The annual awards, handed out by America’s biggest acting union, the now-merged SAG-AFTRA, have seen Steve McQueen’s slave drama 12 Years a Slave join the race for the most prestigious acting awards of the year, the Oscar.

At the SAG Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto repeated their lead and supporting actor success from last week’s Golden Globes, for their roles in the HIV drama Dallas Buyers Club. With no comedy category, the other acting Golden Globe-winner Leonardo DiCaprio failed even to get a nomination from his fellow actors.

Lupita Nyong’o is SAG’s best supporting actress in 12 Years a Slave

The Globes best dramatic actress Cate Blanchett was also honoured by SAG for her self-destructive turn in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. As with the men, the Golden Globes winner in the comedy category, American Hustle’s Amy Adams, didn’t even make SAG’s short-list. The biggest surprise from the actors guild was giving their Best Supporting Actress award to 12 Years a Slave‘s Lupita Nyong’o, the first major acting award for the film whose stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender have been in the running at previous ceremonies.

But although American Hustle missed out in the solo acting categories, SAG gave David O Russell’s crime-comedy its equivalent of the best picture award, the Outstanding Performance by a Cast.

With actors making up the biggest tranche of the Academy membership, and the SAG Awards matching the Oscars format better than the Globes – which divides films into dramas and comedy/musicals – SAG is seen as a more accurate predictor of Oscar success.

Like the Globes, SAG also honours TV at it’s annual awards ceremony, and like the Globes, their top TV drama award went to Breaking Bad. But the Globes top comedy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, didn’t even make the shortlist for SAG, who gave the prize to Modern Family.

Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston was the best actor in a TV Drama and Maggie Smith was the best actress in a TV Drama for Downton Abbey. Modern Family’s Ty Burrell was the best actor in a TV Comedy and Julia Louis-Dreyfus was the best comedy actress for Veep; in both categories, the Globes winners weren’t nominated.

Michael Douglas repeated his Globes success as the best actor in a TV movie or mini-series, playing Liberace in Behind the Candelabra, which failed to get a theatrical release in the US. Helen Mirren beat the Globes winner Elizabeth Moss to the best actress in a TV movie or mini-series honours, for Phil Spector.




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