The SAG Awards went mostly as expected on the film side, with “Birdman” taking Best Ensemble.
This follows the surprise at Saturday night’s Producers Guild Awards, where “Birdman” defeated Oscars frontrunner “Boyhood,” a major development given how the PGA mirrors the academy’s voting process and how closely the groups have corresponded; PGA has predicted Best Picture for seven years in a row.
The SAG Award for Best Ensemble doesn’t have nearly as much predictive value. Just under half of its winners go on to win Best Picture at the Oscars. Last year was one such miss; SAG picked “American Hustle” for Best Ensemble, while the academy chose “12 Years a Slave” for Best Picture.
But SAG has predicted a few major Oscar upsets, including “Shakespeare in Love” (1998) and “Crash” (2005), and helped clarify “Argo‘s” position as Oscars frontrunner in 2012 after Ben Affleck was snubbed for Best Director.
Despite “Birdman’s” victory in the top race, however, Michael Keaton didn’t take Best Actor as he was expected to. That went to Eddie Redmayne for his physical transformation into physicist Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything.”
“Boyhood” won Best Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette, as anticipated. Julianne Moore (“Still Alice“) won Best Actress, while J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash“) won Best Supporting Actor, as they have done at recent events including Critics’ Choice and the Golden Globes.
There was even more excitement among TV winners.
Viola Davis won Best TV Drama Actress for “How to Get Away with Murder” and gave a memorable speech about being a black woman cast in such a complex, sexual role. She had previously won a pair of SAG Awards for “The Help” (Best Film Actress and Best Film Ensemble) in 2011.
“Orange is the New Black” won Best TV Comedy Ensemble, ending “Modern Family‘s” four-year winning streak. “Modern” had also won the PGA Award four years in a row until “Orange” prevailed there as well this weekend.
“Orange” also won Best Comedy Actress for Uzo Aduba, while Best Comedy Actor went to William H. Macy for “Shameless.” It was his first SAG nomination and win for the role; his show was entered as a comedy this year after previous seasons competing as a drama. He previously claimed Best Movie/Miniseries Actor in 2002 for his role in “Door to Door.”
Despite previous losses at the Emmys and Golden Globes, Mark Ruffalo prevailed as Best Movie/Miniseries Actor for “The Normal Heart.” He was also nominated this year for his supporting role in the feature film “Foxcatcher.” It’s his first career SAG win.
As predicted, Frances McDormand won Best Movie/Miniseries Actress for “Olive Kitteridge.” She previously won a SAG Award in 1996 for her role in “Fargo,” which then won her an Oscar. We had also predicted McDormand would win at the recent Golden Globes for “Kitteridge,” but she was upset at that event by Maggie Gyllenhaal (“The Honorable Woman“).
“Game of Thrones” still hasn’t won ever Best TV Drama Ensemble, but it can’t lose Best TV Stunt Ensemble. It just won that prize for the fourth year in a row.