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Quick Notes on the SAG Awards

by Nathaniel R

The Screen Actors Guild Awards are so frontloaded, you know. Their famous tradition of beginning the awards show with mini monologues from thespians that always end with "I am _____ and I am an actor" is bliss. But after this hokey and delicious ritual, the awards often feel like something of a chore unless one of the winners gets kooky (remember when Meryl ran through the crowd with her arms up like she was a game show contestant?) because they so often merely rubber-stamp all the other awards shows or themselves. Note Allison Janney's 8 wins here over the years. 

Kristen Bell served as the first ever host and was funny and sparsely deployed (since the show doesn't really need a host since it's all just awards-awards-awards. But bless her for spiking the punch right at the start.

I am Kristen Bell and I am a narcissist. Sorry... I am an actor. And tonight also your host"

After the jump a few notes from the show and the list of winners.

Allison Janney got to do one of the intros (though Tracee Ellis Ross's was the funniest) and she was wonderful. But shouldn't they have gone with people who weren't going to win for some variety of camera time? And isn't it strange that no matter how open any Oscar race is the televised winners are so often set in stone from the first ceremony (SAG basically xeroxed the Globes but for their inability to let go of Veep

Geena and Susan will be seated together til the end of time and we're okay with this because Thelma & Louise forever. 

Connie Britton and Mandy Moore got all excited about opening the envelope and did little gleeful suspense gestures but come on ladies. Julia Louis-Dreyfus wins every year at SAG and at the Emmys. There's no suspense whatsoever! (Thank god for the Globes who are willing to vary up the winners frequently).

This reaction shot of Willem Dafoe losing to Sam Rockwell made us so sad here at TFE HQ. It was supposed to be his year and now he's not going to win anything. He can't even win the Spirit Award because he was weirdly snubbed there so Rockwell will even take that prize. It's not that Rockwell isn't a fine actor but we object on principle to anyone winning every prize unless they are so stupendous that it feels like an all-timer performance ... and guess what? Those don't happen very often.

Alexander Skarsgård wins again. He makes a funny about his fate saying that the thespians have spoken and determined the tall guy from True Blood is a better actor than Robert De Niro. 

Personal Favorite Moment of the Night: Marisa Tomei thanking Rosanna Arquette for being a silence breaker and Arquette listing some of the other women who got the ball rolling on calling out sexual harassment in Hollywood (Asia Argento, Ashley Judd, Anthony Rapp, Mira Sorvino, Anabella Sciorra, Daryl Hannah, Olivia Munn, "so many" ). The only thing that would have made the moment better was Laura Dern hopping on stage and repeating her "restorative justice" demand. It's crazy to have everyone looking at the history of 90s actressing again in such a sad light.

Nicole Kidman had the flu but gave a smashing speech about actresses still being viable in Hollywood after 40 years old and what a new and beautiful development that is. She also listed some of her elders as acting heroes (Sarandon, Lange, Streep, Dench, Huppert). Wonderful wonderful wonderful.

Legendary Rita Moreno came out to present the Lifetime Achievement to Morgan Freeman. She reminds the audience that she wanted reciprocate because he introduced her when she won that same prize. They've known each other for 50 years and she even did a little imitation of one of his skits on Electric Company in the 1970s.

I'll take a Lady Bird reaction shot anywhere I can get it since it seems their winning streak came to an end with the Globes (*sniffle*) 

And the Actor goes to... Gary Oldman. 

Frances McDormand takes Best Actress again -- the other actresses seem genuinely happy for her (though Allison Janney gives Margot Robbie a hug) --  and does a funny walk up to the stage recalling her Oscar win so many years ago. At the close of the speech she surprises by suggesting that some younger actors 'coming up' should be winning "they need doorstops, too".

For some reason she's also the spokesperson for the Ensemble Win, too. She keeps it brief. Good night. 

Complete Winners List

Ensemble Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
Stunt Ensemble Wonder Woman
Actress Frances McDormand
Actor Gary Oldman
Supporting Actress Allison Janney
Supporting Actor Sam Rockwell

Ensemble Comedy Veep
Ensemble Drama This is Us
Stunt Ensemble Game of Thrones
Actress Drama Claire Foy, The Crown
Actor Drama Sterling K Brown, This is Us
Actress Comedy Julia Louis Dreyfus, Veep
Actor Comedy William H Macy, Shameless
Actress Limited Series Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Actor Limited Series Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies
Lifetime Achievement Morgan Freeman

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Reader Comments (90)

Uzo Aduba has won 2 out of the last 3 SAG for Actress in a Comedy so Julia doesn't really "win every year".

