EW Description: “Always a fun glamorous ceremony, the SAGs celebrate the best in TV and movie acting — and give a key preview of the famous faces who’ll shine at the upcoming Academy Awards.”
Since I was at work when the awards aired live, I’m just now getting to watch the ceremony. Since it’s not a liveblog per se, this is going to be more of a stream of consciousness type thing. It still goes in order of the telecast. It’s just not live.
First of all, the introduction was super awkward. They started by showing a whole bunch of people on the red carpet, like it’s going to be a surprise that there are actors at the SAG Awards. Then they had people (Jack McBrayer, Julianna Margulies, Rico Rodriguez, Melissa Leo, Julia Stiles) go around and say some random anecdote or thought about being an actor. It just seemed very stilted and weird.
Betty White and Alec Baldwin presented Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series to Steve Buscemi for Boardwalk Empire. I’m so over the love for this show. Yes, it’s good, but people are acting like it’s the greatest show ever. Yes, it’s shiny and new, but there were other shows that are far better. Buscemi is a fantastic actor, but this was Jon Hamm’s season on Mad Men. He was absolutely fantastic and the fact he has yet to win a SAG or an Emmy for it is absolutely abhorrent.
Mark Ruffalo and Annette Bening come out to talk about The Kids Are All Right. Once again, the teleprompter makes it super awkward. They have their arms around each other and there’s a lot of awkward giggling. It’s just weird. Plus, I hated this movie.
Eva Longoria and Cory Monteith presented Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama Series to Julianna Margulies for The Good Wife. I can’t be too angry about this award. I knew Elisabeth Moss wasn’t going to win. Apparently, she thought so too because she didn’t even show up to the awards. I haven’t gotten into The Good Wife, but everything I hear about her is that she’s phenomenal. I just feel like it was a really strong season for Peggy on Mad Men, so I would have loved to see her win.
Sofia Vergara and Taye Diggs present Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series to Boardwalk Empire. Once again, I think it should have been Mad Men. Empire does have a really awesome cast, though, so I’m not as upset about this as about all the love for Steve Buscemi.
Now, all the TV Drama Series people can relax since they’re done for the night. That’s the nice thing about the SAGs. They get straight to business and don’t fuck around. It’s nice.
In exchange for rushing through the Drama Series categories, we get a speech from the SAG president about the upcoming labor negotiations between SAG and AFTRA. Then Dennis Haysbert comes out to try to make us love commercials. It doesn’t work.
Jason Bateman presents Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role to Melissa Leo for The Fighter. She was absolutely phenomenal in this role and gave the best performance of the nominees. Plus, it’s always nice to see someone who has been in the business for a really long time start to get the recognition she deserves.
Amy Poehler presents Outstanding Male Actor in a Comedy Series to Alec Baldwin for 30 Rock. Not gonna lie. I pretty much think he’s phoning it in at this point. It should have gone to Ty Burrell for Modern Family. He gave a much better performance this year.
Jon Hamm (swoon) presents Outstanding Female Actor in a Comedy Series to Betty White for being Betty White. Supposedly, it’s for Hot in Cleveland, but anyone who has seen that show knows it’s not that funny. I’m pretty sure God would have killed a kitten for everyone that voted against Betty White, however. She gave the best acceptance speech of the night, without a doubt. I love how she’s still so humble. She’s Betty fucking White. She’s 89 and is one of the funniest people in the world. Yet she seems surprised that she won an award. I also loved when she fondled the statue.
Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, and Geoffrey Rush come out to introduce The King’s Speech. Absolutely phenomenal film. See it if you haven’t yet.
Angie Harmon (who is wearing possibly the biggest dress in the room) and LL Cool J present Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series to Modern Family. Without a doubt, the best ensemble on television right now. There’s not a weak link in the bunch. After they got robbed at the Golden Globes, it’s great to see them get the recognition they deserve.
Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman come out to introduce Black Swan. This is my pick for Best Picture this year, but it’s definitely a dark horse.
Tim Conway comes out to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Ernest Borgnine. This is awful, but I know him best as Marty, the title character from my least favorite Best Picture winner in all of history. This is honestly the cheesiest clip package I’ve ever seen. The narrator is using this weird sing-song voice and using phrases like “Ernie had to pinch himself.” Plus, there’s this weird music and it’s just awful. This man’s entire career is boiled down into a cheesy five-minute long biography that seems more like a bad public service announcement. The last sentence of the clip package was “And they don’t make them like Ernest Borgnine, a true living legend.” Just read that in your head like you’re trying to be sarcastic and cheesy. That sums up this entire package.
Robin Wright and Mark Wahlberg present Outstanding Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries to Al Pacino for You Don’t Know Jack. I actually saw that movie and it was really terrible. He’s basically getting the award for being Al Pacino. Fortunately, he didn’t show up because whenever he wins an award, we’re all reminded why it’s incredibly important that someone write Al Pacino’s words for him.
Armie Hammer, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, and Jesse Eisenberg come out to present The Social Network. Fortunately, it wasn’t a repeat of the Golden Globes for Andrew Garfield and he proved to us that he can actually read.
Rosario Dawson and Josh Duhamel present Outstanding Female Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries to Claire Danes for Temple Grandin. She’s absolutely phenomenal. There’s no argument on this award. Extremely well-deserved.
Hilary Swank comes out to do the In Memoriam section of the show. Everyone gets sad.
Susan Sarandon presents Oustanding Male Actor in a Supporting Role to Christian Bale for The Fighter. If Bale weren’t in this category, it would have gone to Geoffrey Rush for The King’s Speech in a heartbeat. Anytime an actor changes his physical appearance that dramatically for a role, he pretty much seals up every single award. Rush gave a great performance, but Bale transformed himself. Even though the momentum is shifting toward The King’s Speech, the Supporting Actor Oscar is Bale’s to lose. Plus, it was just super sweet when the real-life Dickie came up on stage with Bale.
Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams come out to introduce The Fighter. They start out with some awkward conversation about Christian Bale and then realize we don’t want to see them talk and we just want them to get on with it. The introduction ends with Mark Wahlberg giving a shout out to his show Boardwalk Empire. It’s like he knew he wasn’t going to win the Best Actor award tonight, so he wanted to give his acceptance speech somewhere else.
Jeff Bridges presents Outstanding Female Actor in a Leading Role to Natalie Portman for Black Swan. She’s basically a shoo-in for the Oscar at this point and it’s completely well-deserved. She’s come a long way since the days of Star Wars and Where the Heart Is. Fortunately, there’s no awkward laughter and talk about how her fiance clearly wanted to have sex with her, like at the Golden Globes. This speech was far less awkward for everyone involved.
Nicole Kidman presents Outstanding Male Actor in a Leading Role to Colin Firth for The King’s Speech. The argument for Firth’s win is exactly the same as the one for Bale’s win for Best Supporting Actor. Firth transformed himself into the stammering King George VI. It’s simultaneously heartbreaking and triumphant.
Donald Sutherland presents Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture to The King’s Speech. I really hope Sutherland is filming a movie about Ambrose Burnside because there’s no other excuse for the furry animals currently growing on the sides of his face. As far as full ensemble acting goes, I thought The Social Network was stronger. With this award, The King’s Speech officially becomes the frontrunner for Best Picture and The Social Network becomes the dark horse. We’ve got a month until we see what actually happens.
Overall, there were no real surprises. Nobody was completely trashed. No one gave a really awkward train wreck of a speech. It was far from the most exciting awards show, but I don’t really expect that from the SAGs. It definitely wasn’t as self-serving as it normally is, which was a very nice change of pace.