SAG Awards: With Critics Choice, Globes, PGA and SAG Wins, ‘Argo’ Now Challenges ‘Lincoln’ (VIDEO)

SAG Awards: With Critics Choice, Globes, PGA and SAG Wins, 'Argo' Now Challenges 'Lincoln' (VIDEO)

Ben Affleck accepted the Modern Master Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival Friday night, and at the after party, grilled me about where “Argo” stood in the Oscar race. A lot of people thought the movie might win the Producers Guild’s top award Saturday, and so it did. But few expected it to also win the SAG Ensemble Award–that was supposed to be a win for “Lincoln” or Harvey Weinstein’s “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Sure, “Lincoln” nabbed the expected Daniel Day-Lewis win (he also accepted the Montecito Award at SBIFF on Saturday). Oddly, Day-Lewis praised non-SAG nominee Joachim Phoenix and thanked Leonardo DiCaprio and Liam Neeson for counseling him when he was unsure about tackling Lincoln; he considers himself one of a line of actors bringing the president back to life, carrying the baton for a while and pasing it on. “It was an actor who murdered Abraham Lincoln,” he also mused.

His Oscar win would mark an unprecedented third for a lead actor. Jack Nicholson, Gary Cooper, Fredric March and Marlon Brando have won two lead Oscars. And Katharine Hepburn earned four. ‘Lincoln” also racked up a less-surefire win for no-show Tommy Lee Jones, who gains stature in the supporting Oscar actor race.

When Jessica Chastain soberly introduced the annual obit clip reel, the negativity on Twitter was astounding. She had earned so much good will and now her tough-as-nails role in “Zero Dark Thirty” seems to have tainted this likable and talented actress. Some folks wanted her to show how light and lovely (read feminine) she could be. Why so serious, Jessica? was the vibe.

“Silver Linings Playbook” best female actor winner Jennifer Lawrence gave a strong acceptance speech on the road to her now inevitable Oscar. (Her Sweet 16 video that earned her a SAG card is below.) THR’s Scott Feinberg reminds that the SAG best actress winner has become the Academy’s best actress winner in six of the last ten years… but not last year, when SAG winner Viola Davis lost to Meryl Streep. Of course, “Amour” veteran Emmanuelle Riva was not up for a SAG award, and could still prove a competitor to Lawrence. Sony Pictures Classics bought “Amour” spots on the SAG show, as did “Silver Linings Playbook.” (Disney’s ads for Sam Raimi’s March 8 release “Oz the Great and Powerful” made it look over-pixelated and overwrought.)

And “Les Miserables” supporting actress Anne Hathaway is also unstoppable for an Oscar win; she thanked “my mother for voting for me.” (She also played Fantine.)

But “Argo” winning the SAG ensemble prize: now that’s an indication that the actors in the Academy are leaning that way too. Alan Arkin is the film’s only acting nomination and he’s not expected to win. “Lincoln,” until now, was the presumed frontrunner. Now “Lincoln” and “Argo” are neck and neck. An exuberant Affleck reminded viewers that he handled 150 actors in English and Farsi who “came to work every day and wanted to nail it to make the movie better. That’s what actors do every day.”

Obviously, “Argo” director Affleck is an actor, and therefore has a tremendous advantage with this group. Also, many rallied to the popular actor-director when his name was not called for Best Director on Oscar nominations morning. (It is statistically rare for a movie to win best picture without a best director nomination. “Driving Miss Daisy” is the exception that proves the rule.) While many Academy members have told me that “Argo” lacks the gravitas to beat “Lincoln,” that it doesn’t seem like a best-picture winner, these awards build momentum. Case in point: the Directors Guild Awards. A Steven Spielberg win would shore up “Lincoln”‘s run toward best picture. (Kris Tapley and I argued the case of “Argo” vs. “Lincoln” here, before the weekend.)

