“The Help” won three Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, claiming Best Ensemble, Best Actress (Viola Davis) and Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer). However, Oscar frontrunner “The Artist” pulled off an upset when Jean Dujardin won Best Actor (Full list of winners here and TV report here)
-INSERTS:30- The Screen Actors Guild Awards have an impressive track record of foreseeing the Academy Awards. Both last year and this, 17 SAG nominees contended at the Oscars. All four of last year’s SAG winners went on to prevail at the Academy Awards. And SAG ensemble champ “The King’s Speech” was also named Best Picture at the Oscars.
That Ensemble loss for “The Artist” doesn’t dim its Oscar hopes. Only eight SAG champs — “Shakespeare in Love,” “American Beauty,” “Chicago,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” “Crash,” “No Country for Old Men,” “Slumdog Millionaire” and “The King’s Speech” — have also won Best Picture at the Oscars.
However, Dujardin’s Best Actor win was a bump on the road to Oscar for George Clooney (“The Descendants”). Clooney was widely expected to prevail here as 13 of the 17 SAG Best Actor champs have gone on to win at the Oscars, including the last seven in a row. This year’s other nominees were: Demian Bechir (“A Better Life”), Leonardo DiCaprio (“J. Edgar”), Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”) and Brad Pitt (“Moneyball”). None of them have won individual SAG Awards. Clooney has now lost all six of his movie bids but shared in four TV Ensemble Awards for “ER” (1995 – 1998) while Pitt shared in the ensemble win by “Inglorious Basterds” two years ago. DiCaprio has lost all eight of his races.
That win for Davis gives her an edge over her Oscar rivals. Twelve of the SAG winners for Best Actress have repeated at the Academy Awards. Three of the other SAG nominees also vie at the Oscars — Glenn Close (“Albert Nobbs”), Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady”), and Michelle Williams (“My Week with Marilyn”). Tilda Swinton (“We Need to Talk About Kevin”) was the fifth nominee. Close won for her TV work on “Damages” and contended again this year for that role. Streep won this award for “Doubt” as well as one for her work on the TV miniseries “Angels in America” while Davis was a two-time contender for “Doubt.” Swinton and Williams have now both lost four bids.
Christopher Plummer (“Beginners”) picked up yet another Supporting Actor award on his march to the Oscars. Ten of the SAG Supporting Actors have repeated at the Oscars, including the last four in a row. His rival nominees were: Kenneth Branagh (“My Week With Marilyn”), Armie Hammer (“J. Edgar”), Jonah Hill (“Moneyball”)and Nick Nolte (“Warrior). All but Hammer contend at the Oscars.
Likewise, with Spencer (“The Help”) who is the Oscar frontrunner. Ten of the SAG Supporting Actress winners claimed the same award at the Oscars while Kate Winslet (“The Reader”) got a bump up to Best Actress at the Academy Awards. She edged out her Oscar rivals Berenice Bojo (“The Artist”), Jessica Chastain (“The Help”), Melissa McCarthy (“Bridesmaids”) and Janet McTeer (“Albert Nobbs”).