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23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2017)

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Hollywood at its most political
31 January 2017 | by (Berlin, Germany) – See all my reviews

Here we have the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, the annual awards event in which the actors from film and television honor their best from the previous year. But honestly, these almost 105 minutes did not really feel like that. At some point, it seemed really more important to them what the next announcer or recipient would say on Donald Trump and not really who would win the next awards. And this is really a negative deal-breaker here, especially if it comes from people like Ashton Kutcher (why is he even still relevant?) introducing the show in the most cringeworthy way one could imagine. Yes it's true that diversity is crucial, also in the world of acting, but honestly, if you look at winners like Mahershala Ali, Viola Davis, Denzel Washington, Hidden Figures, OitNB, then it's easy to see for a blind man that diversity is not a problem at all in Hollywood, even if the likes of Will Smith want us to believe otherwise.

Now, I will talk a bit about the show, which is really the main (only) important thing here. First of all, the surprises: Uzo Aduba could not continue her win streak and they gave the awards (like a certain other awards body keeps doing for years) to Julia Louis-Dreyfus this time. But the ensemble of OitNB keeps going strong. Another major surprise is also the ensemble cast win for "Stranger Things" and this one also resulted in the most memorable (most bizarre also?) speech of the night. This win was especially surprising looking at how Foy and Lithgow swept the lead actor category earlier. Was Hidden Figures winning a surprise? Maybe not looking at how the characters are also a big ensemble really that go on a mission together and they like giving it to films like this one, even if it means probably that Moonlight just lost his last chance at contending the Best Picture Oscar win against "La La Land". Another major surprise was certainly also the win for Denzel Washington that makes the Best Actor race a bit more open again. Affleck would have been a 100% lock with a win here, but he stays the front runner I guess.

Emma Stone is easily the front runner again with her taking the crown here, but you still should not count out Natalie Portman (despite the loss at the Globes) or Huppert (because of the win at the Globes). Best Supporting Actress is a done deal for Viola Davis and Mahershala Ali with his win here is also once again in a more favorable spot after his surprising loss at the Golden Globes. Finally, it needs to be said that the SAG awards were once again really good indicators in terms of who got nominated here. Many people were not too safe for Oscar nominations, but with their SAG nominations, they also made it in at the Oscars, such as Hedges, Streep, Mortensen, Spencer or Garfield. Just a bit of shame Hugh Grant was snubbed despite his performance being Oscar-worthy. Oh yeah, another slight surprise may be Bryan Cranston winning over the OJ guys, but they just love him that much and honestly it's always nice to see him winning, even if his speech was so-so. And it's always nice to see John Lithgow winning as well. Same about Macy perhaps. Now one question remains: How will this bode with the Oscars. Can Washington get his third? Oh well, another question: Why was Courtney B. Vance standing all the time? I guess we will only find out about the former. as for this one here, solid awards show that really got dragged down though with the constant repetitive political statements. Lets keep in mind they are all actors and many of them are very talented when it comes to playing a role that does not have anything to with who they really are, even if the latter may be a Donald Trump voter. I was missing sincerity during this event on many occasions and Taraji P. Henson's final speech was just another letdown. Thumbs down from me overall.


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