Sunday, January 30, 2011

17th Annual SAG Award Winners

Colin Firth accepting his SAG for Best Actor

Last night's 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards ended with the definitive sound of the Oscar chances for "The Social Network" going out the window. The awards climate has now significantly changed.

First, here's a look at the winners:

Best Actor - Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"

Best Actress - Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"

Best Supporting Actor - Christian Bale, "The Fighter"

Best Supporting Actress - Melissa Leo, "The Fighter"

Best Ensemble Cast - "The King's Speech"

All of these wins were obvious except for the last one. "The King's Speech" taking Best Ensemble Cast last night was the equivalent of it winning Best Picture considering the current upswing that movie is experiencing right now.

Within the past few weeks, "The King's Speech" garnered a win from the Producers Guild of America, a harbinger of the Best Picture recipient. This was not enough evidence to push "The Social Network" aside, though, which before that had been sweeping the awards.

Then came Oscar nominations where "The King's Speech" reigned with 12 awards total trumping "The Social Network" with only 8 nominations. Number of nominations doesn't always guarantee victory, so this still wasn't a total concern.

Even more recently, however, Tom Hooper made an upset by winning the Directors Guild of America award for "The King's Speech" over David Fincher for "The Social Network." While people were considering David Fincher might still take Best Director if "The King's Speech" won Best Picture, that thinking was immediately dashed with this announcement.

All of this combined with last night's SAG win makes "The King's Speech" the new frontrunner of the Oscar race. It's amazing that just a few weeks can change the race like that, and now comes the time the predictions all shift back to what was originally considered--all the way back in October and November--the academy favorite.

Though I don't agree with it as I'm one of those who believe "The Social Network" is the best film of the year, it does make sense. David Fincher's Facebook movie is cold and hip, and it's not a movie the academy can easily get behind; we were just blinded by all of its critical acclaim. The academy is a different crowd than who was awarding it at the Golden Globes and the Critics' Choice.

A heartwarming and lightly humorous period piece about how an unlikely king overcame his crippling speech impediment to go on and lead his country? Sounds like an Academy Award Best Picture winner to me, as much as I hate to admit it.

Check here for a full list of 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards winners.

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