Tuesday , December 18 2018

‘Three Billboards’ sweeps SAG Awards – Gary Oldman wins best actor for ‘Darkest Hour’

LOS ANGELES, Jan 22, (Agencies): The Western-inspired revenge tale “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” swept the female-focused and led Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday with wins for best ensemble, best actress for Frances McDormand and best supporting actor for Sam Rockwell.

It was almost an exact repeat of the major Golden Globe Awards wins with Gary Oldman also winning best actor for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour” and Allison Janney taking supporting actress for playing Tonya Harding’s mother in “I, Tonya.”

As with many of the awards shows this season, it was the treatment of women in Hollywood that stayed at the forefront of the show, which featured a roster of nearly all female presenters and Kristen Bell as its inaugural host.

“We are living in a watershed moment,” Bell said in her opening monologue, which stayed light and mostly clear of politics. “Let’s make sure that we’re leading the charge with empathy and diligence.”

With many prominent men in Hollywood facing accusations of sexual misconduct, virtually every aspect of awards season has been impacted by the scandal  from questions on the red carpet to anxiety over who might win.

Both James Franco and Aziz Ansari two weeks ago won Golden Globe Awards while wearing Time’s Up pins before being accused of sexual misconduct and in Ansari’s case, aggressive sexual behavior by an anonymous accuser. Both were nominated Sunday and lost, Franco to Oldman and Ansari to William H. Macy for “Shameless.”

Rockwell, who beat out his co-star Woody Harrelson for the award, took his moment on stage to give a shout out to McDormand.

“Frances, you’re a powerhouse,” Rockwell said. “I stand shoulder to shoulder with you and all the incredible women in this room who are trying to make things better. It’s long overdue.”

Most of the comments in the evening were forward-looking. SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said, “This is not a moment in time. This is a movement.”

Big television winners included NBC’s “This Is Us,” which took the ensemble award for drama and won Sterling K. Brown the outstanding actor award, and HBO’s “Veep,” which got outstanding comedy ensemble and a best actress win for Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

HBO’s “Big Little Lies” picked up best actor in a miniseries wins for both Alexander Skarsgard and Nicole Kidman.

“I’m so grateful today that our careers can go beyond 40 years old,” Kidman said in her acceptance speech. “We are potent and powerful and viable. I just beg that the industry stays behind us because our stories are finally being told.”

“The Crown’s” Claire Foy won best female actor in a drama series for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II.

Expansive

Lifetime achievement award recipient Morgan Freeman kept his remarks brief after a moving highlight reel of his expansive career and an introduction by Rita Moreno. The Oscar-winner for “Million Dollar Baby” and four-time nominee has over 80 films to his name.

“I’m gonna tell you what’s wrong with this statue,” he said as he wrapped up. “From the back it works, from the front it’s gender specific. Maybe I started something.”

The day’s first awards went to “Game of Thrones” and “Wonder Woman,” which were honored for best stunt ensemble honors.

Producers say the female-forward approach was inspired by last year’s Women’s March, but the show arrived at a time when some of the industry’s biggest names are leading the Time’s Up and Me Too movements to address gender inequality, sexual misconduct, pay disparities and other issues.

The show comes two weeks after a black-dress protest at the Golden Globe Awards, and several stars including Meryl Streep, Emma Stone and Michelle Williams bringing activists to the show. The SAG red carpet saw the return of colorful frocks and far fewer Time’s Up pins  although some actors, like Kumail Nanjiani and Gina Rodriguez, were still sporting theirs.

E! host Giuliana Rancic asked “GLOW” actress Alison Brie about recent allegations of misconduct against her brother-in-law James Franco (Brie is married to actor Dave Franco.)

“I think that above all what we’ve always said is it remains vital that anyone who remains victimized should have the right to speak out and come forward,” Brie said, adding that in the case of Franco, “Not everything that has come forward is fully accurate.”

Franco has also called some of the accusations inaccurate, but after two days of facing questions about the claims on late-night television, “The Disaster Artist” star has kept a lower profile, although he was in attendance at the SAG Awards. He did not attend last week’s Critics’ Choice Awards.

The Globes were the first major awards show forced to confront the sexual misconduct scandal since it exploded in October with dozens of women accusing Harvey Weinstein of harassment and in some instances, rape. (Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.)

The SAG Awards are a reliable predictor of the winner for the best actor and actress Academy Awards; this year’s show comes two days before Oscar nominations are announced.

While “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” now has the Golden Globe and SAG win to its name, it lost out to Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy romance “The Shape of Water” at the Producers Guild Awards Saturday night, which is often the most accurate gage of what will ultimately win best picture at the Academy Awards on March 4.

