Monday, January 26, 2015

21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Winners

The Actors have spoken and the largest guild in the American cinema industry gave Motion Picture honors to Birdman, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons and Julianne Moore making them the front-runners for the Academy Awards that will take place in less than a month.

While nominees are selected by 1,200 randomly-selected guild members, winners are chosen by the 120,000+ members of SAG-AFTRA, the world's largest actors union. The Actors branch represent almost 19% of the full Academy voting membership (6,124) which makes them more than two times the size of the next biggest branch. That is the power of the actors in the Oscars and that's the reason why everyone is reviewing the Oscar race after Birdman and Eddie Redmayne wins.

But nothing is a sure thing. Stats tells us that SAG Awards and Academy Awards do better matching individual categories than ensemble, as SAG ensemble winners have gone to win Best Picture only in 9 of 19 occasions since the category was presented. But most interesting is that only 4 in the last 20 years SAG and the Academy have disagreed on lead actor, so Eddie Redmayne odds to win Oscar have gone up exponentially.

Meanwhile, Moore, Simmons and Arquette became "unstoppable" after SAG honors, which I'm glad as believe honors are well-deserved except for Moore.  While entertaining myself reading tweets during the broadcast of the award ceremony, read one from a known film critic that said that the best of Still Alice was Kristen Stewart.  Gee, I can't agree more as was the ONLY reason I kept watching movie. In my opinion when Stewart was in the screen with Moore, Moore absolutely disappeared.  The movie in general was mediocre; but yes, I liked Stewart's performance above all the other actors and the movie itself.  So, now you know why I do not believe that Moore performance in Still Alice deserves all the honors that is collecting.  As this trend seems will continue until reaching peak in the Oscars, I will turn on my mind in a positive way to think that Julianne Moore is being honored for her outstanding performance in Tom Ford's A Single Man. Sigh.

Winners are in *BLUE.

Theatrical Motion Pictures

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Birdman: Zach Galifianakis, Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts.
Boyhood: Patricia Arquetta, Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, and Lorelei Linklater.
The Grand Budapest Hotel: F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Ralph Fiennes, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Tony Revolori, Saorise Rona, Jason Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, and Owen Wilson.
The Imitation Game: Matthew Beard, Benedict Cumberbatch, Charles Dance, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Keira Knightley, Allen Leech and Mark Strong.
The Theory of Everything: Charlie Cox, Felicity Jones, Simon McBurney, Eddie Redmayne, David Thewlis, and Emily Watson.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Jennifer Aniston in Cake
Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything
*Julianne Moore in Still Alice
Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon in Wild

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
*Patricia Arquette in Boyhood
Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game
Emma Stone in Birdman
Meryl Streep in Into The Woods
Naomi Watts in St. Vincent

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Steve Carell in Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game
Jake Gullenhaal in Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton in Birdman
*Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Robert Duval in The Judge
Ethan Hawke in Boyhood
Edward Norton in Birdman
Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher
*J. K. Simmons in Whiplash

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
Get On Up
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Life Achievement Award: Debbie Reynolds

Have to admit that the most pleasant surprises came from the Television categories with Orange is the New Black, Downton Abbey, Viola Davis and Uzo Aduba won in their categories.  To check winners in all categories go official site here.

On a light note, well this year we do not have Jennifer Lawrence in the red carpet but we have Emma Stone  so I'm not complaining too much. (lol!)

A few moments ago the Screen Actors Guild announced the nominations for outstanding performances in 2014 in five (5) film and eight (8) television categories, as well as the honors for outstanding action performances by film and television stunt ensembles.

Not surprisingly -is an Actors award- Birdman leads the pack with four (4) nominations followed by Boyhood, The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything with three (3) each. Now we have a better idea of what Oscar nominations could look like as we have to remember that Actors represent about 20% of the voting members of the Academy and about 80% of SAG winners in the individual acting categories have gone on to win Oscars. Still, the ensemble category drops to about half the time or 50% chance will win an Oscar.

If we have a better idea of how Oscar nominations could look like in the acting categories we also notice HOW different Guild/AMPAS members behavior could be from Film Critics, especially in the individual acting categories as the Actors Guild includes nominations for female Actors that with the exception of Julianne Moore have NOT receive any honors by film critics up-to-date. The same applies to the male Actors category where nominated actors with the exception of Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne have NOT received any honors from film critics.

My spontaneous reaction to the nominees is that they resemble very much what Oscar pundits have been expecting and what I could imagine will be honored this year as still see the race between Boyhood and Birdman for Best Film, believe that Hollywood thinks this is the year when Julianne Moore has to be honored for her lifetime career, and Foxcatcher will get nominations (no matter what film critics think).

Nevertheless I am particularly glad that the Wes Anderson film, The Grand Budapest Hotel is NOT forgotten; that no matter if the character played is not that positive for women, Rosamund Pike is honored as she has a great performance in Gone Girl; that since Cannes knew Steve Carell had to be honored in this award season; and I'm glad that to not upset the long tradition, Meryl Streep will be honored once more for well-deserving reasons.  Disappointed that Marion Cotillard is not nominated but somehow does not surprises me that the American Actors guild ignores foreign actors, sigh.

Those are the nominees for film categories and to check nominees in TV categories please go here or here to read the press release. Nominations were selected by a panel of 2, 100 randomly selected SAG-AFTRA members for films. Now the 111,228 eligible SAG-AFTRA members have to vote to select the winners that will be announced at the awards ceremony on January 25, 2015.

Can't help but to close this post with some TV nominees comments as find more exciting news in the TV categories than in film categories. I'm extremely pleased with the following nominations as believe that performances are truly outstanding.

-Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Honorable Woman
-Viola Davis in How to Get Away with Murder
-Julianna Margulis in The Good Wife
-Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black
-Kevin Spacey in House of Cards
-Udo Aduba in Orange is the New Black
-Ensemble in Orange is the New Black

I'm a HUGE fan of Homeland but believe the season they are honoring was not that relevant; fortunately current season is almost as good as the first outstanding season, so expect high honors for show in the next award season.

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