SAGs offer one surprise for Oscar contenders, DGAs don't

by Eric Melin on January 28, 2008

in Blogs

“No Country for Old Men” won the Best Ensemble Cast Award at last night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, which many would say extends its lead over the other Oscar contenders for best Picture. But, strangely,  ”No Country” was the only film nominated for Best Ensemble Cast that is even nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. “There Will Be Blood,” “Juno,” Atonement,” and “Michael Clayton” weren’t even up for the award, so of course “No Country” would win. I don’t see how the movie’s win last night puts it any closer to being Best Picture (although I still believe is is the slight frontrunner still, DGAs be damned).

The big surprise of the night was Ruby Dee’s win over Tilda Swinton (“Michael Clayton”), Cate Blanchett (“I’m Not There”), and Amy Ryan (“Gone Baby Gone”) in the Supporting Actress category. This is clearly the “career award.” She’s a great actress and her recognition is long overdue. But for appearing onscreen for just over five minutes in “American Gangster”? Pretty sketchy, if you ask me. Especially since that field is so strong this year.

Daniel Day-Lewis continues his march towards the inevitable Best Actor Oscar, as does Julie Christie (unless Marion Cotilliard pulls an upset), and Javier Bardem (unless Hal Holbrook pulls an upset).

Anyway, here’s the winners from last night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards (which may very possibly be the last big awards show of the season if the Oscars don’t happen due to the writer’s strike):

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS
/ Daniel Plainview – There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
JULIE CHRISTIE / Fiona – Away From Her (Lionsgate)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
JAVIER BARDEM / Anton Chigurh – No Country For Old Men (Miramax Films)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
RUBY DEE / Mama Lucas – American Gangster (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (Miramax Films)

JAVIER BARDEM / Anton Chigurh
JOSH BROLIN / Llewelyn Moss
GARRET DILLAHUNT / Wendell
TESS HARPER / Loretta Bell
WOODY HARRELSON / Carson Wells
TOMMY LEE JONES / Ed Tom Bell
KELLY MACDONALD / Carla Jean Moss

But– the Coen brothers DID win a big Oscar predictor this weekend; the Director’s Guild Awards. From E! News:

As Academy Award buffs can and will tell you, since the DGA handed out its first awards in 1949, only six DGA winners have failed go on to capture the Best Director Oscar. And as the same buffs can attest, with the Best Director Oscar usually goes the Best Picture Oscar.The nonwinners should take heart: Twice this decade, the DGA’s pick hasn’t become the Academy’s pick. And three times, the Best Picture and Best Director prizes have been split among two movies.Chicago’s Rob Marshall was the last DGA winner to lose on Oscar night; Crash (Best Picture) and Brokeback Mountain (Best Director) were the last movies to go halvsies.

So it doesn’t happen very often, but recently, it’s happened a lot. I think the Coens have a lot of respect in this industry and are known as mavericks. They will win Best Director, but the Best Picture Oscar, in my mind, is still up for grabs. It used to be that these categories were not split at the Academy Awards with Picture and Director not matching, but lately (like the DGA/Oscar split), it’s happened a lot– Ang Lee/”Crash”, Steven Soderbergh/”Gladiator,” Roman Polanski/”Chicago”, Steven Spielberg/”Shakespeare in Love.”

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers.com and writes the Screen Stealers column for The Pitch. He’s President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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