HOLLYWOOD—America, this is HOW you do an awards ceremony in the midst of a pandemic. The Screen Actors Guild Awards hosted the 2021 ceremony in the smartest, quickest and easiest way possible. It was a televised event that was under an hour that still paid tribute to all the winners who receive accolades from their own peers. Forget that dreadful nearly 4-hour ceremony hosted by the Grammys last month people.
The ceremony kicked off with a skit from the actors from “Ted Lasso” before highlighting the contenders in film and TV from 2020. We also saw highlights from actors and actresses talking about their journey as actors and actresses. One of the first prizes of the night, Outstanding Male Actor in a TV Miniseries or Movie was awarded to Mark Ruffalo for “I Know This Much is True.” Ruffalo delivered a fantastic performance in that series. For Female Actor in a TV Miniseries or Movie it was a victory for Anya Taylor-Joy for her performance in “The Queen’s Gambit.”
Things are moving fast people, because the next set of categories for Male Actor and Female Actor in a Comedy Series were presented to Jason Sudeikis for “Ted Lasso” and Catherine O’Hara for “Schitt’s Creek.” “Schitt’s Creek” also won the prize for Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series. On the drama side of things, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Female Actor in a Drama Series went to Gillian Anderson for “The Crown.” The trophy for Male Actor in a Drama Series went to Jason Bateman for “Ozark” and I think Jason himself was surprised with his win people.
The SAG Award for Male Actor in a Supporting Role went to Daniel Kaluuya for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” and it was a well-deserved prize, but to be honest I think Kaluuya should have been placed in the Lead Actor race. It was a surprise for Female Actor in a Supporting Role as “Minari” star Youn Yuh-Jung walked away with the trophy. This is the race that is going to be a nail-biter heading into Oscar Sunday people. I have no idea who is the front runner in this race at this point.
The SAG Award for Outstanding Performance of an Ensemble in a Drama Series went to “The Crown.” No surprise there as the series has been dominating TV for years America, and its latest season has been one of its best.
The final awards of the night for Male Actor, Female Actor and Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture would truly give movie lovers an idea of where things might be headed as we anticipate the culmination of awards season with the Academy Awards on Sunday, April 25. Wow, I was stunned to see Viola Davis win the prize for Female Actor for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” I honestly thought this was Carey Mulligan’s award to lose for her work in “Promising Young Woman” because she is fantastic in that movie. I still think Mulligan is the front-runner for the Oscar people, so while SAG may have delivered a curveball, there are always surprises when it comes to Oscar.
When it came to Male Actor in a Motion Picture, I was not surprised to see Chadwick Boseman to walk away with the trophy for his exceptional performance in “Ma Rainey’ Black Bottom.” The late actor’s prize was accepted by his wife Simone. Gosh, we lost a talent far too soon. If Chadwick does not win the Oscar I will be devastated to say the least people. The final award of the night for Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture was a victory for “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” Out of all the contenders this is the movie that has a stellar cast that delivers on all fronts.
So the Screen Actors Guild Awards have delivered two major surprises: Female Actor in a Leading Role to Viola Davis over Carey Mulligan and Frances McDormand and Youn Yuh-Jung delivering an upset in the Supporting Actress race. With SAG being such a strong predictor of where Oscar is headed, it looks what has become a predictable awards season could become unpredictable.