HOLLYWOOD—With the Oscar nominations set to be announced on Tuesday, January 23, all eyes were pointed at the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards to see where things could be headed for the rest of awards season. The ceremony was hosted on Sunday, January 21 and for the first time in SAG history we have a host. Actress Kristen Bell took on hosting ceremonies and I was concerned about the show having a host. Why? There are those awards shows that don’t really require a host. We have the Grammy Awards that doesn’t need a host, and the same applies for the SAG Awards.
With so much transpiring in the past few months in Hollywood and America, I wondered just how political or personal the jokes and speeches would be inside one of Hollywood’s biggest dances. Per usual the ceremony kicked off with actors and actresses sharing their trials and tribulations of what it means to be an actor. We heard tales from Allison Janney, Tracee Ellis-Ross, Kristen Bell and Millie Bobby Brown. Bell utilized the trend of female empowerment to her advantage, and delivered a few jokes that actually worked far better than expected.
The first prize of the night for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series went to William H. Macy for “Shameless,” while the SAG for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series to Julia Louis-Dreyfus for “Veep,” who was not able to attend the ceremony. As we all know, Julia has been fighting cancer, recently posting on social media that she has been victorious in her battle. Jeez, the pacing on this awards show should be a tip for so many others. They handed out 3 trophies in less than 15 minutes, including a few jokes in the beginning.
The Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series was a victory for the HBO series “Veep.” Can’t say I’m surprised because that is a victory that I expected. Now with comedy out the way, the awards transitioned to delivering a bit of movie love with the prize for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role to Allison Janney for “I, Tonya.” Yeah, I can’t see anyone beating her at this moment for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Her performance is just sensational.
While Janney won the prize for Supporting Actress, when it came to Supporting Actor it was Sam Rockwell who was victorious for his performance in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” He gave an inspiring speech about actors not giving up on their dreams. Speaking of great acting, the contenders for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie was loaded with favorites, but “Big Little Lies” continued its awards dominance, with Alexander Skarsgard taking home the prize.
His co-star Nicole Kidman took home the SAG for Outstanding Female Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie for her work on the hit HBO series. Wow, that’s hard to believe that Kidman has been nominated 10 times, and this is her FIRST win. Yeah, I’m going to have to go back and look at all the times this Aussie has been nominated for such a high accolade. She gave a strong speech talking about issues of ageism in Hollywood, especially for women.
That was an extremely funny bit with Bell, who seemed to be showcasing accolades to her husband Dax Shepard, but she was really highlighting “Lady Bird” director and writer Greta Gerwig. Definitely looks like SAG was pushing the importance of female empowerment with all of the night’s presenters being women. Acting legend Rita Moreno presented Morgan Freeman with the Lifetime Achievement Awards for his nearly 40 plus years in the entertainment industry. How iconic to have Moreno present the same prize to Freeman, who delivered the prize to her back in 2013? Freeman sure knows how to deliver unexpected comedy, to take the seriousness out of things.
Sterling K. Brown continues to add accolades to his mantle winning the SAG Actor in a Drama Series for “This is Us,” however what the hell was Niecy Nash thinking with what she said during her presentation with Olivia Munn. That was just awkward and bad taste, and utilizing race in a way that was just cringe-worthy. However, the speech that Brown delivered totally made up for that weird, strange and sure to be talked about moment for the cooler room.
Whoa, a bit of an upset seeing Claire Foy win for “The Crown” over Elisabeth Moss for “The Handmaid’s Tale” in the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series. That might have been a shocker that had me gasping because it was unexpected. So who would take the prize for Outstanding Drama Series? None other than “This is Us.” The entire cast was literally stunned with the announcement, and this is what you want to see at an awards show; surprise, excitement and pure happiness when a nominee who never expected to win, takes the prize.
Now we’re down to the wire, as the big awards of the night: Best Actor and Best Actress. Geena Davis presented the prize for Outstanding Actor in Leading Role to Gary Oldman for “Darkest Hour.” Oldman is going to be difficult to beat because as an actor he literally transforms himself into the role; it’s revelatory. For Female Actor in a Leading Role it was Frances McDormand who continued her awards season domination for her work in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Gotta say, it looks like McDormand and Oldman are shoo-ins for Oscar, the only dark horse I see at this point is Margot Robbie in the Best Actress race.
The biggest award of the night Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture was a victory for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” That movie has been unstoppable this awards season, but with “The Shape of Water” winning the Producers Guild of America prize, it looks like those two movies are the front runners for that Best Picture Oscar. So SAG has spoken, and I really don’t see many surprises come Oscar night people in the acting races, however, I will not lock in anything until the Oscar nominations are revealed. We’re going to see some surprises America, and that can change everything as we know it.