While there were no huge surprises in the movie categories at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards this past Sunday night, one thing became clear as the evening came to a close: Eddie Redmayne is now the clear frontrunner for a Best Actor Oscar.
Redmayne and Michael Keaton each took home Best Actor trophies at the recent Golden Globes. Redmayne won in the Drama category for ‘The Theory of Everything‘, while Keaton took the top Comedy prize for ‘Birdman‘. (I could probably write a whole blog post about how ‘Birdman’ really doesn’t fit into that genre.) Both actors are quite good in their respective roles, and both have received Best Actor Academy Award nominations, but Keaton has been considered the frontrunner up until now, mostly because of his body of work over the years.
Michael Keaton didn’t go home empty handed, however. ‘Birdman’ won the top prize of the night, the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Since ‘Boyhood‘ was (and still is) considered the frontrunner for a Best Picture Oscar, many pundits have suggested that ‘Birdman’ now has a shot for that award as well. Not really. Keep in mind that the SAG award is geared solely towards the performances of the actors. With three Oscar nominees in the cast (compared to just two in ‘Boyhood’), it’s not really hard to figure out why ‘Birdman’ took this award.
It’s also important to remember that only members of the Screen Actors Guild vote for the SAGs, while the major categories at the Academy Awards are voted by actors, producers, directors and other members of the movie industry. For that reason, ‘Boyhood’ remains the frontrunner for Best Picture and, even though I think Redmayne now has better odds, why Keaton still has a shot at a Best Actor trophy.
The rest of the evening pretty much went as expected. Julianne Moore has all but assured her first-ever Best Actress Oscar by picking up a SAG for ‘Still Alice’. J.K. Simmons (‘Whiplash‘) and Patricia Arquette (‘Boyhood’) solidified their chances for Oscar gold by taking home SAGs in the supporting actor categories.
A complete list of the winners, including those for television, can be found on the Screen Actors Guild Awards web site.
What is your opinion on the Redmayne/Keaton showdown? Who do you think will win the Oscar for Best Actor?