Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Actress Race Curve Ball - The SAG Awards

Originally, I was hoping to have my friend Grete share some of her experiences from tonight's SAG awards.
The past two years Grete and her husband Jon have had the chance to be SAG Award seat fillers. Alas, there hopes of spending time with Tina Fey and the Slumdog Millionaire crew didn't happen as they had to tend to some medical needs instead.

Even though I wasn't there, thought I would share what I think is the greatest curve ball of this years acting race, and how the SAG awards completely created the drama and intrigue for Oscar night.

As previously discussed, there has been some issues of "category fraud" in the campaigning for Kate Winslet, as the studios hoped to Winslet would receive double nods for both The Reader and Revolutionary Road in the supporting acting category (The Reader) and lead category (Revolutionary Road). Many of the award shows, like the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guilds were effected by this campaigning, while other awards did not. The BAFTAs rules allowed for Winslet to compete against herself and have two lead nominations, and more interestingly, the Oscar votes ended up placing Winslet only in the lead category, but for the film the Reader, not Revolutionary Road.

The result is tonight SAG awards in the actress races are a completely off-kilter precursor. Kate Winslet won the supporting actress SAG award for The Reader tonight. Yet her competition, especially Penelope Cruz, by most assessments, or Amy Adams or Viola Davis can still hold on to hope of winning the the top prize come the Academy Awards because Kate Winslet is not in their competition at all.

Similarly, in the lead race Meryl Streep won tonight for Doubt, but when it comes Oscar night, she is competing against the other SAG award winning actress who won in the supporting category.

We don't know if the Screen Actors Guild would have chosen Winslet's Reader performance or Streep's Doubt performance because they weren't in competition with each other.

What a fun curve ball in these races, as the precursors don't quite give us all the necessary clues to tell us which way the wind is blowing.

[Tonight's other film winners Sean Penn (Milk) & Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight) appear to be likely Oscar winners.]


Grete said...

Aww... Thanks for including us in this post. We were bummed to miss the show this year. I agree about the interesting wins Kate Winslet has had this month, and I'm also glad that Slumdog has been doing well in awards. It's nice to see a movie honored that was actually uplifting at the end (unlike some winners in the past couple years that are artsy and downers)...

Anonymous said...

I had never before realized that studios could campagin to be nominated for specific catagories that maybe weren't the most befitting. I think that Kate Winslet is an extrodinary actress and, in some ways, it is too bad that both of her (truly) lead actress roles could not both get a nod in the same catagory for the Oscars. I do hope that she takes the Oscar :-)

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I was underwhelmed by Streep's DOUBT performance. It was basically a collection of Streepisms in the service of a fairly cliched character. She's built a tremendous career, but I thought this was one of her worst performances yet.

Terence Towles Canote said...

I must admit I am totally mystified by the Kate Winslet nomination. I would've though she would gotten a nod for Best Actress for Revolutionary Road and Best Supporting Actress for The Reader. That didn't happen that way just seems odd.

Anonymous said...

Kate Winslet should win. Hands Down! She gave the best performance of the year in The Reader...2nd is also even another performance of hers...REVOLUTIONARY ROAD. No way can Meryl beat her. Meryl was not even good in Doubt