Sunday, January 29, 2006

No SAG wins for Brokeback; Hoffman's Capote named Best Actor by his peers

So I walk into my apartment, fresh from Chris Botti's appearance at the Moore (yum, by the way), to find that they've given away the Screen Actors' Guild awards without me. How dare! The bad news is I've missed all of the fashions and acceptance speeches. Of course, that's the good news, too. Better news yet, I only have 30 or so hours to wait for the Academy Awards nominations.

So what did I miss? There weren't really any surprises in the men's categories: Philip Seymour Hoffman took the Best Actor Award for Capote. Honestly, he's won every acting award this year, except for the New York Film Critics' Circle, which was taken by Heath Ledger - I'm expecting Hoffman to make his Oscars acceptance speech any day now. While it would have made the Oscars race more interesting, Hoffman's performance was stupendous. Cinderella Man's Paul Giamatti was the sentimental favorite for Best Supporting Actor, especially after his snub at last year's Oscars. I hope this guarantees him a nomination this year, although I thought Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain) or Don Cheadle (Crash) might have had a chance. (My fave of the year, though, would be the hitherto un-nominated performance by Donald Sutherland in Pride & Prejudice. Please, Academy!!! Please!)

The actresses were harder to predict, if only because both categories had two strong performances and three weaker ones. For Best Actress Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line) was up against Felicity Huffman (Transamerica). As her SAG and Globes wins suggest, Witherspoon's performance clearly benefits from being in the movie with the better reviews, although I'm in the minority who really, really liked Transamerica. And as much as I loved Michelle Williams in Brokeback, Rachel Weisz's win (for The Constant Gardener) at the Golden Globes should have clued in everyone that the Best Supporting Actress category is pretty much up for grabs. She took home the SAG, too.

The best news? Crash's win for Best Ensemble, which included my favorites, Don Cheadle and Matt Dillon. Oh yeah, and Terrence Howard. Crash had stiff competition: Brokeback, Capote or Good Night, and Good Luck were deserving as well. But this was the sleeper hit of the summer, despite being kind of a downer, and it's nice to see a popular movie take home an award. Maybe this will solidify a nomination for director/writer Paul Haggis.

Don't fret about Brokeback Mountain's lack of wins. Remember, these are the SAGs; only actors win SAGs, and Brokeback is being lauded for it's director and screenplay, cinematography and genreal, all-around wonderfulness. In these young actors' cases, it really is an honor just to be nominated. Brokeback is still in for Oscar. Director Ang Lee did win the Director's Guild Award on Saturday night, so all remains right with the world.

I'll be back on the blog Tuesday morning after the Oscar nominations, so when you can't get your web browser to log on to AMPAS website you can get your major scoop right here. But you'll have to give me time to get into work, log on, and waste some time. Talk to you Tuesday!
Capote poster courtesy Sony Pictures Classics.

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