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAlexD

Björk yells a lot of words like "carnage" and "outrage" in Earth Intruders and that's basically the mood here. Kinda neat of Frances to say that about young actors but I think I've just realized the Globes didn't muddy the narratives so much as solidify the ones we were hoping wouldn't happen. Feh.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNick T

Just my opinion, but I hated all their film choices. What happened to Dafoe, Metcalf, Hawkins and Timothée? And I am sorry but Three Billboards is the Crash of 2017. If this is what the Oscars look like then no one will watch.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJono

BORING. Isn't it always the way that the more unpredictable seasons end up awarding the televised locks, and the sweep years see one or two more interesting shocks..

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterParanoid Android

Julia deserves to win every year. The woman is amazing! And thats Skarsgard "joke"... Honey, keep yourself doing drama. Awful moment.

I liked that they didn't really get too political. But Oscars will have lots more people watching so... Yeah.

I havent seen 3 billboards but I kinda hope McDormand doesnt win. She's great but Hawkins needs an Oscar. And deserves it A LOT.

Really hoping for big surprises but I know we wont really have them on Oscar night. Moonlight winning over La La Land wasnt really THAT surprising.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPablo

I don't think Janney will necessarily win the Oscar. And I don't know why Rockwell is winning so many awards for such an uninspired performance😦. What a weak category. I actually thought Harrelson was better in the film. At least Lucas Hedges is a SaG winning actor.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Low

McDormand starting her speech with “representation” and getting applause from the audience, but then turns out she was referring to her agents and managers. Awkward.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRaul Borja

Nicole’s speech was very good.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

Man, if this is how Oscar pans out as well, how boring. Love Janney, but easily Metcalf for me in that category. Love McDormand, but Ronan squeaks by. Meh on Oldman, so all the way in on Chalamet. Rockwell is great, but Harrelson and Dafoe are miles better.

Hopefully there are surprises on nomination day, but if it's in lockstep in the acting categories for movies, I may as well revise my drinking game rules for Rockwell/Janney/Oldman/McDormand.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterstarlit

If those four translate to Oscar night - are we looking at one of the oldest quartet of acting winners ever?

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMorgan

That feeling when you realize no one you're rooting for in the acting categories is winning...Help, I'm in the Sunken Place.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHustler

The nicest thing I can say is that SAG really likes ham, and giving awards to the same people over and over again. How did such an interesting year in film get reduced to rewarding the wrong people?

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ford

Oh shut up with the VEEP hate. JLD doesn't win that often here (and no GG still for her in Veep), and this is the first cast win for them which is overdue.
I am still predicting Dafoe at the Oscars. Damn if this movement is happening and they choose a racist cop to win.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDanny

I liked the Meryl Streep standing ovation when Bell tricked the crowd.... standing ovation even with the SAG snub......

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

If those four repeat, it would be one of the most boring quartets of Oscar winners ever. Not the actors themselves, who are all mostly great in everything. But those performances are hardly exciting or inspired choices.

On another note: Did you see Entertainment Weekly did a bracket of all the Best Actor winners, and the winner was .... Tom Hanks in PHILADELPHIA??? Yikes.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

I thought we had an interesting season upon us, and then it became the Frances-Gary-Allison-Sam show with the first couple of awards and I'm so disappointed and bored already.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Meh, 2014's Moore/Redmayne/Arquette/Simmons quarters was boring, too, with the exception of Moore. And the following year with Larson/DiCaprio/Vikander/Rylance might be the worst one of the decade. If this SAG group repeats it won't be too bad, even if I wouldn't personally vote for any of them.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Interesting how McDormand is now pronouncing it "miz-ER-uh," as if adding a regional dialect after the fact somehow makes its very-obviously-NOT-Missouri geographical position any more authentic.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

TV choices and Morgan Freeman: great.

Film choices? They went for the worst nominee of each bunch, in my opinion.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

With all due respect, it's the Emmys that always repeat for Veep, not the SAGs. OINTB has taken Best Comedy Ensemble the past two years, but this last season was really weird and I think that hurt it (I was pushing for GLOW, but getting nommed in its first year plus having two individual noms when SAG has no supporting actor category was its own reward).

If Sean Hayes won, would it have been a record for longest time in between awards for playing the same character?

Nicole Kidman's speech was especially prescient because Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon were playing famous actresses who were essentially kicked to the curb after 40, no?

