The Golden Globe Awards, which air on NBC, get more attention than they deserve. The Screen Actors Guild Awards, which aired Sunday night on TBS and TNT, deserve more attention than they get. Many of the SAG members also vote for the acting categories of the Oscars. The Golden Globe winners are chosen by a relatively small group of entertainment reporters from foreign countries.
Like the Globes, the SAGs honor both TV and movies. For me the awards got off to a bad start by dissing two of my favorite shows, “Dexter” and “Breaking Bad.” I tried watching a few episodes of “Boardwalk Empire,” which won for lead actor and ensemble, but ended up canceling the scheduled recordings on my DVR. The comedy winners were better choices: Alec Baldwin, Betty White and “Modern Family.”
When the Oscar nominations were announced, I was pleased that I had already seen five of the ten Best Picture nominees. There’s a good chance that several awards will go to the films I’ve seen so far: “The King’s Speech,” “The Social Network,” “Black Swan,” “Inception” and “Toy Story 3.”
It would have been awesome if Robert Duvall had won for “Get Low,” a movie I liked a lot. However, I can’t fault the Guild for rewarding Colin Firth’s portrayal of King George VI. “The King’s Speech” is loaded with a great cast. I especially liked how easy it was to tell which historical figures were represented. I knew instantly that Guy Pearce was playing the king who would abdicate the throne. I could even tell which of George VI’s young daughters was supposed to be the future Queen Elizabeth. The same applies to the seeing Timothy “Wormtail” Spall as Winston Churchill.
Natalie Portman’s SAG win makes her an Oscar front runner too. “Black Swan” was an intense study of a mentally ill woman suffering from delusions as she trains to be the Swan Queen in “Swan Lake.” Like the ballerina, the audience doesn’t realize when a hallucination has begun. I wondered if all the characters were real or if we might find out at the end that Mila Kunis or Barbara Hershey were portraying figments of Portman’s imagination. I decided they were real but I could argue the other point too.