At a determinedly 'woke' awards ceremony that intentionally put women front and centre, the 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday night gave its top honours to “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”, the tale of a woman hell-bent on seeking justice for the rape and murder of her daughter.
HBO's Washington-set farce “Veep” won the TV comedy ensemble award for the first time, while NBC's family saga “This Is Us” won the TV drama ensemble honours, reports Hollywood Reporter.
Taking its cue from the #MeToo and Time's Up movements that have put a spotlight on the need for gender equality, all the presenters at the show were women and, for the first time, the SAG Awards was fronted by a host --Kristen Bell. “We are living in a watershed moment,” Bell said as she kicked off the proceedings. “Let's make sure we are leading the charge with empathy and with diligence.”
SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris also made the theme explicit as she said, “I am incredibly inspired by the women and men across the country who have shared their truths with such courage and such candor. Truth is power, and women are stepping into their power.”
On the film side, the SAG Awards appeared to demonstrate a growing consensus this awards season as they rubber-stamped a group of winners who were also celebrated at the recent Golden Globe Awards.
In addition to its ensemble win — SAG's equivalent of a best picture award — Fox Searchlight's “Three Billboards” saw Frances McDormand collect her third individual SAG Award, this for outstanding female actor in a motion picture. Sam Rockwell, also reprising a Globe win, scored as supporting film actor for playing a dim-witted cop.
Gary Oldman's potential path to an Oscar became surer as, after receiving a Globe, he was gifted with his career's first SAG Award for embodying Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour”.
Following her Globe win, Allison Janney won the prize for supporting film actress for her performance as a stage mother from hell in “I, Tonya”. Nicole Kidman also picked up yet another trophy — and her first SAG Award after 10 nominations — as outstanding female actor in a television movie or limited series for her performance as an abused housewife on HBO's “Big Little Lies”. Her onscreen husband on the show, Alexander Skarsgard, collected the award for male performer in a TV movie or miniseries.
In the drama categories, Sterling K Brown picked up his first SAG Award for his work as an adopted son on NBC's “This Is Us”, for which he's also earned Emmy and Globe recognition. Claire Foy also earned her first SAG Award for her performance as the young Queen Elizabeth on Netflix's “The Crown”.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who now plays an ex-president on HBO's “Veep”, won her third SAG Award for that series, while William H Macy also won his third SAG Award for playing the reprobate dad on Showtime's “Shameless”.
Rita Moreno, who first appeared with Morgan Freeman on “The Electric Company”, was on hand to present the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award to Freeman. In his brief acceptance, the actor said simply, “This is beyond honor. This is a place in history.”