HOLLYWOOD—A massive precursor to what could unfold come Oscar Sunday on March 10 was previewed on Saturday, February 24 as the 2024 Screen Actors Guild Awards were handed out. The SAG Awards are pretty indicative of where things could be headed in terms of the Academy Awards, but it is important to note, SAG is not always accurate.

We have seen bigger upsets in recent years, Denzel Washington winning the SAG Award for Lead Actor for “Fences” only to lose the Oscar to Casey Affleck. Meryl Streep won Lead Actress for “Doubt,” but lost the Oscar to Kate Winslet for “The Reader.” As for Best Picture, remember when “Hidden Figures” won Outstanding Ensemble at the SAG Awards, only to lose the Best Picture Oscar to “Spotlight?” You can predict, but you cannot always be accurate.

One thing for sure, is “Oppenheimer” will be tough to beat. It headed into the SAG Awards with four nominations and picked up 3 of the 4, including Outstanding Ensemble which is equitable to what the Oscars deem Best Picture. Other big victories for the film included Cillian Murphy winning the trophy for Lead Actor over his stiffest competition Paul Giamatti from “The Holdovers.” This battle is a tense one, and I still won’t count out Giamatti, but Murphy is edging out his opponent. Robert Downey Jr. won Supporting Actor for “Oppenheimer” and seems slated for his first Oscar in 2 weeks, as does Da’Vine Joy Randolph. Randolph continued her awards circuit dominance with a win for Supporting Actress for her performance in “The Holdovers.”

The interesting development is the Lead Actress race, where many predicted Emma Stone to win for “Poor Things,” but it was Lily Gladstone who walked away with the SAG Award for her performance in “Flowers of the Killer Moon” making history along the way. This is what I love about Awards Season; not knowing who might walk away with the Oscar when the envelope is opened.

Gladstone’s win was not the only upset, as Pedro Pascal won Lead Actor in a Drama Series for “The Last Of Us” besting out the gentlemen of “Succession.” I absolutely did not see that coming at all. In addition, the Lead Actress category in a Drama Series was a surprise victory for Elizabeth Debicki for “The Crown.” Debicki’s win was not expected over “Succession” star Sarah Snook. “Succession” did claim the prize for Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series, while “The Bear” won Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series. Its stars Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri won for Lead Actor and Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, completing their awards season sweep.

“Beef” stars Ali Wong and Steven Yeun walked away with trophies for their work in the limited series. I will admit the ceremony moved at a steady pace and was perhaps the most entertaining awards ceremony I’ve watched this year. Granted they realize you don’t need a host and they kept the ceremony under 2 hours. If only the other award shows can receive the same memo!

With that said, Barbra Streisand was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Jennifer Aniston, why Aniston, I haven’t a clue because I don’t think those ladies have co-starred in any films, and usually that accolade is bestowed by an actor or actress or thespian the recipient has worked with in the past.

Overall, a fun ceremony, with the only grip being it was ONLY streamed on Netflix. Yeah, I really do not like that we’re seeing the streaming platforms taking over countless TV shows and events. Before you know it, if you’re not subscribed to a streaming service you will not be allowed to watch any form of entertainment as it seems it is all about making money nowadays. The Oscars are indeed coming in less than 2 weeks, get ready.