E: Ah, the SAG awards. I’m glad you’re zippy! You were a nice, quick (well, aside from Ernest Borgnine), peppy, and mostly forgettable award show. You certainly cemented the Oscar front runners, didn’t you? I’ve a few thoughts to share on the show.
Of course I have to start with Julianna Margulies!!!! Best actress in a tv drama – yes! After Emmy and the Golden Globes nominated but failed to award you, I was despondent. Ah, I’d forgotten just how much SAG loves you, and with the best reason in the world. You rock, lady. Thanking your in-laws for producing your dreamboat of a husband? As notorious husband forgetter Hilary Swank put it (so clearly even I could read her lips), that’s so cute!
Other than that joyful surprise, I thought the award show was just fine, even the film stuff if it went largely as expected – Firth, Portman, Bale, Leo and The King’s Speech. Obviously I was pleased as punch for Ms. J.M. But more than that, I largely think the winners are deserving (well, I have yet to see Portman, actually, but MMGF assures me that she’s deserving and as Jennifer Lawrence is unlikely to win, I’m cool with that). Sure, I feel sorry for Annette Bening – ever the bridesmaid – but I’m dancing on my toes for The Kings Speech and The Fighter gang.
You may be surprised to hear that I did not cry once during the telecast, though I did tear up at Melissa Leo’s utter joy and got close to misty over the In Memoriam section. I greatly enjoyed Colin Firth’s speech – so self-deprecating, so witty – but that was about it.
Can I just say, that when you have millions of people listening to you win this kind of award, it ought not be considered simply a private moment, or an industry moment. I will never understand why more of these people don’t give speeches centered on the amazing issues their films raise. I suppose this is because they are actors, not writers, and we can see from award shows that not all actors can read smoothly off a teleprompter, let alone extemporize or produce their own scripts, but really, people, really. Your movies are usually ABOUT something. They’re almost always about something important. So why not use the moment to talk about that? We’re not going to remember the name of your agent (though we will remember how much you love your parents or favorite teacher or spouse). That’s why I don’t mind when Melissa Leo throws in an awkward nod about the importance of unions to struggling actors (though it’ll be interesting to see if it’s hurt her when it comes to Oscar).
I don’t mind it when you thank your teamster drivers, though.
As far as the rest of the awards, the tv stuff was nice enough. Betty White almost succeeded in making me cry (or maybe it was just watching Jane Leeves cry for her) and she definitely made me laugh. Now that is a woman who knows how to give an acceptance speech! How fantastic was it, too, that the inevitable Claire Danes really was in a category with friends? You often hear people thank their fellow nominees, but this was actually something different. Her costars Catherine and Julia, and her Little Women costars Susan and Winona? The March girls! I’d forgotten that utterly. When Susan gave the best supporting actor Actor to Christian Bale, later, I was desperately hoping for him to refer to his time as the March girls’ neighbor Laurie, but no such luck. Of course, when Danes adorably thanked Hugh Dancy for being her best husband, and my own dear husband wondered how many husbands she had had, I couldn’t help thinking darkly – just one. Of her own, that is. Somehow I find it personally disappointing that sweet little Angela Chase (let alone Beth March!) could have stolen Billy Crudup from his pregnant partner and then not even kept him.
She wore a great dress, though, and all in all, I thought it was quite a nice night. What about you? Any dresses that stood out? Other than Claire Danes, I thought Angie Harmon, Mila Kunis and Lea Michelle looked lovely. Hailee Steinfeld looked perfectly age appropriate and adorable. I still can’t believe Natalie Portman is only in her first trimester – that girl is going to float away like Vernon Dursley’s sister Marge before her baby arrives this summer. And now the real question is not can anything stop The Social Network, which is what all the pundits thought two or three weeks ago, but can anything stop The King’s Speech (fresh winner of the PGA, the DGA and SAG) from sweeping Oscar before it? What a wonderment this world is sometimes. I’m not willing to count out The Social Network; clearly SAG responded to the acting in TKS more profoundly, but Best Ensemble doesn’t add up precisely with Best Picture; neither does BAFTA, which TKS is sure to win. Still, it’s a blow for fans of the former front runner.