‘Hidden Figures’ Upsets at SAG Awards, Ups Oscar Chances
Just when pundits had begun to reduce the Oscar fracas to a two-horse race between toe-tapping populist favorite La La Land and critically-adored downbeat character piece Moonlight, a possible spoiler has come out of nowhere. Last night, the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards gave Hollywood’s union of performers a chance to recognize some of their own whom had done outstanding work over the past year. The most coveted award of the ceremony is the prize for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Motion Picture, regarded by some as a bellweather for Oscar night, and it went to unexpected contender Hidden Figures.
The feel-good story of black female mathematicians making strides at NASA won over voters and earned Mahershala Ali one of his two statuettes that evening, in addition to an individual win in the Supporting category for his tender turn in Moonlight. Film with black men and women on either side of the camera fared well across the board last night, with Denzel Washington’s Fences adaptation waltzing away with a pair of major wins as well. Washington himself took the Best Actor prize for his rafter-shaking performance as tragic figure Troy, while his costar Viola Davis took the Supporting Actress honors for playing his put-upon, frustrated wife. The last of the major film awards, the Best Actress prize, went to all-but-sure-thing Emma Stone for singin’ and tappin’ her way through La La Land as ingenue Mia.
Over on the TV side of things, Netflix had a phenomenal night, with major wins for the casts of Orange Is the New Black (Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series), Stranger Things (Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series), and The Crown (John Lithgow and Claire Foy took Best Actor and Actress in a Drama Series, respectively). Despite life itself having turned into one long, unfunny episode of Veep, Julia Louis-Dreyfus returned for yet another Best Actress in a Comedy Series win as Selina Meyer and William H. Macy collected a statuette for the umpteenth season of playing scoundrel Frank Gallagher on Shameless.
The full list of winners is available over at Deadline.