If you missed the 22nd Screen Actors Guild awards this past Saturday night, you missed the best awards show we’ve seen so far. After a disappointing and odd night at the Golden Globes, the SAG awards had a lot to amend. And amend it did.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to diverse TV,” actor Idris Elba said as he mocked the ‘lily-white’ Oscar controversy.
The cutting remark was thrown out while the actor presented his film Beasts of No Nation with his Ghanaian co-star, Abraham Attah. Elba, who was up for his role in the show Luther as well, won his first SAG Actor for Beasts, thanking his peers for giving the film “some light, respect and love.” But that was just the first trip up to the stage for the Brit, as he went two-for-two with another win for Luther. In such a state of shock, the actor resorted to thanking his “beautiful children” after calling his show one of the darkest on television.
Actors of color had a triumphant and rewarding night across the board. Viola Davis took home her second SAG after winning it last year for her role in the ABC show How to Get Away With Murder, decrying critics notion that her character wasn’t likable: “My job as an actor is to create a human being to the best of my ability.” Similarly, Queen Latifah won for Bessie, prompting laughs while pretending to weight-lift the supposedly heavy green Actor statue. She and Uzo Aduba, who brought home the award for best actress in a comedy series for Orange Is the New Black, both praised actors of color and their struggle to find roles, encouraging them to “keep turning stones.”
Also in the way of television, Kevin Spacey surprisingly — in a good way, sorry not sorry Jon Hamm — won for best actor in a drama series, House of Cards, giving a shout out to his creator.
“No, not that one, the one grounded here on earth,” he joked.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey Tambor rightfully won for his role in Transparent after losing out at the Globes, giving an emotional speech while thanking the transgender community.
“Get up here, Dad,” called Patrick Bateman, who once played Tambor’s son in Arrested Development, as he and a moustache-clad Sarah Silverman presented the award in what was probably the most Vine-able moment of the night.
Among the more unsurprising moments of the night were Downton Abbey’s final win for ensemble cast, as the show nears its end. Game of Thrones and Mad Max: Fury Road also won Actors for best stunt ensemble for TV and film respectively.
Winning her first SAG Actor for her role in The Danish Girl, Alicia Vikander stunned viewers in her Louis Vuitton sequin dress — those bold side-splits deserve their own award — and while giving her acceptance speech, as she recalled watching her mother and being inspired by her as a young girl. Also taking the stage for his first win ever, Leonardo DiCaprio once again accepted a best actor award for his film about survival of the human spirit, The Revenant. In the midst of thunderous applause he gave a heartfelt thank you to his parents and credited his first film This Boy’s Life for setting him up for his incredible career.
“I’m going to write more thank you notes,” actress Brie Larson promised, holding the Actor for best actress, in a refreshing and unnaturally breezy speech.
The joke came from her moment on stage at the Golden Globes, when she promised to write thank you notes to those she forgot to mention.
But the night really went to two groups: the cast for Spotlight and OITNB, as each cast accepted Actors for best ensemble cast in both film and TV, respectively.
“This is what we talk about then we talk about diversity,” Laura Prepon hit the nail on the head as she accepted the award for her Netlfix show.
OITNB has undoubtedly one of the most diverse casts with numerous nationalities, races and sexual orientations represented. In a similar fashion, Michael Keaton of Spotlight, a film about the investigative journalists who uncovered Boston’s Catholic Church molestation scandal, used the moment to express sympathy and regret for the lack of investigative reporting in the early days of the Flint, Michigan, water crisis.
“For me personally, and I think I speak for everyone, honestly this is not only for the survivors of this horrific situation … This is for the powerless.”
All in all, the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild was one of the best award shows in recent years. From the spot-on fashion — except for Christina Hendricks, who just looked like she was wrapped in gold foil, or maybe a shiny table cloth — to the celebration of diversity and Carol Burnett’s longtime coming Lifetime Achievement Award, it was a magical night that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Let’s just hope that the Academy voters take note.
The 88th Academy Awards will air February 28th at 7:30/c on ABC.
Follow Sara Snoddy on Twitter at @Sara_Snoddy.
To contact Lifestyles editor Tanner Dedmon email firstname.lastname@example.org.