The 11th Annual Screen Actor’s Guild Awards

| February 3, 2005

“The award show where only actors vote for actors.”
The 11th annual Screen Actors Guild took place Saturday, February 4th, and you’ll be happy to hear they had good weather. As I watched the beautiful people of Hollywood I tried to remember when they hadn’t. My mind wandered, and then tada! I was snapped back to the red carpet. Good planning on that whole southern California thing. Smart.
Now if you, like me, were watching the Mary Kate and Ashley story you probably nodded off and woke up to Starr Jones Reynolds in a tiara handling the red carpet. Starr, from me to you, I don’t wear panties to a Rotary meeting if I think it’s going to mess up my outfit. Satin plus bulky undergarments equals bad. Just celebrate yourself and set you free.
The SAG awards are somewhat unusual because they celebrate film and television in the same evening, and because Screen Actors Guild members are selected, at random, to vote on the nominees. It truly is a jury of peers.
Receiving his award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role, Jamie Foxx proved what a genuinely nice guy he is, and even got the audience to hum a few bars along with him. When an actor is that gracious and engaging you feel good about that person winning no matter what film they are in. No big surprises in the film categories…
Outstanding Actor: Jamie Foxx in Ray
Outstanding Actress: Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby
Outstanding Supporting actor: Morgan Freeman in Ray
Outstanding Supporting actress: Cate Blanchett in The Aviator
Outstanding Cast Performance: The gang from Sideways
Jerry Orbach won posthumously for outstanding actor in a drama series, and his widow Elaine accepted his award. Before Jerry Orbach died his achievements were there but hardly ever talked about, but when the tributes started running one really got the level of commitment he had to his craft. Winners in T.V. movies and miniseries were actors from movies, and Desperate Housewives won best cast performance in a comedy series, and leading lady Teri Hatcher won outstanding performance by an actress in a comedy series. Doug Savant, who plays “Tom Scavo” in the series heralded the “death knell for reality television.” If there isn’t a reality Desperate Housewives in a minute I’ll be stunned. I guess Nanny 911 might qualify. No huge surprises on the television front, either.
Outstanding actor in a movie or miniseries: Geoffrey Rush in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers
Outstanding actress in a movie or miniseries: Glenn Close in The Lion in Winter
Outstanding actor in a drama series: Jerry Orbach in Law and Order
Outstanding actress in a drama series: Jennifer Garner in Alias
Outstanding actor in a comedy series: Tony Shalhoub
Outstanding actress in a comedy series: Teri Hatcher
Outstanding drama series cast performance: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Outstanding comedy series cast performance: Desperate Housewives
James Garner received a lifetime achievement award. His wife of 48 years was in the crowd to applaud him, and it was the picture of a long term, dedicated actor enjoying the accolades of his peers. He was really pleased. I am choosing to see that “8 Simple Rules” thing as a vacation, or perhaps a miscommunication. Really.
Now it’s on to the Oscars. Will the upstart Sideways edge big Hollywood The Aviator and big name Million Dollar Baby aside for best picture? Don’t count on it, but you never know. There has been a lot more love for the independents in recent years. You’ll hear a lot about Annette vs. Hillary, round 2 coming into the Oscars as well. Will Annette Bening be undercut by Hillary Swank playing butch roles forever? It certainly is dramatic when Hillary does it, but can’t there be some credit given for beautifully representing women a lot of people know? An aging woman having a go at youth again? A real estate agent trying to give her life meaning? Sorry, but those experiences are a lot more universal than teenagers struggling through gender issues or lady boxers. Those are neat tricks, but I think it’s time for Bening to get her due for taking on more pedestrian moments in life and making them shine.

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