Monday, January 28, 2013

SAG Awards - my picks and thoughts on the outcome.

SAG Awards are over for another year. As usual, some of my selections matched the actual winners and some didn’t. This was a year in which the selections were particularly difficult – the performances were uniformly strong.

In the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

I voted for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – it was a sentimental favorite of mine and I guess my age/generation is showing. Argo won and I can hardly quibble about that. It is a powerful film with a happy ending. Ben Affleck as both actor and director deserves tremendous credit. Argo also won the Producer’s Guild Award on Saturday night. Between these two wins, it has to be the odds on favorite to win the best Picture Oscar, moreover in the past 23 years the winner of the PGA award goes onto win the Oscar – but a note of caution: Ben Affleck was passed over by the Academy for a Best Director nomination and history tells us that a film usually does not win the Best Picture Oscar if the Director has not also been nominated for a Best Director award; Lincoln is still out there – Spielberg is nominated for Best Director; Amour, is getting a lot of buzz but could not compete in either the PGA awards or the SAG Awards (it did not qualify under either of the respective Guild rules).

While I voted for Marigold Hotel, I actually thought that Lincoln would win. As Jim Nabors used to say: “Surprise, Surprise!”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

I voted for John Hawkes in The Sessions, but again, not surprisingly, Daniel Day-Lewis won for his magnificent portrayal of Abraham Lincoln. I voted for Hawkes, because I thought it was the more difficult acting assignment and he pulled it off wonderfully. He engaged us and made us care about him; he was funny and sad and cranky and at times melancholic and he did this all with nothing but his voice and his face. He did not have the luxury of using all of an actor’s tools, his body was immobile. As an aside, I though William H Macy was wonderful as a very unorthodox Catholic priest. He was not nominated for a SAG award (or for an Oscar)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Helen Mirren in Hitchcock was my choice but I was torn between Naomi Watts in The Impossible and the eventual winner Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook: Lawrence because her performance was spot on and Watts because her role in The Impossible seems almost impossible (the stories of the ordeal she underwent in shooting are harrowing).

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Until I saw Lincoln, I was certain that I would vote for Alan Arkin. But then, I did see Lincoln and Tommy Lee Jones’ performance and there was no question. Wow. It is far and away the best thing he has ever done. Another aside, it was fun to see Denver Center Theatre Company’s John Hutton in a brief scene as Senator Charles Sumner and former DCTC member Jamie Horton as Giles Stuart.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables won in what was a very strong field, but my choice was Helen Hunt in The Sessions, who I think really deserved it. Did the subject matter of the film and the nudity play a role in some members voting (both for Hunt and Hawkes)? I don’t know but the Guild has a very large membership in the older demographic. Hunt and Hawkes are also nominated for Oscars.

LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD went to Dick Van Dyke. This award was not a matter of a vote, but if it had been I certainly would have voted for Van Dyke. Carl Reiner, who was set to introduce Van Dyke and give him the award was sick and could not make it, so Alec Baldwin filled in.

Tommy Lee Jones too was ill and that is why he was not in attendance to receive his award.

There were television awards Sunday night as well, but space doesn't permit going into them at this time.

Okay, now it is on to the Oscars.

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