The 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG) Upends the Oscar Race with Selection of Diverse and Exciting Winners

It happens every year; Just when John Q. Public thinks he or she might just have a handle on the sure-fire winners at the awards ceremony to end all awards ceremonies – The Academy Awards – jaw-dropping, out of left-field upsets happen at the various and prestigious awards shows leading up to the Dolby Theatre shindig. These unexpected wins by dark horse candidates prove that there is no such thing as a “sure bet”, especially when it comes to the magical world of cinema, and that, in fact, the annual season of awards designed to honor the very best that film has to offer (although I’m still scratching my head about that Tourist nomination a few years back, Hollywood Foreign Press) is often times tenuous property built on extreme fault lines. Bad for property values, yes, but great for those of us who still love to be surprised by those one in a million cinematic underdogs.

Such was the case at the annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (or SAG if you have a penchant for abbreviation) this past Sunday when the Korean thriller Parasite shimmied away with the mucho coveted Best Motion Picture Cast. This is something of history in the making as it now enters the record books as being the very first foreign-language film to win this particular honor in the twenty six year old history of SAG. Trust me Dear and Constant Reader, this angle will be trending like the fondly remembered “David After Dentist” video of some years back. Prepare to become inundated.

Following is the complete list of SAG nominees and winners. I do the heavy lifting so that you don’t have to!

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture:

“Bombshell” (Lionsgate)

“The Irishman” (Netflix)

“Jojo Rabbit” (Fox)

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Sony)

“Parasite” (Neon) (WINNER)

Parasite is the real surprise here, as pointed out in the header to this article. Going into this Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and The Irishman were odds-on favorites. What’s this mean for the Oscars? Things just got a lot more interesting. Stay tuned.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role:

Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”)

Scarlett Johansson (“Marriage Story”)

Lupita Nyong’o (“Us”)

Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”)

Renée Zellweger (“Judy”) (WINNER)

No surprise here at all and the big upset come Oscar night would be if Ms. Zellweger didn’t win the coveted golden statue. This win shores up the talented actor’s shot of winning the Oscar. Her channeling of the late Judy Garland is the stuff Hollywood dreams are made of.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role:

Christian Bale (“Ford v Ferrari”)

Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)

Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”)

Taron Egerton (“Rocketman”)

Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”) (WINNER)

What more can I say about the insanely talented Joaquin Phoenix that hasn’t already been said of him by way more talented wordsmiths? Alright, I loved, loved, loved his acceptance speech last night. His tip of the hat to fellow actor Leonardo DiCaprio was funny and it rang true; Extra kudos to Phoenix for honoring the much missed Heath Ledger who, prior to Joker, was seen as the definitive clown prince of crime.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries:

Mahershala Ali (“True Detective”)

Russell Crowe (“The Loudest Voice”)

Jared Harris (“Chernobyl”)

Jharrel Jerome (“When They See Us”)

Sam Rockwell (“Fosse/Verdon”) (WINNER)

The redoubtable Sam Rockwell had this one on the bag and it’s nice to see this man’s talents acknowledged.

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series:

“Big Little Lies” (HBO)

“The Crown” (Netflix) (WINNER)

“Game of Thrones” (HBO)

“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)

“Stranger Things” (Netflix)

What, no love for Stranger Things? Rather than take to social media by way of my Twitter handle and protest this loss with utmost faux rage, I’ll just say…Congratulations, Crown ensemble. You done good!

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series:

Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”)

Steve Carell (“The Morning Show”)

Billy Crudup (“The Morning Show”)

Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”) (WINNER)

David Harbour (“Stranger Things”)

Peter Dinklage had stiff competition in this category and it’s good to see the man who was Tito (Living in Oblivion) take home even more accolades.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series:

Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Show”) (WINNER)

Helena Bonham Carter (“The Crown”)

Olivia Colman (“The Crown”)

Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”)

Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)

America’s Sweetheart in what is arguably her best performance since the brilliant film, The Good Girl. While I think Elisabeth Moss is doing brilliant wok right now and I would have loved to see her waltz away with a statue, this is Aniston’s year and deservedly so.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries:

Patricia Arquette (“The Act”)

Toni Collette (“Unbelievable”)

Joey King (“The Act”)

Emily Watson (“Chernobyl”)

Michelle Williams (“Fosse/Verdon”) (WINNER)

Ah Jen, so this is what you’ve been up to since Dawson’s Creek. Just joking y’all: Ms. Williams is one of the best actors of her generation and it’s good to see her regularly turning in such high-caliber work. This is an actress that is always so consummate in her performances that I feel we tend to overlook her around awards season. Plus, a pseudo Station Agent reunion occurred with Williams and her fellow co-star from that wonderful film, Peter Dinklage both up for and receiving awards for their tour de force performances. Get on that horn you two and let’s fast track that Station Agent sequel!

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role:

Jamie Foxx (“Just Mercy”)

Tom Hanks (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”)

Al Pacino (“The Irishman”)

Joe Pesci (“The Irishman”)

Brad Pitt (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) (WINNER)

Y’know, I think Pitt might actually have a shot at winning his first Oscar this year. The awards have been kind to him and there’s a general all-around good vibe for this actor among his contemporaries.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role:

Laura Dern (“Marriage Story”) (WINNER)

Scarlett Johansson (“Jojo Rabbit”)

Nicole Kidman (“Bombshell”)

Jennifer Lopez (“Hustlers”)

Margot Robbie (“Bombshell”)

Dern is always superlative and her work in Marriage Story highlights why she’s one of the best working actors in the business today.

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series:

“Barry” (HBO)

“Fleabag” (Amazon)

“The Kominsky Method” (Netflix)

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon) (WINNER)

Thank you for not giving yet another award to Fleabag, SAG people. Seriously, it was nice to have a reminder that there are other fine shows out there and Mrs. Maisel never disappoints. And speaking of Fleabag

“Schitt’s Creek” (CBC Television/Pop TV)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series:

Christina Applegate (“Dead to Me”)

Alex Borstein (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)

Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)

Catherine O’Hara (“Schitt’s Creek”)

Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”) (WINNER)

This one comes as no surprise. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is now probably the best known Bridge since Todd Bridges came sauntering off the set of Different Strokes.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series:

Alan Arkin (“The Kominsky Method”)

Michael Douglas (“The Kominsky Method”)

Bill Hader (“Barry”)

Andrew Scott (“Fleabag”)

Tony Shalhoub (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) (WINNER)

While I would have looked hard at either Alan Arkin or Michael Douglas – both of who have knocked it out of the park in two seasons of The Kominsky Method – I cannot fault industry vet Tony Shalhoub for this win. Tony, my mom loved you in Monk and she wants to know when that reunion movie is happening!

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture:

“Avengers: Endgame” (WINNER)

“Ford v Ferrari”

“The Irishman”


“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series:

“Game of Thrones” (WINNER)


“Stranger Things”

“The Walking Dead”


Whew – Thanks for reading this far from thorough list, fellow Vents fans. Ye olde scribbler of words is with you all the way through the Oscars to bring you only the latest and the greatest in award season information!

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