The Screen Actors Guild Awards were a tough night for the Australians who left the ceremony empty handed yesterday.
Australian trio Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman did not receive any gongs at the awards. The results would have been hard to swallow for Jackman and Watts, who likely came to the realisation they won’t be Oscar winners at the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony.
The SAG Awards, held at the Shrine Auditorium, were the last chance for Jackman and Watts to cause an upset, gain some momentum and challenge Oscar frontrunners Daniel Day-Lewis and Jennifer Lawrence at the February 24 Academy Awards.
It was not to be.
“Oh my God. This is incredible,” Jennifer Lawrence, who despite suffering pneumonia slipped into a Christian Dior gown and a king’s ransom of Chopard jewels, to win the SAG lead actress award ahead of Watts.
Lawrence, who plays a sex addict and police widow in Silver Linings Playbook, won a Golden Globe a fortnight ago and will go into the Oscar ceremony the outright favourite.
Watts, who has failed to win a major lead-up award for her performance in The Impossible as a mother fighting to survive and find family members after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, will be a long shot.
Day-Lewis, who gives a grand performance as civil rights leader and US president Abraham Lincoln in the Steven Spielberg-directed Lincoln, will be at unbackable odds for the best actor Oscar after relegating Jackman (Les Miserables) and Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook) to spectators at the SAG ceremony.
“It occurred to me it was an actor who murdered Abraham Lincoln and therefore somehow it was only fitting every now and then an actor tries to bring him back to life again,” Day-Lewis, a two-time Oscar winner (My Left Foot in 1989 and There Will Be Blood in 2008) told the audience inside the Shrine.
Just like the Golden Globes, Kidman walked into the SAG ceremony with two chances of winning but walked out with nothing.
She was nominated for supporting actress for The Paperboy and for her performance in the TV movie Hemingway & Gellhorn.
Anne Hathaway, for Les Miserables, won the supporting SAG and will also be at unbackable odds to win the Oscar.
Although Kidman was not nominated for the Academy Awards, another Aussie, Jacki Weaver, was nominated for Silver Linings Playbook but has next to no chance of unseating Hathaway at the Oscars.
Julianne Moore, for her portrayal of US vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in Game Change, beat Kidman for the SAG in the TV movie or miniseries actress category.
While Jackman and Watts were hoping for a SAG boost to their Oscar campaigns, the big winner at the Shrine was Ben Affleck and his film Argo, which continued its late run at the best picture Oscar.
For months Lincoln was the favourite, but Argo defeated Lincoln at the Golden Globes and again on Saturday night at the key Producers Guild of America Awards.
At the SAGs, Argo was again victorious, beating Lincoln to the top prize - outstanding cast in a motion picture - and giving the film, about the joint CIA-Canadian secret operation to extract six Americans out of Iran, favouritism for the best picture Oscar.
The 100,000-plus actors who decide the SAG Awards showered the soon-to-be-retired TV comedy 30 Rock with awards for its two stars, with Tina Fey claiming best actress in a comedy series and Alec Baldwin actor in a comedy series.
Modern Family won the comedy series ensemble SAG award while Downton Abbey was a surprise winner for drama series ensemble.
Bryan Cranston, for Breaking Bad, claimed SAG’s actor in a drama series award while Claire Danes, for Homeland, took the actress gong.
The winners at the annual Screen Actors Guild Awards:
Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Supporting actor: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Supporting actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Stunt ensemble: Skyfall
Actor in a movie or miniseries: Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys
Actress in a movie or miniseries: Julianne Moore, Game Change
Actor in a drama series: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Actress in a drama series: Claire Danes, Homeland
Actor in a comedy series: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Actress in a comedy series: Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Drama series cast: Downton Abbey
Comedy series cast: Modern Family
Stunt ensemble: Game of Thrones
Life Achievement: Dick Van Dyke