Awards Daily’s Sasha Stone reminds that “Apollo 13” won the Golden Globe, PGA, SAG, DGA and lost the Oscar to “Braveheart.” Somehow, “Apollo 13,” from actor-director Ron Howard, lacked the gravitas that actor-director Mel Gibson’s film represented. That’s the issue here. The PGA, SAG and DGA are more mainstream groups than the Academy.

On the television side, it was great to see “Downton Abbey” win best dramatic series ensemble with its first nomination; female actor in drama series was expected, Claire Danes, winning her second SAG award, for “Homeland.” Damian Lewis was the favorite for male actor but lost in an upset to first-time winner Bryan Cranston, for “Breaking Bad.” It was their last chance to give it to him. “It’s so good to be bad,” he said. Julianne Moore won her first SAG award after ten nominations for playing Sarah Palin in “Game Change,” well-deserved.

The comedy ensemble win was the third for “Modern Family,” and “30 Rock”‘s Tina Fey nabbed her fifith SAG award, thanking her Golden Globes co-host Amy Poehler, “who I’ve known since she was pregnant with Lena Dunham.”  Accepting his eighth SAG award, for supporting actor on “30 Rock,” was Alec Baldwin, who did a fine job introducing hale live achievement honoree Dick Van Dyke–who rewarded him by stumbling over his name.

19th ANNUAL SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS® RECIPIENTS

THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS / Abraham Lincoln – “LINCOLN” (Touchstone Pictures)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
JENNIFER LAWRENCE / Tiffany – “SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK” (The Weinstein Company)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
TOMMY LEE JONES / Thaddeus Stevens – “LINCOLN” (Touchstone Pictures)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
ANNE HATHAWAY / Fantine – “LES MISÉRABLES” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
ARGO (Warner Bros. Pictures)
BEN AFFLECK / Tony Mendez
ALAN ARKIN / Lester Siegel
KERRY BISHÉ / Kathy Stafford
KYLE CHANDLER / Hamilton Jordan
RORY COCHRANE / Lee Schatz
BRYAN CRANSTON / Jack O’Donnell
CHRISTOPHER DENHAM / Mark Lijek
TATE DONOVAN / Bob Anders
CLEA DuVALL / Cora Lijek
VICTOR GARBER / Ken Taylor
JOHN GOODMAN / John Chambers
SCOOT McNAIRY / Joe Stafford
CHRIS MESSINA / Malinov

PRIMETIME TELEVISION

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
KEVIN COSTNER / “Devil Anse” Hatfield – “HATFIELDS & McCOYS” (History)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
JULIANNE MOORE / Sarah Palin – “GAME CHANGE” (HBO)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
BRYAN CRANSTON / Walter White – “BREAKING BAD” (AMC)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
CLAIRE DANES / Carrie Mathison – “HOMELAND” (Showtime)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
ALEC BALDWIN / Jack Donaghy – “30 ROCK” (NBC)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
TINA FEY / Liz Lemon – “30 ROCK” (NBC)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
DOWNTON ABBEY (PBS)
HUGH BONNEVILLE / Robert, Earl of Grantham
ZOE BOYLE / Lavinia Swire
LAURA CARMICHAEL / Lady Edith Crawley
JIM CARTER / Mr. Carson
BRENDAN COYLE / John Bates
MICHELLE DOCKERY / Lady Mary Crawley
JESSICA BROWN FINDLAY / Lady Sybil Crawley
SIOBHAN FINNERAN / O’Brien
JOANNE FROGGATT / Anna
IAIN GLEN / Sir Richard Carlisle
THOMAS HOWES / William
ROB JAMES-COLLIER / Thomas
ALLEN LEECH / Tom Branson
PHYLLIS LOGAN / Mrs. Hughes
ELIZABETH McGOVERN / Cora, Countess of Grantham
SOPHIE McSHERA / Daisy
LESLEY NICOL / Mrs. Patmore
AMY NUTTALL / Ethel
DAVID ROBB / Dr. Clarkson
MAGGIE SMITH / Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham
DAN STEVENS / Matthew Crawley
PENELOPE WILTON / Isobel Crawley