I thought Claire Foy over Elisabeth Moss and This is Us over Handmaid's Tale were the only surprises.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJakey

Hustler : I am there with you.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

Yawning. Not too many surprises. In fact the surprises were that some of these were first timers. Julia, Oldman, VEEP) but certainly didn't feel like first timers. (Macy has won 3 of the last 4 times.)

SAG, if you want to be something more than, well, a door stop, between the Globes and the Oscars, BE. IMAGINATIVE!!! These 4 were the performances that Uber Drivers and Waitresses and Mall Cops were inspired by?!?!?!

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

And again another year which people here moan for the boring season. But again, EVERY year is the same. The same old Oscar stuff wins. People should get over of it and enjoy the small surprises, but somehow, every year people are hoping the most and came disappointed.

Anyway, these 4 performances are practically locked at this stage, Del toro wins director, "In the Fade" Best Foreign Film (If nominated) and Ivory wins Adapted Screenplay. Jake Gyllenhaal is snubbed even if people want to believe in a full delusional way and few nom surprises. Cynical, but that's the point :P

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLeon

Was McDormand basically pleading the Academy to vote for Ronan or Robbie with her speech? That whole thing about young ‘uns was weird.

I’m fine with Rockwell winning the Oscar but I’m a little more ambivalent about Janney since I thought Metcalf gave a much more nuanced and complex performance. Having now seen I, Tonya I very much disagree with this site’s opinion of it and think it’s a very well crafted and acted movie - Robbie was sensational and I am a bit confused as to why Janney has been given most of the critical hosannas of the film when Robbie undeniably carried the movie and was so ferociously committed to this part, while Janney was very good but hardly revelatory. Regardless, I love her as a character actress and as a human being so I can’t be furious at her sweeping the televised awards,

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Terrible wins on the film side. This has been such a dull season.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

I would prefer Ronan, Robbie or Hawkins in leading actress, Chalamet in leading actor, Dafoe or Hammer in supporting actor, and Metcalf in supporting actress. But the most dreadful about the Oscar outcome is not that the wrong actors will win (in my humble opinion), but that the outcome is so infuriatingly predictable. Somehow turning the Awards Season calendar upside down by making the Oscars come first would be a huge blessing (but, of course, the downside to that would be that all the other prize ceremonies would immediately lose their relevance, since their relevance is in being bellwethers for The Big One).

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMads

Why no one is inviting Rose McGowan?

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Forever1267 it was also (amazingly) Kidman’s first win with SAG , now that really surprised me

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRami

The Dafoe vs. Rockwell/Janney vs. Metcalf situation is breaking my heart and I want this season to be over.

P.S. The reaction shots to Oldman's win are priceless.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

That feeling when all the air in that wow-isn't-this-an-interesting-unpredictible-year tire audibly leaks out, leaving it one deflated tire. Hate when the voters go with such bad choices.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRob

I wouldn't pick any of these who all seem to being doing versions of characters they already did better apart from Oldman who is getting that "sorry" Oscar.

I misssed Jessica Lange's losing face,were was she?.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMARKGORDONUK

This was the place to give Reese the award i'm so sorry for her coming up against Nicole in the year of Kidman when BLL is far from Nicole's best.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMARKGORDONUK

If Ronan loses the Oscar that makes her way overdue after 3 nomination,does she stand a chance next yr as Mary Queen of Scots.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMARKGORDONUK

I really have very little desire to watch the Oscars this year. I'm thinking of sitting the whole thing out.

1981, with Hepburn and Fonda, will almost certainly still reign as the oldest quartet of winners ever. However, these have to be the least glamorous winners ever. McDormand won't even deign to walk the Red Carpet. The producers of the show have to be pretty depressed this morning. Most people know the predicted winners ahead of time and aren't going to tune in for Gary Oldman.

And Nat, Kidman is an example of someone who shouldn't have won every single prize this season. Witherspoon was great, too.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

As much as i love each of the four actors rewarded last night, it always pains me when all the televised shows go with the SAME winners .... And every year i want to believe in a possible surprise on Oscar night but it becomes so rare.

When will the Academy give us another "Gay Harden" moment ?

Also, if they really want to go and reward 3 Billboards in the Supporting race, can't they give the Oscar to Harrelson who was SO good in it ? Rockwell nailed his performance too, but Harrelson really broke my heart.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterClement_Paris

Whaaaaat you guys Kidman gave the best performance of the year in any medium. Those therapy sessions scenes are an acting master class. I love Reese but Nicole is so deserving of a sweep.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRami

Is my hope for a Metcalf Oscar fading away quickly?