With a still undetermined awards race and an industry undergoing tectonic shifts with the Me Too and Time’s Up movements, awards shows have become canaries in the coal mine.

After the Golden Globes, it was clear that the entertainment business was not shying away from its problems, but the Screen Actors Guild Awards suggested that perhaps the Hollywood reckoning is now following a familiar script.

There were big moments Sunday at the 24th annual celebration of actors, like Harvey Weinstein accusers Marisa Tomei and Rosanna Arquette naming some of the key silence breakers who lit the fuse to the movement, and big questions about what would happen if the recently accused James Franco and Aziz Ansari won in their categories (they didn’t).

But much of the evening was numbingly similar to what we’ve seen before, from the winners  like “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”  to the commentary on why the crusade is important and gestures like having nearly all female presenters.

The show comes two weeks after a black-dress protest at the Golden Globe Awards, and several stars including Meryl Streep, Emma Stone and Michelle Williams bringing activists to the show. The SAG red carpet saw the return of colorful frocks and far fewer Time’s Up pins  although some actors, like Kumail Nanjiani and Gina Rodriguez, were still sporting theirs.

The Globes were the first major awards show forced to confront the sexual misconduct scandal since it exploded in October with dozens of women accusing Harvey Weinstein of harassment and in some instances, rape. (Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.)

Tomei and Arquette provided perhaps the most memorable moment of the evening.  While Arquette held back tears, they named some of the “silence breakers” in the movement including Asia Argento, Annabella Sciorra, Ashley Judd, Daryl Hannah, Mira Sorvino, Anthony Rapp and Olivia Munn.

“So many powerful voices are no longer silenced by the fear of retaliation,” Arquette said. “We can control our own destiny.”

Not every show can have barn burning Oprah Winfrey moment, but sometimes a trace of genuine emotion is just enough.

Your move, Oscars.

The 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards would appear to have clearly delineated this year’s acting Oscar frontrunners. Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”), Allison Janney (“I, Tonya”), Frances McDormand, and Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) all doubled down Sunday night following recent wins at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards.

In the supporting categories, it’s been an about-face from the critics’ circuit, where Willem Dafoe (“The Florida Project”) and Laurie Metcalf (“Lady Bird”) have far outpaced Rockwell and Janney. Oldman has remained the lead actor heavyweight throughout, while McDormand has been neck-and-neck with “The Shape of Water” star Sally Hawkins.

But bear in mind we don’t even have Oscar nominations yet. In fact, the SAG Awards almost never precede the Academy’s announcement. The point is, there’s a very long phase two still ahead, two weeks longer than usual due to the Winter Olympics. A lot can happen. Final Oscar ballots are due in 37 days — an eternity.

On the television side, “This Is Us” provided the only real spike of excitement all night as the series surprised in the drama ensemble category. Claire Foy (“The Crown”) also put the brakes on Elisabeth Moss’ (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) awards streak, which was unexpected.

The comedy prizes, meanwhile, might have given off a whiff of staleness with both William H. Macy (“Shameless”) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”) winning their their second-straight SAG trophies for series deep into their runs. But oddly enough, the cast of “Veep” had never won in the ensemble category before Sunday night.

Circling back to the ongoing Oscar race, if you twist with every breeze that blows in the season, sure, the ensemble victory for “Three Billboards” signals it as the best picture frontrunner. Actors make up the largest branch of the Academy, the logic goes, but it would be equally reductive to note that the combined might of the crafts branches eclipses the actors.

There are also x-factors in play, as Martin McDonagh’s film fuels the ire of its detractors with every new accolade. Witness the New York Times taking aim in the wake of the contender’s ascent this month with a piece criticizing the untidiness of McDonagh’s approach to the social underpinnings of his story. Expect more of that as the spotlight gets harsher. (McDonagh addressed some of those concerns on a recent episode of Variety’s “Playback” podcast.)

So the same caveat that accompanied Saturday’s Producers Guild victory for “The Shape of Water” applies here. Don’t go calling it a day just yet.

Winners

Here is the full list of winners at the 24th Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards hosted Sunday in Los Angeles:

Motion Picture Awards

* Outstanding Performance by a Cast: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

* Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role: Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

* Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role: Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

* Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

* Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Allison Janney, “I, Tonya” Television

* Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: “This is US”

* Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: “Veep”

* Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series: Sterling K. Brown, “This is Us”

* Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series: Claire Foy, “The Crown”

* Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series: William H. Macy, “Shameless”

* Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”

* Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies”

* Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”

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