John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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SAG shock

I was fascinated by the 9th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. Not the ceremony, mind you; that was mostly uninteresting. It was the winners I found fascinating, because they surprised me. And I'm not easy to surprise when it comes to entertainment industry awards.

I predicted that Catherine Zeta-Jones would pick up the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role award, but all the other winners in the motion picture categories surprised me. I was sure Julianne Moore would take the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role prize, but instead it went to Renée Zellweger. I thought Chris Cooper would win the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role award, and if not him I was sure it would be Ed Harris... but no, Christopher Walken took it home. And after seeing Zellweger and Zeta-Jones win their categories, I was stunned to see Daniel Day-Lewis snatch the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role trophy from Richard Gere's hands.

But by far the biggest surprise of the evening came when, during her acceptance speech, Zellweger mentioned that Chicago helmer Rob Marshall had won the Directors Guild of America's award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film.

These awards completely upset the apple cart when it comes to predicting the Oscar winners. The SAG and DGA awards are very reliable as Academy Award predictors. The actors and actresses who win the SAG Awards more often than not go on to win the Oscar, but with the exception of Zeta-Jones none of these guys were even on my radar. And nearly everyone has been predicting that this will be the year that Martin Scorcese will finally win an Oscar. And it could still happen. But the DGA has been giving its awards since 1949, and in that time only five people -- Ang Lee, Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, and Anthony Harvey -- have won the DGA but lost the Oscar.

I'm not saying that Day-Lewis, Marshall, Walken, Zellweger and Zeta-Jones are definitely going to win Oscars on the 23rd. But looking at these results, I'm nowhere near as certain as I was last week that they won't.

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