By Tressa Eckermann, Senior Staff Writer
The annual Screen Actors Guild Awards is always one of the most fun and unique award shows. Actors choose the nominees—other actors—most of whom are really talented and sometimes rarely recognized performers.
The 18th annual show started off with Christopher Plummer winning Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in the highly underrated “Beginners.” The legendary actor didn’t disappoint with a charming and sweet speech in which he thanked his co-star, Ewan McGregor, and his wife of 43 years for once “saving my life.”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role went to Octavia Spencer for “The Help.” It wasn’t a surprising win, but still lovely. She gave a great performance, but I can’t help but think how cool it would have been to see the outrageously funny Melissa McCarthy win for “Bridesmaids.”
They skipped to TV for the third award, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series, which went to Alec Baldwin for his consistently funny performance on “30 Rock.” It’s hard to be upset about that win because he’s so ridiculously funny. Betty White won for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series for “Hot In Cleveland.” It pains me to say it, but let’s face facts here—she only won because she’s Betty White.
The SAG doesn’t give a traditional Best Drama or Comedy award in either the film or TV categories, so the fifth award was Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series which went to “Modern Family.”
This year’s lifetime achievement award was given to Mary Tyler Moore, the legendary actress who inspired millions of girls to toss a hat in the air and turn the world on with their smile.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series went to Jessica Lange for “American Horror Story.” It was a little disappointing not to see Julianna Margulies win for her standout and shockingly good performance on “The Good Wife.” Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series was given to Steve Buscemi on “Boardwalk Empire.” I love Buscemi and his truly powerhouse performance, but Kyle Chandler as Coach Eric Taylor on “Friday Night Lights” gave one of the most restrained and exceptional performances in TV history.
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series was given to the cast of “Boardwalk Empire.” They skipped back to film for the next award, which was Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role. It came down to a battle between George Clooney in “The Descendants” and Jean Dujardin in “The Artist.” Jean Dujardin won this time.
The first of two surprises of the night was Viola Davis winning for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for her work in “The Help.” It was a great performance, but the real winner this year will always be Michelle Williams for “My Week with Marilyn.”
The second surprise was “The Help” winning again for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. My first reaction was “that’s just ridiculous.” A somewhat good film beating “The Artist,” “The Descendants” and Woody Allen’s best film in years “Midnight in Paris” is absolutely insane. All in all, it was a good night for actors supporting actors.