Over the weekend, the world was captivated by the horror unfolding in Ukraine. Desperate for a return to something resembling normalcy, many people were eager to tune into this year’s Screen Actor’s Guild Awards, looking for a distraction and maybe a few smiles. The 2022 SAG Awards delivered, bringing a return to the glitz, glamour, and big-event atmosphere that makes Hollywood so unique. Here’s a look at what the night felt like after two years of tip-toeing around large-scale events, and who the night’s big winners were.
A Return to Hollywood Glitz and Glamour
For the first time since the start of the pandemic, an award show was able to go all-out. Using precautious such as requiring vaccination, a negative PCR test and an on-site rapid test, SAG decided to let people come together again this weekend. And they did – returning with relief and joy to a night of celebration and gathering.
This year’s Golden Globes were barely a blip on the radar, live-tweeted (poorly, we should add) and boring, due to a number of controversies. Ostensibly, the Golden Globes were subdued due to COVID surges. However, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) behind the Globes has been beset by accusations that they are biased and don’t represent the vibrant diversity of Hollywood. Celebrities, past winners, and fans of the show banded together to put pressure on the HFPA and demand change. CELEB looked into why that awards ceremony almost didn’t happen at all here. In March of 2021, the HFPA vowed to make improvements. That would have been wonderful – if member and former president Philip Berk hadn’t opened his mouth just a month later. Berk labeled Black Lives Matter a, “racist hate movement,” exactly the opposite of the look you want after being accused of racial discrimination. NBC condemned Berk and he was expelled, but the damage was done – again.
Needless to say, getting past the Globes to the real start of the awards ceremony season was a huge relief to those who love and watch these shows – although there is some question as to how many people still do. But this year’s SAG Awards showed that it’s still possible for a night out in Hollywood to be extra special. People mingled, chatted, and looked relaxed for the first time in what felt like a decade.
Variety sent a team inside of the SAG Awards and described an atmosphere that was borderline celebrity – and 100% emotional, good and bad, describing a moment where Lady Gaga was in tears and legendary actress Helen Mirren consoled her. Variety shares, “Tough to beat that one, which speaks to what awards shows do at their best: Throw a bunch of hugely famous people in a room together and let a little randomness ensue. I couldn’t get enough of Martin Short’s energy throughout, from presenting with Only Murders costar Selena Gomez to running around from table to table. For a while we were right next to the Hacks table—a group of people which, it must be said, seems to know how to have a good time—and Short came over to cheer them all. He hugged younger cast members and took a selfie with a big group of them. And as we were leaving, we saw him chatting up Kirsten Dunst. He was having a great time. A necessary lesson for these ceremonies: Have fun! Hopefully Hollywood can keep up the momentum. With a glamorous black-tie event at last behind us, we’re getting back on track.”
The Night’s Big Winners
And it wasn’t just viewers who won big last night with a glamorous distraction from the world’s heavy events – here’s a look at who took home some of the biggest awards of the night:
- Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture: Will Smith took this award with his portrayal of titular character, King Richard.
- Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture: Jessica Chastain took this category for her role in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.”
- Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: No surprise, Succession took this category.
- Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: The cast of Ted Lasso won this one.
- Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series: Squid Game‘s Jung Ho-Yeon took this category in an out-of-nowhere upset.
- Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series: It makes sense that Jung Ho-Yeon’s castmate would round out these categories, and Squid Game‘s Lee Jung-jae provided another impressive upset.
- Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series: This category probably doesn’t always get this much attention, but the roles played by this year’s winners are remarkable – this category also went to Squid Game.
One of the big winners of the night was CODA – other winners included Kate Winslett, Michael Keaton, Jason Sudeikis, Ariana DeBose and more.
Award Ceremonies to Come
Now that this ceremony is on the books, it’s time to look forward and see what’s next: Academy Awards. The show will air March 27, and here’s a quick rundown of nominees in popular Oscar categories:
- Actor in a Leading Role: Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos), Will Smith (King Richard), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog), Andrew Garfield (tick, tick…BOOM!) and Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth)
- Actress in a Leading Role: Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye), Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter), Penelope Cruz (Parallel Mothers), Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos), Kristen Stewart (Spencer).
- Animated Feature Film: Encanto, Flee, Luca, The Mitchells vs. The Machines, Raya and the Last Dragon.
- Cinematography: Dune, Nightmare Alley, The Power of the Dog, The Tragedy of Macbeth, West Side Story
- Directing: Belfast (Kenneth Branagh), Drive My Car (Ryusuke Hamaguchi), Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson), The Power of the Dog (Jane Campion), West Side Story (Steven Spielberg)
- Best Picture: Belfast, CODA, Don’t Look Up, Drive My Car, Dune, King Richard, Licorice Pizza, Nightmare Alley, The Power of the Dog, West Side Story
- Plus many more exciting categories.
The Oscars is often considered one of award season’s premiere events, making the next few weeks an exciting run-up to Hollywood’s peak.