The Unlikely Juggernaut of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” Awards Season Marched On at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, and even collected power with wins not only for the best ensemble, Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan but also for Jamie Lee Curtis.
The SAG Awards, often an Oscar preview, threw some curveballs into the Oscars race at a ceremony streamed live on Netflix’s YouTube page of Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles.
But the clearest result of the SAG Awards was the smash success of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s silly multiverse story, which has now used its hot dog fingers to take top honors from the acting, directing, and producing guilds. Only one film (“Apollo 13”) had won all three and failed to win the Best Picture award at the Oscars.
After So Much From the Cast of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” had already been on stage to accept awards, the final moment of the evening belongs to 94-year-old James Hong, a supporting actor in the film and a pioneer for Asian-American representation in Hollywood. He brought up the base yellowface history of the 1937 movie ‘The Good Earth’.
“The lead was played with these guys with their eyes taped shut like that and they talked like that because the producers said the Asians weren’t good enough and they weren’t box office,” said Hong. “But look at us now!”
Hong added that the cast of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” was not all Chinese, although he admitted that Jamie Lee Curtis had a good Chinese name. Curtis’ win was one of the most surprising of the night, coming from long-time favorite, Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”), who appeared to be on track to become the first actor to win an Oscar for an appearance in a Marvel movie.
A visibly moved Curtis said she was wearing the wedding ring her father, Tony Curtis, had given her mother, Janet Leigh.
“I know you look at me and think ‘Nepo baby,'” said Curtis, who won her first SAG nomination. “But the truth is that I am 64 years old and this is just amazing.”
However, the actors’ guild gave some clarity to the main categories. While some have viewed Best Actress as a toss-up between Yeoh and BAFTA winner Cate Blanchett (“Tár”), Yeoh once again took home the Best Actress award.
“This isn’t just for me,” said Yeoh, the first Asian actress to win the SAG Award for Leading Actress. “It’s for every little girl who looks like me.”
Quan, the former child star, also won Best Supporting Actor. The “Everything Everywhere All at Once” co-star had retired from acting for years after the auditions dried up. He is also the first Asian to win the Best Supporting Actor award at the SAG Awards.
“When I stopped acting, it was because there were so few opportunities,” said Quan. “Now, tonight we celebrate James Hong, Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Hong Chau, Harry Shum Jr. The landscape looks so different now.”
Best Actor has been one of the hardest races to name. Austin Butler (“Elvis”), Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”) and Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin” ) are all seen as possible winners. But it was Fraser who took home the SAG Award for his comeback performance as an obese containment in “The Whale.”
“Believe me, if you just stay in and put one foot in front of the other, you’ll get where you need to go,” said Fraser, who looked anxiously at the actor-shaped trophy and left the stage as he said he was going. to go find him some pants.
The SAG Awards are considered one of the most reliable Oscar bellwethers. Actors make up the largest percentage of film school, so their choices have the greatest influence. Last year, “CODA” triumphed at SAG before winning the Oscar for Best Picture s, while Ariana DeBose, Will Smith, Jessica Chastain, and Troy Kotsur all won a SAG Award before taking home an Academy Award.
After the SAG Awards, presented by the film and television actors guild SAG-AFRTA, lost their home broadcast to TNT/TBS, Netflix signed on to stream Sunday’s ceremony. Next year’s show will actually be on Netflix.
Sunday’s live stream meant a slightly smaller atmosphere. Without an airtime limit, the winners were not played out. A regal and undisturbed Sam Elliott, winner for Male Actor in a TV Movie or Limited Series for “1883,” spoke well past his allotted time. The show raced past early winners, including awards for Jean Smart (“Hacks”), Jeremy Allen White (“Bear”), and Jason Bateman (“Ozark”).
Another streaming effect: no beeping.
Quinta Brunson and Janelle James of “Abbott Elementary” kicked off the ceremony with a few opening jokes, including one suggesting that Viola Davis, a recent Grammy winner, has passed EGOT status and transitioned into “ShEGOTallofthem.”
Brunson later returned to the stage with the cast of “Abbott Elementary” to collect the SAG Award for Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series. Brunson, the sitcom’s creator and one of its producers, said of her castmates, “These people bring me back to Earth.”
“The White Lotus” also went on a win streak, winning Best Ensemble in a Drama Series and another win for Jennifer Coolidge, coming from her wins at the Emmys and the Golden Globes. A tearful Coolidge traced her love of acting to a first class trip to see a Charlie Chaplin movie. She then thanked her date, an old friend, the actor Tim Bagley.
“You’re a great date tonight,” Coolidge said. “I can’t wait to get home.”
The first prize of the ceremony went to a winner from last year: Jessica Chastain. A year after winning for her starring role in the movie “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” Chastain won the award for Best Female Actor in a TV Movie or Limited Series for Showtime’s country music power couple series “George & Tammy.” Chastain entered through previews of the upcoming Broadway revival of “A Doll’s House.”
One award was announced from the red carpet ahead of the show: “Top Gun: Maverick” won for Best Stunt Ensemble. While some have applauded blockbusters like “Maverick” and “Avatar: The Way of Water” being nominated for Best Picture for the March 12 Oscars, the indie hit “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is increasingly looking like the biggest blockbuster at the This year’s Academy Awards. .
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