his performance in “Luther.” Elba is indeed having a terrific night to say the least.
Funny ladies Tina Fey and Amy Poehler took to the stage to present the Life Achievement Award to Carol Burnett. Those “SNL” alums took jabs at comparing Burnett’s life story to the drama “Carol.” Now getting to the get stuff, the award for Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama Series went to Viola Davis, her second consecutive win for her performance on the series “How to Get Away With Murder.” Per usual Davis delivered a rousing speech where she discussed how her character is not what many expect it to be.
The prize for Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series was a bit of a surprise as Kevin Spacey took the prize for his work in “House of Cards.” Wow, I was almost certain that Jon Hamm would have taken the prize for his work during the farewell season of “Mad Men.” Goes to tell, you never go with the pundits because surprises can always happen! The big prize for Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series was a victory for “Downton Abbey.” Ok, another surprise, I certainly thought “Mad Men” should have taken the award. Let’s just say the SAG membership delivered quite a few surprises in the Drama categories for 2016.
Perhaps two of the easiest awards of the night to predict were Outstanding Male Actor and Female Actor in a Motion Picture. This is not to say that the other contenders are not worthy, it’s evident that Leonardo DiCaprio “The Revenant” and Brie Larson “Room” deliver performances that are simply unforgettable in the cinematic arena. Larson delivered a moving speech that I definitely think will earn her some points come Oscar time. A good speech goes a bit further than many people expect.
DiCaprio has been overlooked so many times for performances he should have received accolades for it was a treat to see the thespian receive such a rousing reaction from his peers as he took to the stage. I mean the guy has been nominated 9 times and this is his first time ever taking to the stage.
So the Golden Globes and the SAG awards are long behind and the biggest prize of them all, the Academy Awards will be handed out on February 28. I will say some races seem like locks at this point, but never underestimate the Academy; they are a beast of their own and are known to deliver surprises that leave people scratching their heads.