Another piece of the Awards Season puzzle is in place, with the Screen Actors Guild presenting their annual honors to the onscreen talent in film and television. In TV, "Modern Family" and "Breaking Bad" won big, with the just-completed drug-dealing drama taking home its first Outstanding Ensemble award as well as an Outstanding Male Actor award for star Bryan Cranston.
The real story of the night, though, was how the SAG Awards effect the ongoing Oscar race, which now seems to be coming down to a two-film fight between "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle." David O. Russell's 1970s caper took home the top award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Motion Picture, often thought of as a reliable predictor for the Best Picture winner. In the Supporting Actress field, "12 Years a Slave" star Lupita Nyong'o bested Golden Globe winner Jennifer Lawrence, making it increasingly unclear who will reign victorious on Oscar night in that category. The rest of the acting categories seem to be a foregone conclusion at this point, with Matthew McConaughey ("Dallas Buyers Club"), Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine") and Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyers Club") racking up more accolades on their way to Oscar night.
Speaking of McConaughey, the "Dallas Buyers Club" star confounded the gathered thespians with a bizarre and meandering acceptance speech about the acting process. "There's a magic place that we as actors drive to get to and we don't always get there, but boy when we touch it it's magic," he said. "It feels like they could put a blindfold on you and put you on a spaceship and take you to Neptune and you could hop off on the planet — and they better have the sprocket control when you get off that spaceship — because you are going to behave as your man. That is a glorious feeling." And then it got weird: "There's a man I met 20 years ago. He escaped Russia," McConaughey continued. "He was not even a carpenter, built a 17-foot boat and sailed across the Atlantic. He told me this, he said, 'A genius can be anybody he wants, but a genius is always one person at a time.'" Well, OK then.
SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARD WINNERS:
Outstanding Ensemble in a Feature Film:
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Outstanding Male Actor in a Lead Role:
Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"
Outstanding Female Actor in a Lead Role:
Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"
Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role:
Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years a Slave"
Outstanding Male Actor in a Supporting Role:
Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"
Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series:
Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama Series:
Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey"
Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series:
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series:
Outstanding Female Actor in a Comedy Series:
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep"
Outstanding Male Actor in a Comedy Series:
Ty Burrell, "Modern Family"
Outstanding Female Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries:
Helen Mirren, "Phil Spector"
Outstanding Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries:
Michael Douglas, "Behind the Candelabra"