Well, that’s a wrap. It was pretty much between “The Artist” and “The Help,” but the populist civil rights era film edged out the crowd-pleasing silent film. While “The Artist” is still probably the Best Picture favorite at the Oscars, it was “The Help” that won the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture award at the 18th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
At this point in the season, most of the awards are fairly set in stone. As we (and likely you) guessed, both Christopher Plummer and Octavia Spencer won their Best Supporting Actor awards in “Beginners” and “The Help” respectively. However, the first major upset of the awards season took place: Jean Dujardin took the SAG award for the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in “The Artist.” Most of us assumed George Clooney was taking this prize for “The Descendants,” after all the well-loved Clooney is much more well-known than Dujardin, but this theory could still apply for the Oscars. We’ll see, but it bodes well for “The Artist,” which has pretty much swept the entire awards season including the recent Directors Guild and Producers Guild awards.
While we had our money on Viola Davis for the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, there was some question if she could beat out Meryl Streep for “The Iron Lady” – after all, Streep hadn’t won an Oscar in some 25+ years – but it was not to be, and “The Help” actress won out in the end. So while Dujardin did pull out the upset, “The Help” was the big winner of the night with three awards and is looking pretty damn good going into the Oscars. More analysis from our Amazing Race column this week.
EARLIER: The respective guilds of all the screen's branches are always the best augur of who is winning what at the Academy Awards. For example, last year every winner of the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Awards went on to win the Oscar for their respective award. The Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture went to "The King's Speech," and of course, the period drama went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Same goes for Colin Firth, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo for "The Fighter" and Natalie Portman for "Black Swan." The winners of the show below. We'll be updating as we go.
In the TV categories, Alec Baldwin won the Outstanding Male In A Comedy Series award for his role on “30 Rock.” Thank god, who else? It was his sixth consecutive SAG win for the role of the pompously awesome Jack Donaghy. Outstanding indeed. For the second year in a row, “Modern Family” won the Outstanding Ensemble In A Comedy award. The award for Outstanding Female Actor In A TV Movie Or Miniseries deservedly went to Kate Winslet for her lead role in Todd Haynes’ (also outstanding HBO mini-series) “Mildred Pierce.” The winner of the Outstanding Male Actor In a TV Movie Or Miniseries award went to Paul Giamatti for “Too Big To Fail.”
Dick Van Dyke honored Mary Tyler Moore with the 48th Annual LIfe Achievement Award. The Oustanding Female Actor In A Drama Series award went to Jessica Lange for "American Horror Story" and Steve Buscemi won the Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Drama Series for "Boardwalk Empire." For the second consecutive year in a row, the award for Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Drama Series went to the cast of "Boardwalk Empire."
18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Nominees
WINNER: "The Help"
"Midnight In Paris"
Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Leading Role
George Clooney – "The Descendants"
WINNER: Jean Dujardin – "The Artist"
Demian Bichir – "A Better Life"
Brad Pitt – "Moneyball"
Leonardo DiCaprio – "J. Edgar"
Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Leading Role
Glenn Close – "Albert Nobbs"
WINNER: Viola Davis – "The Help"
Meryl Streep – "The Iron Lady"
Michelle Williams – "My Week With Marilyn"
Tilda Swinton – "We Need To Talk About Kevin"
Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Supporting Role
WINNER: Christopher Plummer – "Beginners"
Kenneth Branagh – "My Week With Marilyn"
Armie Hammer – "J. Edgar"
Jonah Hill – "Moneyball"
Nick Nolte – "Warrior"
Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Supporting Role
Jessica Chastain – "The Help"
WINNER: Octavia Spencer – "The Help"
Berenice Bejo – "The Artist"
Melissa McCarthy – "Bridesmaids"
Janet McTeer – "Albert Nobbs"