With the Oscars just under a month away, two prestige award guilds have made their impact in the race by awarding the true-life thriller Argo with the top prizes over this weekend.
The Ben Affleck-directed film, which is based on the heroic rescue of several US Embassy workers trapped in Iran in the late 1970s, firstly secured the crucial Motion Picture award at the PGA (Producers Guild Awards) beating off nine other nominees including Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty.
Then last night, it managed to win the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) award for Best Ensemble which is seen as an important precursor for the Oscars. Its competition again featured The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Les Mis, Lincoln and Silver Linings.
Affleck, who was wrongfully snubbed by the Oscars in Best Director, had this to say about his cast’s win.
“The people you see on stage, you have more than 150 actors… the one thing they had in common was that… they wanted to kill it to make the movie better. Because that’s what actors do all over the world every day… we are in your debt.”
Jennifer Lawrence gained significant momentum in her Oscar category as she clinched the Best Actress gong for her role as Tiffany in Silver Linings. Despite being diagnosed with pneumonia, the 22-year old was able to pick up her award and give a genuine speech:
“I remember getting my SAG card in the mail and it being the best day of my entire life, because it officially made me a professional actor, which put me in the category with all of you. And now I have this naked statue, that means that some of you even voted for me, and that is an indescribable feeling. Thank you.”
In the Supporting categories, an absent Tommy Lee Jones picked up the Best Supporting Actor award for Lincoln which came at the expense of Javier Bardem (Skyfall), Robert De Niro (Silver Linings) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master).
Supporting Actress was presented to Anne Hathaway for her stunning role as Fantine in the musical epic Les Mis as she triumphed over the likes of Sally Field (Lincoln), Helen Hunt (The Sessions) and Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy).
The TV categories also cast their vote for the winners of 2012 with the main winners being Modern Family and more surprisingly the British drama series Downton Abbey.
The latter overcame fierce competition from the likes of Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad and Homeland to win the Drama Ensemble award. However Homeland did secure a Best Actress win for its leading star Claire Danes.
Bryan Cranston enjoyed a fine night not only with his Ensemble win for Argo but also deservedly won Best Drama Actor for his role as Walter White in Breaking Bad.
Modern Family scooped the Comedy Ensemble award to make amends for its shock defeat to Girls at last month’s Golden Globes while 30 Rock clinched the Best Comedy Actor AND Actress prizes for its two chief stars Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey.
Hollywood names Kevin Costner and Julianne Moore secured the Best Actor and Actress in a TV Movie or Mini-Series awards for their respective roles in Hatfields & McCoys and Game Change.
The night was eventually rounded off with the Lifetime Achievement award which was given to veteran comedian actor Dick Van Dyke for his work in film and television over the last 60 years which included The Dick Van Dyke Show, Mary Poppins and Diagnosis Murder.
The full list of last night’s winners are below:
BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables
BEST STUNT ENSEMBLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY ENSEMBLE IN DRAMA SERIES
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY ENSEMBLE IN COMEDY SERIES
OUSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY ACTOR IN DRAMA SERIES
Bryan Cranston – Breaking Bad
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY ACTRESS IN DRAMA SERIES
Claire Danes – Homeland
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY ACTOR IN COMEDY SERIES
Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY ACTRESS IN COMEDY SERIES
Tina Fey – 30 Rock
OUTANDING PERFORMANCE BY ACTOR IN TELEVISION MOVIE OR MINISERIES
Kevin Costner – Hatfields & McCoys
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY ACTRESS in TELEVISION MOVIE OR MINI-SERIES
Julianne Moore – Game Change
OUTSTANDING STUNT ENSEMBLE IN A TELEVISION SERIES
Game of Thrones