The Screen Actor Guild Awards are usually a pretty brisk ceremony, considering they aren’t handing out awards to composers or writers or anybody who isn’t a household name, but Sunday’s ceremony felt especially time-compressed. I think they may have eliminated some of the television categories to get in a two-hour show with extensive commercial breaks. But enough complaining, on with the winners. Here’s a list:
Outstanding Ensemble in a Motion Picture: Slumdog Millionaire
Outstanding Female Actor in a Lead Role: Meryl Streep (Doubt)
Outstanding Male Actor in a Lead Role: Sean Penn (Milk)
Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Kate Winslet (The Reader)
Outstanding Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series: “30 Rock”
Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series: “Mad Men”
Outstanding Female Actor in a Comedy: Tina Fey (“30 Rock”)
Outstanding Male Actor in a Comedy: Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”)
Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama: Sally Field (“Brothers & Sisters”)
Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama: Hugh Laurie (“House”)
Outstanding Female Actor in a TV Movie: Laura Linney (“John Adams”)
Outstanding Male Actor in a TV Movie: Paul Giamatti (“John Adams”)
One of the stand out victories for me was Meryl Streep’s win for Outstanding Female Actor in a Motion Picture, for her role in Doubt. She was obviously moved and flustered as presenter Ralph Fiennes called out her name. Very quickly, nearly everyone in the room stood for her, and every actress in the category (Angelina Jolie, Kate Winslet, Melissa Leo and Anne Hathaway) looked absolutely thrilled that Meryl got the honor. Meryl pulled as a fast one as she greeted Fiennes – she gave him a passionate kiss on the mouth! To his credit, Ralph looked really happy to make out with Meryl. Meryl’s speech was littered with gems like “I didn’t even buy a dress!” and “Even though awards don’t even mean anything to me any more…”
Several winners commented on the distinctive design of the SAG Award itself – what can only be described as a well-built, semi-nude man with an enormous “bulge”. When Sean Penn accepted his award, he remarked about how playing the character of Harvey Milk allowed him to notice things like “The statues have enormous packages.” Laura Linney said in her acceptance speech that “my fiance told me not to fondle the Actor.”
There were several little moments that I enjoyed or had real questions about. Anthony Hopkins presented the final award, and he looked very thin, drawn and sick. After his appearance, I’m really worried about his health. Sean Penn walked the red carpet with his not-so-estranged wife Robin Wright Penn, and they sat together for the ceremony. When he accepted his award, Robin was crying and of all surprises, Penn was gracious in saying that he wept when he watched all of the actors’ performances. When Hugh Laurie (one of my personal favorites) won, he gave a great speech. First he said “And I had $100 on James Spader, this just isn’t my night.” Then at the end of his speech, he gave a special thanks to craft services on “House”. Apparently, he really loves craft services’ omelets.
Katie Holmes showed up! She presented the award to Sean Penn, and she even got through her little presentation without having to reboot. Ernest Borgnine showed up too, and he looks pretty good. Several of the more B-list presenters had rather hokey-sounding fake accents (cough, cough Claire Danes). The best presenters were probably “The Office” star John Krasinski and Amy Poehler, who enacted a “dramatic” scene that was hilarious. And on a sad note, Gary Oldman accepted Heath Ledger’s award with a lot of emotion. Everyone stood when Heath’s name was called, just like at the Golden Globes. I really think Ledger has a lock on the Oscar.
Here are photos from the press room after the ceremony. We have the red carpet photos coming up shortly.
Shown are Meryl Streep, Tina Fey, Forest Whitaker and James Earl Jones, Sean Penn, Jane Krakowski, Sally Field, Alec Baldwin and his daughter Ireland, Hugh Laurie, Laura Linney, Kate Winslet, The cast of “Mad Men”, The cast of “30 Rock”, and Dev Patel, Irrfan Khan, Freida Pinto, and Anil Kapoor from “Slumdog Millionaire.” Credit: WENN