Huffpost Entertainment

2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards Honor 'American Hustle'

Posted: Updated:
AMERICAN HUSTLE SCENE
This film image released by Sony Pictures shows, from left, Amy Adams, as Sydney Prosser, Bradley Cooper, as Richie Dimaso , Jeremy Renner, as Mayor Carmine Polito, Christian Bale as Irving Rosenfeld, and Jennifer Lawrence as Rosalyn Rosenfeld, in a scene from "American Hustle." From Bale?s burgundy velour blazer to Adams? plunging sequin halter dress, the film is a cinematic romp through the over-the-top styles of the late 1970s. Hair is so prominent in the picture, it?s practically another cha | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Hollywood loves a sequel, and this awards season is shaping up to be one.

Just as "Argo" emerged as the unlikely victor over "Lincoln" last year, another 1970s-set crowd-pleaser is turning into the Academy Awards favorite over a solemn historical epic about slavery.

David O. Russell's "American Hustle" took the Screen Actors Guild Awards' top honor for outstanding cast on Saturday night, beating out Steve McQueen's acclaimed "12 Years a Slave." Because actors make up the largest branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the SAG Awards (which last year picked "Argo") are considered one of the best indicators of the Oscars.

Just days ago, the Academy Awards nominations set up a trio of front-runners, bestowing 10 nods on "American Hustle" and "Gravity," and nine on "12 Years a Slave." But though no actor was individually honored by the guild for "American Hustle," the Abscam tale now appears to have an edge over its Oscar rivals.

Speaking for a cast that includes Amy Adams, Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper credited Russell as the epitome of the actor's director.

"He makes you feel like you're part of the family, whether you're Robert DeNiro or you're Patty Mack," Cooper said at the Shrine Auditorium ceremony in Los Angeles. "You are part of the family."

In addition to last year's "Argo," SAG cast awards have lined up with such past Oscar best-picture winners as "The King's Speech," ''Slumdog Millionaire" and "No Country for Old Men." But the guild has also diverged with picks like "The Help," ''Inglourious Basterds" and "Little Miss Sunshine."

Saturday's awards were a somewhat low-key affair with a few memorable speeches but no earthquakes in a rapidly solidifying award season. The night's acting winners — Matthew McConaughey ("Dallas Buyers Club"), Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine"), Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years a Slave") and Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyers Club") — are each probably the favorites of their categories.

"It really shines a great light on this bull ride we call acting," said McConaughey, honored for lead actor in the Texas HIV drama. "I've been able to recently find some characters that I can humble myself to their humanities and get feverishly drunk on their obsessions."

One of the night's biggest winners was Nyong'o, who won supporting actress over Lawrence. Though "12 Years a Slave" is only her feature film debut, the Kenyan actress has been hailed for her red-carpet style and grace this awards season. Her speech was both composed and emotional — the kind of display that can turn Oscar voters' heads.

She thanked McQueen "for taking a flashlight and shining it underneath the floorboards of this nation and reminding us what it is we stand on." And she recalled the celebratory phone call to her father when she got the part.

"'Daddy, do you know who Brad Pitt is? I'm going to be in a movie with him!'" recalled Nyong'o. "And he said, 'I don't know him personally, but I'm glad you got a job.'"

The "Breaking Bad" victory lap continued as the show took honors for outstanding dramatic cast and for lead actor Bryan Cranston. For his indelible performance as teacher-turned-meth dealer, Cranston added his second lead actor SAG Award, to go with his recent Golden Globe win and his numerous Emmys.

"We have the nicest bunch of white supremacist Nazis I have ever worked with," said Cranston, looking over his former cast mates. "I swear to you I would kill you all over again."

Two big-screen veterans won awards for TV films: Michael Douglas for HBO's Liberace drama "Behind the Candelabra," and Helen Mirren for the biopic "Phil Spector," also on HBO.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been a mainstay at award shows recently, both for her acclaimed HBO series "Veep" (for which she won an Emmy) and the romantic comedy "Enough Said" (for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe). She won a SAG trophy for female actor in a comedy series for "Veep," and slyly mocked the award season crush by first thanking the Hollywood Foreign Press and then the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

"It's hard you know because it's awards season and things get confusing, much like elections," said Louis-Dreyfus.

The ABC sitcom "Modern Family" enjoyed another round of awards, winning for ensemble in a comedy series and taking the male actor in a comedy series honor for Ty Burrell.

Emma Thompson, a surprise snub in Thursday's Oscar nominations for the "Mary Poppins" making-of tale "Saving Mr. Banks," was just as much the witty, winning award-show attendee she's been all season. As a presenter, the lead actress nominee noted the show's cheesy elevator music soundtrack: "Is this music available on CD?"

SAG's lifetime achievement award was given to Rita Moreno, the 81-year-old "West Side Story" actress whose career has spanned Broadway, television and music. Introduced by Morgan Freeman, the much-honored Latina legend danced to the podium before a standing ovation and let out a gleeful expletive.

"I hope the man with the button was there," she said. (He was.)

Moreno serenaded the SAG audience with a few bars from "This Is All I Ask":

"And let the music play/ As long as there's a song to sing/ And I will stay younger than spring."

___

Associated Press writers Beth Harris and Anthony McCartney in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

___

Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jake_coyle

Also on The Huffington Post

Close
SAG Awards 2014
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

2014 Oscar Predictions | Filmmakers, Film Industry, Film Festivals ...

'Hustle,' '12 Years' are among top Oscar nominees - CNN.com

Will Jennifer Lawrence Win Another Oscar? Experts Weigh In On ...

Jennifer Lawrence's Oscar Buzz for 'American Hustle' Will Hurt Her ...

Oscar predictions 2014 – American Hustle | Film | theguardian.com

American Hustle Archives - The Awards Circuit - By Clayton Davis

Insta-Oscar Predictions: Watch Out for 'American Hustle' | Movie Talk ...

Amy adams shops with her fiancé amid oscar buzz for american hustle

Oscar Frontrunners' Critical Weekend: What 'American Hustle,' '12 ...