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDO


January 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

i can’t stand it when sag gives ensemble to a film that has already won one or two individual awards. if you’re gonna give supporting actor and actress to 3B then give ensemble to LB! give us some variety!

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCharles O

The Kidman sweep has been as boring as the Temple Grandin sweep.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I think the good news is that this year’s Oscars are not being telecast until March. That seems to me to be a long voting period after the fact. I am still hoping for some changes.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJamie


Agreed. If Kidman had given the same performance on film, she"d be sweeping the film awards and oscars like M"onique in Precious or Mirren in The Queen. It's the most undeniable performance of the year in any medium.

A pity for Witherspoon winning nothing this season, as BLL is her career best work, but she was up against the greatest actress of her generation in Kidman, who was simply a level above her. Maybe Kidman will take a step back in her storyline for season 2 and allow Witherspoon to dominate. Kidman seems generous like that to her friends . But you have to remember Kidman is the same woman who won an Oscar while co-starring with Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore at the height of their powers. If Kidman decides she wants to act you off the screen, there's not much anyone can do about it. Even if they are Meryl Streep.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterlando

Shame on the plurality of Critics Choice and SAG voters for mindlessly giving a rubber stamp to the HFPA winners. With such a great year for film, it's particularly disappointing to see a 2009/2014 style sweep for all acting winners, none of whom are deserving in my opinion.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEric

My thoughts
1) Three Billboards is the frontrunner. That's it.
2) Willem Dafoe was NOT clapping for Sam Rockwell.
3) In stark contrast to last year, Denzel looked much happier to lose to Gary Oldman. (The fact that Denzel had no chance this year might've helped to relax him, but I also think he genuinely likes Gary more.)
4) Was that "let me say the black guy's name because I'm black" bit planned? Because it came off as super awkward.
5) I thought Alexander Skarsgard's speech was adorable; sometimes winners pretend to be humble but he seemed genuinely shocked.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGuestguestguest

The more I think about Three Billboards, the more I dislike it. McDormand is good, but Ronan is better and Hawkins is wonderful in TSOW. I can't understand why she hasn't won anything this season. I'm so booooored.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterferdi

Also, what on earth happened to Elizabeth Moss, who seemed to be sweeping with as much intensity as Kidman, only to fall at the final SAG hurdle to Claire Foy, for a performance she"d already won a SAG for. Guess actors found Moss in The Handmaids Tale to be a bit overpraised.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterlando

@Peggy Sue

I don't think the Kidman sweep was as boring as the Danes/Temple Grandin sweep, because the level of competition Kidman faced was so much stronger and consistent. The line-up Danes faced kept changing at every ceremony. For the most part, Kidman had to always face Witherspoon, Lange and Sarandon who all gave performances that could easily have swept themselves if Kidman wasn't present. It's a towering achievement for Kidman to sweep against these women in these performances.

Add that Kidman faced even more internal competition from Laura Deen at SAG (who was sweeping the supporting race till she got placed in lead at SAG), it's truly remarkable how unbeatable Kidman was this season. Even potentially splitting votes with two of her castmates couldn't stop her.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterlando

Charles O -- agreed that is the worst. It's pointless. I mean did Caleb Landry Jones or Abbie Cornish or Lucas Hedges really need a statue for that movie? You've already rewarded the main draws! Better to go with a film where the whole tapestry is working together and it's not so focused on the leads: Lady Bird, Mudbound, Big Sick, or Get Out would have all been better options for ensemble and I dont even hate Three Billboards like the rest of the internet

January 22, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Lando & Rami - agreed. Woulda been nice to see Kidman get a second Oscar but i'm glad Big Little Lies had the long format it did.

January 22, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

In the 24 yrs history o SAG, only 6 times it trsf all 4 winners to Oscar. Most o e times, its a 3/4 match w Oscars.

The last time it did a 4/4 trsf was 3 yrs ago, do u tink this yr it will prevail again? I doubt so.... W such a divisble pic like 3BB, I wld tink it will not parlay its 2 wins to the Oscars. Something's gotta give.

SAG has matched best actress w Oscars for the past 6 CONSECUTIVE yrs!! This is a major stat n I tink it will be broken. Just like McDormand breaks the stat to become the 1st lead actress to win in the category twice, i tink Ronan or even Hawkins will break the 6 yrs stat this yr.

Keepin my fingers X. Although I hope its a 2/4 yr whr Dafoe or MetCafe will prevail.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

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