The SAG Awards Solidify the Oscar Race…or Do They?

29 Jan

^ Spencer

  • Best Supporting Female Actor in a Film – Octavia Spencer (The Help)

^ Plummer

  • Best Supporting Male Actor in a Film – Christopher Plummer (Beginners)

^ Davis

  • Best Female Actor in a Film – Viola Davis (The Help)

^ Dujardin

  • Best Male Actor in a Film – Jean Dujardin (The Artist)

The cast of The Help (left to right): Allison Janney, Chris Lowell, Mike Vogel, Sissy Spacek, Ahna O'Reilly, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Cicely Tyson, Jessica Chastain, and Mary Steenburgen

  • Best Cast in a Film – The Help

It’s tempting to think that the SAG awards are an infallible indicator of how the Oscars will go because the voting bodies of both awards have overlapping members, but winning a SAG award doesn’t always translate into Oscar gold.  That noted, I think Plummer, Spencer, and Davis are clearly well-positioned.  A lot of Oscar prognosticators like to think that winning the award for Best Cast portends the Academy’s choice for Best Picture, and that is frequently–though not always–true. For example, two years ago, the cast of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds won the top SAG award, but the Oscar for Best Picture went to Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker. During the 2006/07 race, the top prizes were split between Little Miss Sunshine (SAG) and The Departed (Oscar). On the other hand, last year the Screen Actors Guild award for the cast of The King’s Speech ran counter to a seemingly all-out consensus favoring The Social Network–and on Oscar night, The King’s Speech prevailed. Of course, The King’s Speech ‘s director Tom Hooper also won the prestigious DGA award en route to the Academy. Here’s what’s up this year. The DGA has honored Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) while the SAG award for Best Cast goes to The Help, which is clearly the most popular entry among moviegoers. The trouble is, its director, Tate Taylor, has been overlooked by his peers in the Academy, and that is not usually a good sign; meanwhile, Martin Scorsese, the director of Hugo, the most nominated film of the current Oscar race, clearly did not win the DGA award though the most nominated film is generally well-positioned to sweep the Oscars. Yep, it’s still a race. Stay tuned.

Also…

^ Jessica Lange accepts her SAG award for the TV drama American Horror Story. I'm thrilled for this chapter in Lange's career even though I found the series hard to sit through at times.

  • Best Female Actor in a TV Drama – Jessica Lange (American Horror Story)

^ Lifetime Achievement winner Mary Tyler Moore (above) was presented with her award by none other than Dick Van Dyke. The montage highlighting Moore's career inciuded all the familiar highlights: The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show--and its many spinoffs--as well as her Oscar nominated turn in Ordinary People, but failed to single out her Emmy nominated performance as NBC News correspondent and breast cancer survivor Betty Rollin in First, You Cry (1978), the landmark telefilm that helped bring the issue of breast cancer to the forefront of mainstream culture.

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Mary Tyler Moore

For more on the Screen Actors Guild Awards:

http://www.sagawards.org/

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