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