Oscar & Emmy Watch: Musings & Misgivings: The Screen Actors Guild Awards
Come home, Ricky Gervais, all is forgiven.
Honestly now, as movie awards shows go, and of course we can never have enough of THEM, has there ever been a duller one than the 17th Screen Actors Guild ceremony? Telecast simultaneously on TWO basic cable outlets, no less. This show didn’t sag, it sank.
Apart from the fact that there was no time wasted on lesser Hollywood craftspeople, you know, minor contributors like, say, writers, directors, cinematographers, editors, costumers and art designers; and apart from the fact that the broadcast had the feel of a union rally—albeit one with a spiffily dressed audience membership, one considerably more well-heeled, you can be sure, than the nearly 100,000 active members of SAG nationwide who voted; and apart from the fact that there were neither hosts nor any traditional entertainment segments to inject the proceedings with actual fun, I am now formally and unapologetically rethinking my position on having even an incendiary host such as Gervais to ignite any kind of spark to leaden affairs such as this.
There’s not much that can be said of the showbiz value of the 17th SAG Awards telecast, but you can give it this: how many telecasts would give several shout-outs to the Teamsters? Jimmy Hoffa would have been proud.
The awards themselves only confirm what Oscar prognosticators already know—that the winners of the four major individual SAG awards provide an air of inevitability to their collecting the gold at the Feb. 27 Oscars. Those four are lead actors Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) and Natalie Portman (Black Swan); and supporting actors Melissa Leo and Christian Bale ( both for The Fighter). Further, the ensemble award for The King’s Speech, the night after its director Tom Hooper won the DGA Award (The Social Network’s David Fincher had been considered the strong favorite), lends added proof that this superb historical drama (with 12 Oscar nominations), and not The Social Network (with eight), is the consensus front-runner for Best Picture and numerous other Oscars, though Aaron Sorkin still appears to be a lock for adapted screenplay.Continued on the next page