Brief SAG Awards Recap
The SAG Awards are a fast moving, let’s get them out of here, affair. There’s no time for small talk and if the final award winner recipients hadn’t gone past the allotted time, the show would have signed off exactly on time, 10:00 pm Eastern, accomplishing everything they needed to in a brisk two hours. For its expediency and no nonsense assembly line distribution of the “actor” statuette, we thank SAG. However, sometimes the whole affair seems like a Union meeting or a party for co-workers and not something that is exceptionally appealing to film or television fans. For entertainment value the Golden Globes are your best bet for winter television/film award shows. They have the infromality of the SAGS, without all this talk of residuals, and certainly none of the pretense and pomposity of the Oscars. Frankly, I use the term "entertaining" loosely with all of these shows and I am die hard movie fan/award show viewer. However, nothing beats the Tonya for entertainment value.
The SAGs, are not necessarily a precursor to the Oscars, especially in the best picture category, which isn’t actually the same category. SAG hands out a best acting ensemble award, while the Oscar goes to the film’s producers. Black Panther won the prize on Sunday night, and even though it is nominated for best picture at the Oscars, it isn’t expected to win, especially since it wasn’t nominated for the Best Director Oscar. So it’s comparing apples to oranges, but that doesn’t stop everyone from doing it (comparing).
One of the best surprises of the night was Emily Blunt’s win for Best Supporting Actress in a film, for A Quiet Place, a horror film her husband John Krasinski co-wrote and directed. Blunt was also nominated for lead actress for Mary Poppins Returns, however she didn’t get nominated for either film by the Academy Awards. She was shut out by two actresses from Roma, in the Roma film sweep. Often films loved by the Academy sweep nominations and actors in these favored films get nominations they do not receive elsewhere. This can be the only reason why wooden Charlton Heston actually won a best acting award for multi Oscar winning Ben-Hur in 1959. But I digress.
Regina King, is the favorite for Best Supporting Actress in a film for the Oscars. She wasn’t even nominated for the SAG award; underscoring again that the SAGS don’t foretell an Oscar win. As for Emily Blunt, I am sure the SAG win was a nice consolation prize for her double shun from the Academy. Let’s hope she gets her Oscar due soon.
Glenn Close now emerges as the Oscar favorite for best lead actress, for her brilliant turn in The Wife, a performance and film I loved. She won the GG, the SAG and tied with Lady Gaga at the Critic’s Choice award. Gaga who was heavily favored this fall when A Star is Born was released is suddenly looking like the underdog. Close also has the dubious distinction of never winning an Oscar despite six previous nominations, let’s hope seven is her lucky number.
Speaking of unlucky nominees, Amy Adams didn’t win the SAG award and isn’t expected to win the Oscar, even though her turn in Vice is her sixth nomination. She’s just in time to replace Close as the most nominated living actor to not win. The late great Peter O’Toole holds the record with 8 nominations and no wins, although he did win an honorary Oscar.
Watertown native Viggo Mortensen who was nominated for Green Book, goes into the Oscar race with the odds against him, after recently losing the GG and the SAG award. As a matter of fact this week’s Entertainment Weekly places Mortensen dead last in its predictions to win, even behind Willem Dafoe, for a film called At Eternity’s Gate. Yeah, no one has ever heard of it. Rami Malek won the SAG award for playing Freddy Mercury (Bohemian Rhapsody) and some of the singing is his, but not all of it is. At this point, Christian Bale is expected to win the Oscar, for completely transforming himself to play former Vice President Dick Cheney in Vice.
Still, I am rooting for Viggo Mortensen. I loved his Green Book performance he was warm, open, and completely credible as a New York Italian bouncer. I was so glad to see that he won best actor award from the National Board of Review, last year.
Mortensen is a great, down to earth guy—who never forgets where he comes from. Check out my interview with him from 2017 here.
The Oscars are live February 24.