3 Hints the Oscars Can Take From the SAG Awards Ceremony


The SAGs, along with the Golden Globes, are often (rightfully) regarded as precursors to Oscar night. You can bank on Academy Awards wins for Mo'Nique and Christoph Waltz because honoring anyone else, at this point, would seem pointed and rude. But in wake of this weekend's top-notch SAG telecast, I propose the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences use the actor-heavy festivity as a template in another way -- as a beacon of swiftness, silliness, and proper utilization of Sandra Bullock. If Oscar's willing to descend from his gilded high-horse, he can glean at least three insights from Saturday night's proceedings. (Full list of SAG winners follows, also.)

The Thalberg should be presented by somebody funny. Please.

Breaking: I invented the best part of the SAG Awards. Check paragraph two, that bit about giving a lifetime achievement award to Betty White. Sandra Bullock's toast to the eternal Sue Ann Nivens was the night's highlight, as it was hilarious, sincere, and brief. Whoever picks up Oscar's totemic Thalberg should be as quippy (and succinct) as White, who noted of her presenter, "Isn't it heartening to see how far a girl as plain as she is can go?" Who initiated the self-serious lifetime achievement award? Let's end his vainglorious reign this year.

Don't teach us a "history of funny," particularly with a clip reel.

Though the radiant Jane Lynch set up the segment, the SAGs' tangent into a toast of film comedy felt misguided at best. The montage went on for minutes, films like The Mask earned a mention, and films like Airplane earned nothing. The point of the whole ditty was lost on me too-- we've already seen these movies, and we understand they're (for the most part) funny. This time is better served by Jon Hamm and his beard jokes.

Abbreviate the musical numbers.

Did anyone notice that the SAGs didn't feature any musical performances? I didn't at first, and that's because I didn't miss it. Though a balladeer's rendition of soundtrack numbers can sometimes move a home audience (usually to the fridge), it's still best to stage the Oscar-nominated songs as a medley, like during the 1999 Oscar telecast. Remember that "Blame Canada" performance you loved? It was part of a fast-moving medley with Aimee Mann's "Save Me," the weepy Toy Story torch song "When Somebody Loved Me," and Phil Collins's Oscar-winner "You'll Be in My Heart" from Tarzan. Lesson learned: Musical performances can be memorable even when truncated.

The full list of winners:


Cast: Inglourious Basterds

Actor in a leading role: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart

Actress in a leading role: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side

Supporting actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds

Supporting actress: Mo'Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire

Stunt ensemble: Star Trek

Life Achievement: Betty White


Drama series cast: Mad Men

Actor in a drama series: Michael C. Hall, Dexter

Actress in a drama series: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Comedy series cast: Glee

Actor in a comedy series: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

Actress in a comedy series: Tina Fey, 30 Rock

Actor in a movie or miniseries: Kevin Bacon, Taking Chance

Actress in a movie or miniseries: Drew Barrymore, Grey Gardens

Stunt ensemble: 24


  • NP says:

    Betty White's speech was awesome. I loved the jab at Bullock as noted above, and I loved how she said she had "had" some of the people in the room. "You know who you are."

  • HwoodHills says:

    They could always bring back the Rob Lowe/Snow White singing duet and maybe have Corey Feldman do the Moon-walk. C'mon, people! It's nostalgic!

  • Martini Shark says:

    They could dispense with that trite tradition of saying to the cameras, "I'm Alred Molina, and I'm an actor." Always seems to me they are in a 12-step program.

  • Kanye says:

    Sandra won? WTF?!
    How about “All About Steve” anyone? That’s also Sandra’s movie in 2009 and it’s flopped! because it’s worst movie and acting all together.
    Here, check it out: http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2010/01/20/razzie-awards-nominations-ballots-arrive-to-the-dismay-of-filmmakers-and-fanpeople-everywhere/
    Sandra is on target for Razzie nomination as WORST ACTRESS for All About Steve. Wait for the announcement on Feb 1, one day before Oscar nominations.
    Oscar? Dream on, Sandy!

  • Howard says:

    I'll bow to your superior memory, but I ask that you recheck two of your comments. One, the montage on comedy at the SAGs I remember including a clip from Airplane (the "...and don't call me Shirley" line). Two, I remember the Blame Canada song and dance number not to be part of a medley. My recollection is that it was the only song not part of a medley that year.

  • Trance Music says:

    AVB's absolutely ahead of his class, I was cheering at the netherlands world cup game with him and his VP of marketing a few days ago. He is an amazing music producer, and DJ.