The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were held yesterday at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center. It’s a ceremony attended by film and television’s leading actors, voted on by the 121,546 active members of SAG-AFTRA.
In Film, “Hidden Figures” come out number one, winning the top prize of Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Emma Stone Landed Best Actress for her role in “La La Land” and Denzel Washington pulled a suprise win in Best Actor for his part in “Fences”, the adaptation of the August Wilson play he also directed. Viola Davis, who plays Denzel’s wife in the film landed Best Supporting Actress and Mahershala Ali, who costarred in “Hidden Figures” landed Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Moonlight”.
As for Television, Bryan Cranston returned to the winners’ stage for playing President Lyndon B. Johnson in the HBO TV movie “All The Way” and Sara Paulson picked up Best Actress in a TV Movie or Limited Series for her portrayal of Marcia Clarke in the FX program “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”.
For TV Dramas, Netflix swept the ballot with the sci-fi phenomenon “Stranger Things” coming out on top for Ensemble in a Drama Series and “The Crown” earned individual acting prizes for John Lithgow, who plays Winston Churchill in the historical series and Claire Foy, who portrays a young Queen Elizabeth II.
In comedy TV, Julia Louis-Dreyfus earned her sixth actor with her part in the HBO series “Veep” and William H. Macy landed his third statue with his role in Showtime’s “Shameless”. But it was “Orange Is The New Black” that took home the top prize for Ensemble in a Comedy Series, an honnor they snagged for a third straight year.
Dolly Parton presented Lily Tomlin with the 53rd Life Achievement Award along with a touching video tribute to the legendary actor, comedian, writer, producer and all-around entertainment maverick.
The night helps give form to the ever-shaping landscape of awards season, leading all the way up to Oscar night on February 26th. The guild makes up the largest percentage of the voting populace for The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences, so these statues can paint a picture for what we might see down the road. However, “La La Land” wasn’t nominated for Best Cast and still seems like the front-runner for Best Picture in the Academy’s celebration. Best Actor now looks to be a three-man race with Denzel Washington winning the SAG Award, but Casey Affleck and Ryan Gossling both winning the Golden Globe. Meanwhile Emma Stone and Viola Davis have all but cemented their claims on Oscar Gold.