It’s good to see them, isn’t it?
On Sunday, stars lined up inside a sprawling airplane hangar in Santa Monica, Calif., for the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the first real awards show of 2022 after the omicron variant plunged the season rewards in chaos.
The ceremony was filled with historic wins: Best Supporting Actress Ariana DeBose became the first Latina in the show’s 28-year history to win a SAG Award, for her dazzling breakthrough in “West Side Story.” Troy Kotsur also became the first deaf actor to win an individual actor honor at SAG, taking best supporting actor for his heartbreaking turn as the deaf father of a hearing daughter (Emilia Jones) in “CODA.”
His warm and witty acceptance speech is the kind of moment awards shows are made for, and it’s likely voters will want him back on stage at the Oscars, where he’ll take on critic favorite Kodi. Smit-McPhee (“The Power of the Dog”) in the supporting actor category.
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With just under a month until the March 27 Oscars, here’s how the SAG Awards shook up this year’s race:
It’s game, set, match for Will Smith
Start etching his statue now: Will Smith was the presumed best actor of the entire season for his towering yet tender performance as Richard Williams – determined father of tennis legends Venus and Serena – in the biopic ‘King Richard’. For a second, it looked like fellow nominees Andrew Garfield (“tick, tick…BOOM!”) or Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Power of the Dog”) had a chance of overtaking him, given the aggressiveness with which they had campaigned.
But never underestimate star power: Smith exuded plenty of it in his wonderful SAG speech on Sunday, which was graceful, funny and genuinely grateful as he tore himself apart on the podium. Fellow Best Actor nominee Denzel Washington (“The Tragedy of Macbeth”) even gave him a standing ovation.
Since 2000, winners of the SAG and Best Actor Oscars have overlapped 15 out of 21 times, with the late Chadwick Boseman (a SAG winner for “My Rainey’s Black Bottom”) shockingly losing to Anthony Hopkins (“The Father “) at last year’s Oscars. But Smith has already been nominated for an Oscar in the category twice before, for “Ali” in 2001 and “The Pursuit of Happyness” in 2006, and has the story of a beloved A-lister lagging behind in recognition. And according to The Hollywood Reporter, the Williams sisters have booked a series of TV appearances to promote ‘King Richard’ as it enters the final stretch of awards season, which will surely bring new eyes to the film. before voting begins on March 17.
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Jessica Chastain spoofs Nicole Kidman in Best Actress race
Jessica Chastain looked as surprised as many of us as she enthusiastically accepted the SAG Best Actress trophy for “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” a biopic about disgraced televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. Many Oscar pundits predicted that Nicole Kidman (“Being the Ricardos”) would win the statue, given that “Ricardos” got more love in major Oscar categories this season, with a nod to Best Actress for Kidman, as well as Best Actor (Javier Bardem) and Best Supporting Actor (JK Simmons) nominations. Besides Chastain’s Oscar nomination, “Tammy” has only one nod, for Best Makeup and Best Hairstyle.
But actors love a makeover, and Chastain dons heavy prosthetics and a thick Minnesota accent to play the larger-than-life Bakker. The film is also a passion project for three-time Oscar nominee Chastain, who tried to get “Tammy” directed for nearly a decade and serves as its producer.
Chastain is now in the lead to win the Best Actress Oscar, which — like Best Actor — has lined up with SAG 15 of the past 21. That said, we could have a repeat of last year, where a different actress won each award show before Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”) won the Oscar. Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”) is favored for Best Actress at the upcoming Critics Choice Awards, while neither she nor Chastain and Kidman are even nominated in the category at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA).
To complicate matters further, none of this year’s Best Actress nominees come from a Best Picture nominee. So chances are we won’t know exactly where this race is headed until the envelope is opened on Oscar night.
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Could ‘CODA’ win Best Picture?
“CODA co-stars”. She was greeted with thunderous cheers and a standing ovation – signaling a ton of love for the film from the cast, the academy’s biggest branch.
The SAG ensemble award marked a turning point in the Oscar race for former underdogs “Birdman”, “Spotlight”, “Argo” and “Parasite” on course to win best picture, and “CODA” will certainly jump at the top of the voters’ screen heap after Sunday’s wins. But no film in Oscar history has ever won Best Picture without a Best Director or Editing nomination since those categories were instituted, and “CODA” has neither. .
So where does that leave the best picture? Best Ensemble nominees “Belfast” and “Don’t Look Up” went home empty-handed at SAG, as did “The Power of the Dog,” which was snubbed in the top category at SAG. But if we read the SAG tea leaves, the Netflix Western could chart a similar trajectory to 2017’s “The Shape of Water”: Like “Power,” “Shape” was kicked out of SAG’s best ensemble category and n got only individual nominations. on the show for Sally Hawkins and Richard Jenkins, neither of whom won. But even with its SAG setbacks, “Shape” still nabbed Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director (Guillermo del Toro), Original Score and Production Design.
“Power” is set to win the Academy Awards for Best Director (Jane Campion) and an adapted screenplay, among other things, which could be all the ammunition it needs to win the top prize.
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