The 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards, honoring “outstanding” performances from 2021, took place last night at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California. It’s the year’s first big televised awards show on the road to Oscar night. As the name applies, the awards are all about the acting, and there were some fascinating nominees duking it out. Here’s a brief wrap-up of last night winners in the six film categories.
- Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture – “CODA” – The big award of the night went to the sweet, feel-good drama “CODA”. While it may not be the best movie of the year or even the best ensemble, it’s hard not to love this win. The film marked the first time that a deaf cast has been nominated for the award. Now they can also say they’re first-time winners. But this is no sympathy win. “CODA” is a really good movie and the extraordinary cast in a big reason why.
2. Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role – Will Smith (“King Richard”) – Things were starting to slightly trend in Will Smith’s favor as the week progressed, but I have to admit to being a little surprised. That said, it’s hard to argue with his acting in “King Richard”. I’ve always liked Will Smith more than his actual performances. But in “King Richard” he does some of the best work of his career. While my personal choice is Denzel Washington, it was great hearing Smith’s name announced.
3. Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role – Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”) – And just like that we have some actual suspense heading into Oscar night. Jessica Chastain won for her portrayal of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker and it sets up quite the showdown. Chastain gives a really good performance in an okay movie so interested in scrubbing clean Tammy Faye’s image that it comes unglued. Yet despite the movie’s struggles, Chastain steadily delivers. I was all-in for Olivia Colman, but Chastain is such a talent and a deserving winner.
4. Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role – Troy Kotsur (“CODA”) – Talk about the win the made my wife and me audibly yell for joy. Troy Kotsur was wonderful as the eccentric yet devoted father in “CODA”. Not only was his work as a deaf actor inspiring, but his embodiment of his character is top-notch. He has such an infectious charm and personality both on screen and throughout awards season. Who couldn’t be excited to see him win?
5. Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Supporting Role – Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”) – What an electric performance! I loved Ariana DeBose in Steven Spielberg’s glorious “West Side Story” and it has been fun watching her rack up the wins. DeBose not only has the dance moves, but she really owns so many of the scenes she’s in. My personal choice is still Caitríona Balfe for “Belfast”, and the Academy’s ridiculous snub still makes no sense whatsoever. But after Balfe, there’s no one else I would rather see win. DeBose is sublime.
6. Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture – “No Time to Die” – The fact that this category exists makes me happy. While a part of me was rooting for “Dune”, in terms of sheer stunt work how can you argue with the latest James Bond adventure? The movie is full of jaw-dropping stunts and more than worthy of this award.
And that wraps it up. One step closer to Oscar night. What did you think of this year’s winners? Let me know below.