“The King’s Speech” walked away from the 2011 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards ceremony Sunday evening in Los Angles the winner of the Cast Ensemble award, the SAG Awards’ equivalent of a “Best Picture” accolade. The British import also took away the Best Actor award for Colin Firth, who now looks to be a shoe-in for the 2011 Oscar for same. He has now won every major award handed out for a male in a leading role.
Although “The King’s Speech” was the night’s big winner in film, Boardwalk Empire was the decided victor on the television side of things, winning Cast Ensemble and Best Actor (Steve Buscemi) as well. But the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards wasn’t given over entirely to period pieces…
Like Firth, Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”) continued her string of victories on the road to an Academy Award for Best Actress. In fact, the Best Supporting Actor awards also remained true to form as Christian Bale and Melissa Leo took the awards for their genders for their roles in “The Fighter.”
In television, Al Pacino led the list of notables as winner of Best Actor for TV Movie or Miniseries for his role as the controversial assisted suicide doctor Jack Kevorkian in “You Don’t Know Jack.” Claire Danes won the Female trophy in the same category for her outstanding performance in the mini-series “Temple Garden.”
The SAG Awards are much like the Golden Globe Awards in that they award both comedy and drama, Boardwalk Empire‘s balancer for the Cast Ensemble award for comedy went to the very talent-heavy Modern Family.
Julianna Margulies took home the 2011 trophy for Best Actress in a Drama (“The Good Wife”) for the second year in a row.
The night wasn’t without its surprises either, and both came in the Best Actor for a Comedy category. Betty White, who just recently celebrated her 89th birthday, was the surprising winner for Hot In Cleveland, proving that her 2010 SAG Award for Lifetime Achievement had been handed out a bit prematurely. Just as surprising was Alec Baldwin’s victory for 30 Rock. Not that he did not deserve the award, but it was his fifth consecutive win, an unprecedented achievement.
The biggest winner of all for the night might have been Mark Wahlberg, although he was looked over for a Best Actor nod for “The Fighter” at the 2011 SAG Awards and his name didn’t appear on any nomination list. Still, the 39-year-old actor had to feel pretty proud at the end of the evening that the movie he produced, “The Fighter,” continued its string of award victories. At the same time, Wahlberg is also the executive producer of “Boardwalk Empire.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to the inestimable Ernest Borgnine, who won an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1955 for “Marty.” The award honored Borgnine’s six decades of work on television and on the big screen. Although he is remembered for his roles in “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Poseidon Adventure,” Borgnine also is fondly remembered for his work on television series like Airwolf and the television adaptation of the hit movie “McHale’s Navy” (in which the actor also starred).
The SAG Awards celebrate peer approval for work done over the previous year — actors telling other actors through the awarding of an accolade that their work shone above the rest in the industry. The night’s winners in film will go home a little more confident that they could also take home the most coveted acting prize, the Academy Award. From the looks of things, “The King’s Speech” and “The Fighter” just might have a lock, as might Natalie Portman. Although there are no guarantees, the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Awards seemed only to solidify the hold these actors have on their respective awards categories this year. As for “The King’s Speech” and its Best Picture Oscar nod, winning Cast Ensemble set it right up as a direct contender against “The Social Network,” winner of the Golden Globe Award for Best Picture. Given that “The King’s Speech” was nominated for a staggering 12 2011 Academy Awards, it might be safe to say that the British import might have a slight edge.
2011 Screen Actors Guild Awards Winners List
Male Actor, Leading
Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”
Female Actor, Leading
Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”
Male Actor, Supporting
Christian Bale, “The Fighter”
Female Actor, Supporting
* Melissa Leo, “The Fighter”
Cast in a Motion Picture
“The King’s Speech”
Male Actor, TV Movie or Miniseries
Al Pacino, “You Don’t Know Jack“
Female Actor, TV Movie or Miniseries
Claire Danes, “Temple Grandin”
Male Actor, Drama Series
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Female Actor, Drama Series
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Male Actor, Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Female Actor, Comedy Series
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
Ensemble, Drama Series
Ensemble, Comedy Series
LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Full list of nominations for the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Awards.
“The 17th Annual Screen Guild Awards,” SAGAwards.org