Just days after the announcement of the Academy Award nominations, the Hollywood awards' season marched on last night with the 15th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. SAG, the union that represents TV and movie actors and actresses has been in the news a lot lately because of the potential for a strike. But except for a rambling thank you speech by Sean Penn and a couple of funny asides by Tina Fey about how she won't get residuals in the future when "30 Rock" plays on the internet, the evening was about celebrating great performances of the year. Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet and "Slumdog Millionaire" were big winners.
Like at the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards attendees are all seated at dinner tables. They've got food and drink, but no one seems to be eating or drinking much. If it were me, I wouldn't eat until after my category, to make sure I didn't get up there for a thank you speech with green
stuff in my teeth. So here without further ado is my live blog of last night's festivities:
8:02: The introduction is several people giving a little speech about when they first started acting and then they say, "I'm Megan Smith, and I'm an actor."
They're playing weird elevator music in the background as we hear from Eva Longoria Parker, Victor Garber---Jack Bristow himself, hey Jack!---Phylicia Rashad, Anil Kapoor from "Slumdog"...okay, that's enough.
8:05: First up is Best Actress in a TV comedy and the winner is...Tina Fey. Like we didn't know that was coming. I like Tina Fey and everything, but I can take a break from her now. By the way I know all the categories say Female Actor or Male Actor, but I still say actor and actress. It's too hard to keep it straight if I don't.
8:08: Freida Pinto and Dav Patel are presenting a clip from "Slumdog Millionaire." Don't they look cute? He's in a cool, brown suit and she's in a lovely purple chiffon number. Why is it that the intros for Best Picture clips are always longer than the clips?
8:10: Jon Hamm looks like he needs a shave and a haircut. Alec Baldwin goes up to collect Best Actor in a TV Comedy and it looks like his daughter is there with him. I guess she forgave him for all those crappy things he said to her on that tape machine.
8:13: Baldwin says how he wants to "make out with Tony Hopkins or Diane Lane."
8:18: Susan Sarandon's got some major cleavage showing. You go, girl. Evan Rachel Wood presents a film clip of "Unforgettable Trailblazers." Are these the dead people clips? So soon?
No I don't think so. All the minority actor clips are together. Dancers together. There are the Nicholas Brothers. Handicapped people together. All the gays guys together...except for Hillary Swank. Not a bad clip reel just don't know what it was for.
8:22: When "30 Rock" wins for Best TV Comedy Ensemble, Jane Krakowski makes a joke about how the cast of "30 Rock" is "heavier" than the one on "Ally McBeal." I think she and I are the only ones who get the joke.
8:27: Frank Langella and Michael Sheen get a big ovation when they intro the clip for "Frost/Nixon."
8:30: There's still lots of food on the tables. It almost looks fake. Maybe it is. This is Hollywood after all. Kate Winslet is stylish and classy in a blue gown when she goes up to accept for Best Supporting for "The Reader." She looks quite moved. You just know all those Oscar nominated Best Supporting Actresses are thrilled that Kate's in the Best Actress Oscar category. By the way, I want her diamond earrings.
8:38: Hey, Taye Diggs! What a yummy looking man. Yum-my. It's Best Actor in a TV Drama and the Michael C. Hall clip is the one where he kills Jimmy Smits. Excellent scene. Excellent show.
But Hugh Laurie wins for "House," so I'm happy. Love Hugh Laurie. He says, "I actually had $100 on James Spader. This is just not my night." He sounds like he's doing his American accent. He then thanks craft services for "the finest cheesy eggs this side of the Rio Grande."
8:42: Amy Poehler and John Krazinski...who? It's Best Actress in a TV Drama. They do a funny bit about "Why does everything have to be a joke?" They go into a melodramatic back an forth straight out of a soap opera.
Winner: Sally Field. They like her, they really, really like her. Poor woman's never going to live that down. "I thought it would be a cable girl," she says and then she won't shut up.
8:48: "Mad Men" wins Best TV Drama Ensemble and William Shatner looks pissed. Jon Hamm talks about their "dozens of viewers." Funny.
8:59: Alan Rosenberg, President of SAG looks like a dressed up cadaver and extends a warm welcome. Sorry Alan, but get a little sun. He then says he wants "all workers to have the free choice to join a union." Nothing about if they're going to strike.
9:00: Forest Whitaker is up to present the lifetime achievement award for James Earl Jones. Darth Vader himself. The voice of CNN. "The Great White Hope."
9:11: When he comes up, he gets a deserving standing ovation. The face on that award looks evil. JEJ gives a classy and brief speech that compliments all the actors and actresses in the room and includes a tribute to the late Paul Newman.
9:19: Ernest Borgnine is still alive? Sorry, but who knew? And he's funny. Best Actress in a TV Movie goes to Laura Linney, Mrs. John Adams herself. All I can think about is that icky sex scene between her and Paul Giamatti. She looks lovely in orange. Her fiance said not to fondle the actor award. I think I could go to lunch with her and have a great time.
9:26: Marisa Tomei looks sleepy. Best Actor in a TV Movie or Mini Series goes to Mr. John Adams himself, Paul Giamatti. He's not there.
9:28: Susan Sarandon and her boobs are presenting the film tribute to dead people. They're using the music from "Out of Africa" as the background music. Bad music choice, too romantic. Awww...Bernie Mac, Eartha Kitt, Nina Foch, Paul Newman...fade to black.
9:38: Next is Best Supporting Actor in a Movie, also known as the Heath Ledger Memorial Award. "Dark Knight" co-star Gary Oldman accepts and is quite emotional.
9:50: Best Actress in a Movie goes to the fabulous Meryl Streep for "Doubt." She's like, "What!?" Then she looks all giddy and runs up on stage. She plants a big one on Ralph Fiennes and the audience gives her a standing ovation, as they should.
"I didn't even buy a dress," she says. She's wearing a fancy top and black pants. "I'm really, really, really shocked. And even though awards mean nothing to me anymore, I'm really happy."
She's looks like a lot of fun. I'd like to go to lunch with her too. Me, her and Laura Linney.
She says she's so proud of "us girls" because of the great roles and performances this year. "Everybody wins when we get parts like this." Then she says about the gifted Viola Davis, "My God somebody give her a movie!"
You go, Meryl!
9:55: Best Actor in a Movie goes to Sean Penn for "Milk." He gets a standing ovation too. Michael Sheen's like, why wasn't I nominated?
"The two statues have really healthy packages." Penn's referring to the giant Actor Award statues on the stage. Funny. I noticed that too. He says, "I wept at every one of these guys performances."
Then he starts to ramble and I tune out.
10:01: Anthony Hopkins comes out to present Best Ensemble for Film. He's not looking well. There's more weird, sci fi-like music playing in the background as he reads the nominees.
And the winner is..."Slumdog Millionaire!" The "Slumdog" table goes crazy. Anil Kapoor speaks at the podium. "It was awe-inspiring enough to be nominated. It's unbelievable!"
Then he thanks all the child actors in the film. He's right, they were wonderful. Freida Pinto actually says all their names which I'm sure will thrill them. She then thanks everybody and we're out.
Next up, the Grammys on February 8th.
Mrs. Grapevine covers the red carpet.
Veronica at Veronica's Fashion & Makeup Blog also covers the red carpet.
Urban-Hoopla's got even more red carpet.
Megan Smith is the BlogHer Contributing Editor covering Television and Online Video and she's got a couple of movies she has to see before the Oscars. Her personal entertainment blog is Megan's Minute, Quirky Commentary Around The Clock.
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