The awards season keeps rolling on with the 21st annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. Since they only reward actors, there are far fewer categories than most awards shows, with just 15 including two for Stunt work.
See a Complete List of the 2015 SAG Award Nominees>>
On the film side, the SAG Awards can be a predictor for the Oscars. Only three of this year’s SAG nominees are not nominated for an Academy Award (Jennifer Aniston, Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts). However, last year the winners in all four individual acting categories went on to win the Oscar, and the Lead Actor winner at the SAG Awards has won the Oscar for the past 10 years in a row.
For TV, Modern Family has won the award for Comedy Ensemble four years in a row, though it faces stiff competition, especially from Orange Is the New Black, which has 40 actors nominated in its ensemble. By comparison, a total of 36 actors are nominated for the other four casts combined. The Drama field is more open as last year’s winner, Breaking Bad, ended. Boardwalk Empire and Downton Abbey have both won before, though House of Cards is nominated for the first time and Homeland and Game of Thrones are each on their third nomination.
Individually, Modern Family‘s Ty Burrell is the returning winner following a seven-year streak of Alec Baldwin winning for 30 Rock while Julia Louis-Dreyfus can tie Tina Fey’s record for four wins in the Comedy Actress category (though two are for Seinfeld).
Drama Actress features three winners (Julianna Margulies, Claire Danes and Maggie Smith) against three newbies (Robin Wright, Tatiana Maslany and Viola Davis). And this is the last chance for Matthew McConaughey (or Woody Harrelson) to win a major award for HBO’s True Detective after they both lost the Emmy and Golden Globe.
The voiceover introductions on the red carpet at the start of the show are always hilariously awkward. The best are “Our theory of everything is that Eddie Redmayne looks handsome” and “We’d go into the woods with Meryl Streep.” Also great are the actor intros, ending with Zach Galifianakis saying “I’m Zach Galifianakis. I’m an actor?”
Film Stunt Team: Unbroken
The SAG Awards may honor stunt performers, but not on the actual telecast. Still, this Angelina Jolie-directed film won.
TV Stunt Team: Game of Thrones
For the fourth year in a row, GoT wins the stunt award. But given the epic Battle of Castle Black, it’s easy to understand why.
TV Comedy Actress: Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Crazy Eyes wins! This bodes very well for OITNB‘s chances for the Ensemble award. She gets teary and seems genuinely shocked.
TV Comedy Actor: William H. Macy, Shameless
Switching from Comedy to Drama is good for him. That makes two Comedy awards going to hour-long dramas pretending to be comedies. Thankfully Macy is extremely hilarious in his speech. “I’ve written so many great acceptance speeches that I didn’t get to give, but not tonight. To my fellow nominees…ah, forget it, you lost.” Now that’s funny.
TV Comedy Ensemble: Orange Is the New Black
Since they have 40 actors nominated for the ensemble, it’s no surprise they won. This cast probably represents 30 percent of the entire Screen Actors Guild. Between the SAG Comedy winners and the winners at the Golden Globes (Transparent and Jane the Virgin), it seems dramedies rule and comedies that are actually funny are out of fashion.
Film Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
She’s pretty much won every single award there is, so this is just another on her inevitable path to winning the Oscar. She talks about being a fourth-generation actor.
Film Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Like Arquette, hes winning everything en route to an Oscar. And also like Arquette, he’s probably much better known as a TV actor. He gives an eloquent speech about how every actor is a supporting actor, supporting the production as a whole. He even thanks all 49 actors who appear on screen in Whiplash, down to those who have one line, and makes some funny quips about his wife. Damn he’s charming.
TV Movie/Miniseries Actor: Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart
He’s not there, which is a shame since this is the only major award he’s actually won for this HBO TV movie.
TV Movie/Miniseries Actress: Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge
Well, HBO is having a good night. She uses the speech to promote her miniseries, telling people to stream it, though she doesn’t know how that works.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Debbie Reynolds
I know she’s famous and has a long career, but is it sad that I only know her for three things: Singin’ in the Rain, Grace’s mom on Will and Grace and Kevin Kline’s mom in In and Out. She’s introduced by her daughter, Carrie Fisher.
TV Drama Actor: Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
First the Golden Globe, now the SAG Award. Breaking Bad ending was the best thing to ever happen to him. And now Netflix has three wins tonight.
TV Drama Actress: Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
Hooray for ShondaLand! She’s proud of TV for representing diversity. Interestingly, she’s not the first African-American woman to win in this category as Chandra Wilson won back in the day for Grey’s Anatomy. So did Sandra Oh, so SAG loves Shonda’s women.
TV Drama Ensemble: Downton Abbey
Seriously? This is the second win for the show, tying it with The Sopranos, The West Wing, Six Feet Under, Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire. I don’t get how it keeps winning, especially against the superior ensemble of Game of Thrones.
Film Lead Actor: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
This is probably the most competitive acting category this year, and Redmayne just edged out Keaton which could be the difference in giving him the Oscar. It’s close, as they both won Golden Globes, Keaton won the Critics’ Choice Award, and now Redmayne gets the SAG Award. He thanks the fellow nominees, and even the great actors who weren’t nominated like David Oyelowo and Bradley Cooper. Between this and Downton Abbey, we’ve entered the British portion of the evening.
Film Lead Actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice
We’re back to non-competitive categories since Moore is steamrolling her way to her first Oscar. She starts her speech by reminiscing about being on the soap opera As the World Turns. Kudos to her for remembering her humble roots.
Film Ensemble: Birdman
Wow, so Michael Keaton loses individually, but wins for the cast. The SAG Ensemble Award is hit-or-miss. In the last 19 years, only nine winners went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture. At least Edward Norton won for one of his two movies (he was also part of the Ensemble of The Grand Budapest Hotel). Zach Galifianakis is also a winner, which is cool and weird. And one final fun fact: Emma Stone is now one of only 13 actors to win two SAG Film Ensemble Awards, for the casts of Birdman and The Help.
(Image courtesy of WENN)