2014 SAG Awards Recap: Highlights And Surprises

Above: Memorable moments from the 2014 SAG Awards

If the early awards are any indication, presumed Oscar favourite 12 Years a Slave is looking at some serious competition from the already Golden Globe-decorated American Hustle and Dallas Buyers Club.

While Lupita Nyong’o beat out favoured Jennifer Lawrence—the former of 12 Years a Slave, the latter of American Hustle—for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, that early success didn’t carry through the rest of the SAG Awards on Saturday night.

The individual performance awards for leading and supporting male actors went to Dallas Buyers Club’s Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, respectively, and Cate Blanchett won for best female leading actor for Blue Jasmine, making Nyong’o the one winner to break the formula set out by the Golden Globes less than a week ago. The repeat winners should be locks for the Oscars, but Nyong’o now likely holds a slim edge to win an Academy Award.

American Hustle’s Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence both won big at the Golden Globes, but their fellow actors opted to recognize the movie’s ensemble cast over their individual performances, awarding them Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

The television categories held a few more surprises than the film awards, with Kerry Washington being passed over yet again for her role in Scandal, this time in favour of Maggie Smith’s performance in Downton Abbey, and Hellen Mirren topping Elisabeth Moss for best actress in a miniseries—though Mirren graciously recognized in her speech that she believed Moss should have won. Julia Louis-Dreyfuss wasn’t truly an underdog, having been nominated for a record eight times the comedy category, but she also beat out a couple of SAG Awards veterans in Edie Falco and Tina Fey for best actress in a comedy.

But the biggest TV winners were the casts of Modern Family, whose Ty Burrell broke Alec Baldwin’s streak of seven straight wins for best actor in a comedy, and Breaking Bad, including Bryan Cranston’s win for best actor in a drama. Breaking Bad’s ensemble win was the most richly deserved of the evening, as the cast was finally honoured for the first time after three consecutive nominations—and in its final season, no less.

Oscar nominations are out and with all of Saturday night’s winners in the running there’s a good chance we could see several repeat performances. But don’t count out any of American Hustle’s cast members yet—their ensemble award could be foreshadowing plenty of Oscar gold on March 2nd.

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