By the actors, for the actors.
I do so enjoy watching the Screen Actors Guild Awards because the appreciation the actors show for the love they’ve received from their peers is just priceless. There are almost always tears. And they’re not just from the actors themselves. It was hard not to be moved by Uzo Aduba’s emotional acceptance speech, where she reminded us she had planned to quit acting after her OITNB audition, or recall how good Mark Ruffalo was in The Normal Heart, even if he wasn’t there to accept his award in person. As a big Orange is the New Black fan, I was thrilled to see the show score two wins, for Aduba and for Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series. Those wins, together with House of Cards earning Kevin Spacey Outstanding Actor in a Drama, come just after Amazon’s Transparent won two big honours at the recent Golden Globes. Seems like it couldn’t be a better time for online streaming services. (Speaking of Transparent, Amazon graciously waived the fee for watching the series this weekend, and so I used the opportunity to catch up on the fantastic series – Jeffrey Tambor, take a bow.)
Naturally, all eyes are now upon the Oscars, as pundits predict what the SAG honours mean for the one ceremony that rules them all, taking place next month. Birdman gets a little push with its Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble, but Eddie Redmayne beat out Michael Keaton for Best/Outstanding Actor. Could he follow suit at the Oscars? The other four major categories seem all but cast in stone, following the trend set at the Globes and the Critics Choice awards – Julianne Moore (Still Alice) for Best Actress, JK Simmons (Whiplash) for Best Supporting Actor and Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) for Best Supporting Actress. As many noted on Twitter, it was frustrating to see the montage for diversity and tolerance as depicted onscreen over the years at the SAG Awards include one of the stand-out scenes of David Oyelowo from Selma but not to have the film feature in any of the nominations. At least Redmayne gave him a shout-out of acknowledgment during his acceptance speech. Still, Best Picture race looks dead set between Boyhood and Birdman. Both equally deserving. One spoke to my heart, the other captured my mind.
The full list of SAG Award winners can be found here. The Oscars take place on February 22nd in LA.