Monday, January 26, 2009

The SAG awards

I've written about this before but most people know that there are the Oscars and the Golden Globes and I'm guessing some people knew that there was an awards ceremony in between called the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

It was on last night on TNT and offers the opportunity for all the actors to vote on their favorite performances of the year. The vast majority of the time, the people they vote for are the same people that win the Oscars, considering that a smaller body of the Screen Actors Guild are the ones who vote for the Oscars. In other words, this is a somewhat excessive ceremony and there's little reason to televise it or watch it. I watched it for about 10 minutes last night and then realized that it would probably ruin the Oscars for me if I watched this too because over the course of the Oscars, the winners act genuinely surprised and give some impromptu speech, when the screen actors guild award shows might show them giving the same speech (although I suppose to mix it up, an actor could thank completely different people in the SAGs or better yet, thank some of the lesser people who don't necessecarily deserve their names heard on national television, but perhaps, cable television).

Speaking of which, there are likely so many times that an Oscar winner wins something that they really are being patronizing if they act surprised. In last year's race, Tilda Swinton might have had reason to doubt that she was going to win best supporting actress, but on the other hand, Daniel Day-Lewis, lead actor for There Will be Blood, won the BAFTA, the Broadcast Film Critics Award, the Central Ohio Film Critics Association, the Chicago Film Critics Award, and I haven't even gotten to the D's yet. By the time, the Oscars roll around, he's already recited his thank you speech at least a dozen times, I'm sure, so where's the suspense?

Anyway, the SAG's have one award which I kind of like to see because it's entirely unique (at least in respect to the other awards ceremony): Best film ensemble which measures not just the work of one actor but how will the whole cast does. Lately, however, the best ensemble award just goes to best picture, which is a shame because it's a unique award that should honor the work of a group of actors.

Last night they selected Slumdog Millionaire. I think Slumdog Millionaire is the best film of the year and I thought Milk was somewhat boring at times, but Milk was far more deserving of a best ensemble prize. If not Milk, Doubt, which earned 4 different acting nominations this year, would have been a worthy prize.

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