SAG Surprises and Kudos

Posted on January 30, 2012

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      Now that’s how an awards show should be. No host, just a slew of celebrity presenters presenting clever intros to the impressive acting categories. No bizarre nominations, just actors nominated by actors for performances that truly deserved acclaim.

The 18th annual SAG awards aired Sunday January 29th. This particular presentation of film (and television) honors contained few surprises and painted a somewhat formed image of how this awards season will turn out.

First, the sweep of the supporting categories has begun. Christopher Plummer portrayal of elderly father coming out late in life in Mike Mills wonderful Beginners earned him the “actor” while Octavia Spencer’s “Minnie” helped her acquire yet another accolade for The Help. Plummer is proving to be this year’s Christian Bale while Spencer continues her journey to that much deserved Oscar.

Next, the only real surprise came when the best actor category was announced. At the start of this year’s race, this particular section seemed to be all locked up. It was forecasted as a close race between Clooney and Pitt. For a while, it seemed as if Clooney would dominate. Until tonight.

Jean Dujardin won over his more experienced colleagues. The Artist is a silent tribute to the golden days of Hollywood and Dujardin plays George Valentin, a silent film star not ready to handle the advent of talkies. It seems that the members of SAG were more inclined to vote for nostalgia and talent instead of tradition and expectations. I give them kudos for that.

Ultimately, the winner of this night was The Help. The cast came away with the three awards: best actress for Viola Davis, supporting for Octavia and best ensemble in a motion picture. All of these rewards are perfectly entitled to this film. Kudos to the Screen Actors Guild for recognizing these powerful women. They all gave heartfelt and powerful performances that deserve every ounce of recognition they can get.

So what did we learn from the SAG awards? Spencer and Plummer are guaranteed the Oscar. Viola is a force to be reckoned with and this is still not Meryl’s year. As great and illustrious of an actress she is, Viola did give a far superior performance compared to Meryl. The best actor category is far from certain. Dujardin’s win threw a wrench into some predictions so the outcome of this will be interesting. After tonight, looks like we might have to make a new drinking game out of hearing Davis, Spencer or Dujardin.

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