The 11th Annual Screen Actors Guild
Awards were handed out tonight at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles. As only SAG members vote for
these awards, and actors represent the largest voting block for the Academy Awards, the Actors are usually considered a
fairly reliable Oscar predictor - and observed under that rubric, tonight saw one or two surprises.
SAG does not hand out a prize for Outstanding Film; the closest it gets is Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast, and that award went to the four lead actors of Alexander Payne's Sideways (photo, right, via Reuters). Cate Blanchet took home the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, for her impersonation of Katherine Hepburn in the Howard Hughes biopic, The Aviator, and Morgan Freeman won the masculine version of that prize for his work in Million Dollar Baby. Hillary Swank was awarded an Actor for her lead role in the same film, which propells her far ahead of Annette Benning and Imelda Staunton in what was previously considered a tight race for the Best Actress Oscar. As expected, the juggernaut that is Jamie Foxx took home the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Lead Role, for morphing into Ray Charles in Taylor Hackford's Ray.
Interestingly, SAG has already posted transcriptions of each winner's acceptance speech on their official site. It is not recommended for the irony deficient.