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
MODERN FAMILY (ABC)
AUBREY ANDERSON-EMMONS / Lily Tucker-Pritchett
JULIE BOWEN / Claire Dunphy
TY BURRELL / Phil Dunphy
JESSE TYLER FERGUSON / Mitchell Pritchett
NOLAN GOULD / Luke Dunphy
SARAH HYLAND / Haley Dunphy
ED O’NEILL / Jay Pritchett
RICO RODRIGUEZ / Manny Delgado
ERIC STONESTREET / Cameron Tucker
SOFIA VERGARA / Gloria Delgado-Pritchett
ARIEL WINTER / Alex Dunphy

 

SAG AWARDS HONORS FOR STUNT ENSEMBLES

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
SKYFALL (Columbia Pictures)

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series
GAME OF THRONES (HBO)

LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Screen Actors Guild 49th Annual Life Achievement Award

DICK VAN DYKE
 

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Comments

ag

'"Lincoln," until now, was the presumed frontrunner' — well, not really. have to agree with many including, i believe, kt in that 'argo' has more steam than 'lincoln'. times have changed

KT

Anne: I'm not sure the Argo-Apollo 13 comparison Sasha presents works for me. 1995 was a completely DIFFERENT voting system (plus, there was heavy heavy support in the Academy to award Mel Gibson, another more popular actor turned director…to be honest I think the tone of the movies played very little in deciding the winner). The game has changed: MORE IMPORTANTLY—NO PREFERENTIAL BALLOT for PGA OR Oscar Best Picture that year. That fact, I’m afraid, decides the outcome for ARGO. I think the Best Picture race is DONE, OVER. A divisive movie will not win Best Picture. Lincoln will surely be splitting the vote, getting number one votes, as well as number sevens, eights, and nines on the ballot. This kind of splitting does not a best picture make! Argo does not have hate like Zero Dark Thirty (and a weak campaign like Sony), there are no claims of it being boring and self-important like Lincoln, it is not polarizing like Les Miz, and it has greater support than Silver Linings. I can see NO OTHER FILM that can beat Argo with the preferential ballot. Plus, the PGA Award with this new system has matched 100% with Oscar Best Picture since installed in 2010: Hurt Locker, King’s Speech, Artist. Argo will join that list. Winning SAG ensemble just shows the enormous support for this film.

I’m thinking more and more that David O. Russell will win Best Director. HUGE HUGE SUPPORT from Actors. 7 acting nominations over his past 2 films!!! This could be a sure thing, once Ben Affleck wins the DGA. I’m thinking about where the support from the Actor’s Branch is. They don’t have actor-turned-director Ben Affleck to vote for. Who there is seen as an ACTOR’s director? Spielberg, not really. And Lee has a minimal cast. Both have won before too. Then, there’s Haneke and Zeitlin–who I’m not sure can drum up enough support to win, especially if there’s people in the Academy who believe Affleck and Bigelow should be there instead. Who does that leave? O. Russell. Never won before. They’re bound to like his films, not necessarily just Silver Linings but also Three Kings or I Heart Huckabees or The Fighter or Flirting With Disaster. Plus, he’s got the Weinstein machine. He made the film for his bipolar son–which EVERYONE is stressing (Jennifer Lawrence last night as per Harvey's instruction I bet). And of course the 7 nominations I mentioned. I think these reasons will make him the turn-to pick for many in the Academy.

Ben

Anne, I really believe Jessica Chastain & Jennifer Lawrence will cancel each other out- letting Naomi Watts or Emmanuelle Riva to prevail. Bryan Cranston and Anne Hathaway gave the best speeches of the night.

Vin

Why so serious Jessica? She was introducing the obit reel. How the f**k can she be light during that?

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