The 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards took place this evening at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. Celebrating the finest performances in both film and television, the SAG awards have long been respected due in part to their large body of voters (all members of the guild are given a ballot), many of whom overlap with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
American Hustle was the big winner of the evening, winning the night's top prize: Outstanding Performance By a Cast in a Motion Picture (in many ways the ceremony's equivalent to Best Picture). Thus, Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Michael Peña and more became SAG winners with this prize (Bale had previously won a SAG award for his role in The Fighter, while Lawrence received one for her role in Silver Linings Playbook).
Dallas Buyers Club was another key victor throughout the ceremony. Much like they did at last Sunday's Golden Globes, Matthew McConaughey won Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role and Jared Leto, his co-star praised by many for giving a transformative performance, won Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role. In his speech, Leto thanked his date for the evening, his mother, for “showing me the power of dreams and for being the best mother in the entire world.”
Cate Blanchett, who received a decadent Gala Tribute during last year's New York Film Festival, continued her march toward the coveted Oscar with a SAG win for Best Actress. Now the recipient of awards from SAG, BFCA, Golden Globes, The National Society of Film Critics and The New York Film Critics Circle for her role in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, Blanchett appeared overjoyed when reaching the podium. “I'm so grateful to have worked with such an incredible, supportive, generous ensemble,” she remarked of the talent Allen surrounded her with.
Lupita Nyong’o won Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for her role in 12 Years A Slave, following up her win from the Broadcast Film Critics Association last Thursday. The film, a recipient of nine Academy Award nominations, was presented by Film Comment at The New York Film Festival.
An Academy Award winner for West Side Story, Rita Moreno danced on stage upon receiving her SAG Life Achievement award from Electric Company co-star Morgan Freeman. “I'm breathless, I'm so bloody happy,” Moreno announced at the podium. “It's early in the third act of my life,” Moreno reassured everyone, before concluding with a rendition of the song “This is All I Ask” from composer Gordon Jenkins.
The SAG awards also honors actors whose work has gone sadly unappreciated in the past. Last weekend's number one film at the box office, Lone Survivor (starring Mark Wahlberg), won the Outstanding Action Performance by Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture award. The category was first introduced at the 2008 ceremony with The Bourne Ultimatum taking home the prize.
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
American Hustle – Amy Adams, Chirstian Bale, Louis C.K., Bradely Cooper, Paul Herman, Jack Huston, Jennifer Lawrence, Alessandro Nivola, Michael Peña, Jeremy Renner, Elisabeth Rohm, Shea Whigham (Columbia Pictures)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years A Slave (Fox Searchlight Pictures)