In the thick of awards season the 21st Annual SAG Awards were held on Sunday, January 25. These awards highlight acting in both film and television. Although the SAG Awards may not seem as glamorous as the Oscars or Golden Globes, “The Actor” statuette is not only a great honor but also an important indicator of possible Oscar outcomes next month.
Patricia Arquette and J.K. Simmons both won for their supporting roles in Boyhood and Whiplash, respectively. Arquette and Simmons received Golden Globes as well and seem like safe bets for Best Supporting Actress and Actor at the Academy Awards.
The SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role went to Julianne Moore (Still Alice) who is the popular favorite for the Oscars. The Oscar for Best Actor remains hard to predict between two prominent contenders. Eddie Redmayne won at the SAG Awards for The Theory of Everything and also earned a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama. Many people have predicted, however, that Michael Keaton will ultimately win the Oscar for his performance in Birdman.
Because the Screen Actors Guild emphasizes the actors’ performances, they give out an award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture instead of an overall “Best Picture” title. Birdman won this one, upsetting the common prediction that Boyhood is a shoe-in for Best Picture at the Oscars.
Netflix had a huge night at the SAG Awards, which also rewards exceptional performances on the small screen. Orange is the New Black won Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy series and Uzo Aduba won for her portrayal of Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren. Kevin Spacey also took home a SAG Award for his role in House of Cards.
Although the SAG Awards carved out some strong contenders for the Oscars, at this point it’s still anyone’s game. The Academy gives out many more awards than the Screen Actors Guild, such as Best Original and Adapted Screenplays and Best Director. Hopefully the Oscars will recognize some of the films, such as The Grand Budapest Hotel, that were largely ignored last night.