South Korean black comedy thriller "Parasite" nabbed top film award at the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles Sunday evening, picking up the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Directed by Bong Joon-ho, it became the first ever foreign language film to pick up the top prize of SAG Awards, beating out drama film "Bombshell," epic crime film "The Irishman," black comedy film "Jojo Rabbit" and comedy drama film "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood." It's only the second foreign-language film to race for the trophy in the SAG Awards history.
The awards season darling follows the members of a poor household scheming to become employees of a much wealthier family by posing as unrelated, highly-qualified individuals. It's the first South Korean film to win the coveted Palme d'Or at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival last year and is the first South Korean film nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.
"Although the title is 'Parasite,' the story is about co-existence and how we can all live together," said the film's South Korean lead actor, Kang-Ho Song.
"I'm so honored to receive this award in front of actors that I admire so much, and I will never forget this beautiful night," he concluded.
Woo-Sik Choi, his Korean-Canadian co-star, told Xinhua he hoped that their win might help open the doors for greater recognition and acceptance for foreign films and actors.
The SAG ensemble award is widely considered the equivalent of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Best Picture Oscar.
Joaquin Phoenix won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of troubled Arthur Fleck in the psychological thriller "Joker," the highest-grossing R-rated film ever, which raked in 1.06 billion U.S. dollars globally. Phoenix is also the winner of best actor at the 77th Golden Globe Awards and the 25th annual Critics' Choice Awards earlier this month.
"I'm standing here on the shoulders of my favorite actor, Heath Ledger," said Phoenix in his acceptance speech. Ledger played the Joker in 2008's superhero film "The Dark Knight."
Renee Zellweger took home the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for her role as Judy Garland in biographical drama film "Judy" about American singer and actress Judy Garland, cementing her status as a Hollywood awards season favorite. It's Zellweger's fourth SAG win.
"Judy Garland, 50 years later, your community is thinking of you tonight. This is for you," Zellweger said at her acceptance speech.
This is Zellweger's third major win of the awards season for her leading role following her victory at the Golden Globe Awards and the Critics' Choice Awards.
Brad Pitt of "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" and Laura Dern of "Marriage Story" repeated their wins at the Golden Globe Awards and the Critics' Choice Awards, walking away with the awards for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role and Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, respectively.
Gesturing up and down, Pitt noted that actors can set their performance level "down here" or "way up here." "There is nothing better than working with great actors who set it way up here," he told Xinhua, referring to co-star Leonardo DiCaprio's stellar performance. "He makes everyone else look good."
Surprisingly, front runners "The Irishman" and "Bombshell" were both total shutouts, winning no awards, despite their star-studded casts.
On the TV side, FX's Fosse/Verdon collected two awards, dominating both lead male and female actors categories for a TV Movie/Miniseries. The Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor went to Sam Rockwell, who looked visibly stunned at winning over his hot competition, and the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor went to co-star Michelle Williams.
Williams was eloquent in her acceptance speech and post-win interview in the press room, saying that unlike the negative environment of her early acting days, she now "felt like an equal," praising her series and co-workers for creating "the most supportive environment I've ever worked in."
When asked what advice she would give younger actors looking to break into the industry, she said, not to just follow the advice from business people. "Don't live someone else's life ... Be true to yourself and follow your instincts and urges that arise uniquely inside of you," she said.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series went to Jennifer Aniston for The Morning Show, who loved her demanding role, but is also looking forward to doing more comedies to lighten the tone.
Amazon's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" grabbed two wins, with Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series going to Lebanese-American Tony Shalhoub, and the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series going to the entire Maisel cast.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge is on a roll this award season, taking home Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series for "Fleabag," following up on her Golden Globe win January 5th.
"The Crown" and "Game of Thrones" took home one award each, with "The Crown" reigning supreme in the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, and Peter Dinklage of "Game of Thrones" crowned Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series.
Robert De Niro was awarded the prestigious SAG Lifetime Achievement Award.
The SAG Awards are accolades given by the Screen Actors Guild -- American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) to recognize outstanding performances of the year in film and prime time television.
Lauded by critics for its style, simplicity and genuine warmth, the SAG Awards, which made its debut in 1995, has become one of the Hollywood's most prized honors and is considered as the indicators of likely Oscar success next month.
Off-camera and during commercials, the stars at the Screen Actors Guild Awards got to rub shoulders, give congratulatory kisses, and meet for the first or the 50th time. Here are some of the more memorable moments from inside Sunday night's ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
PARTY TIME FOR 'PARASITE'
The "Parasite" table was one of the happier places in the Shrine ballroom — and that was before its cast won the night's biggest award. Song Kang Ho and the film's other stars got whoops, whistles and a standing ovation from much of the room of mostly American actors early in the show, when they took the stage to present their nominated film. That was followed by a full-blown ovation at the end, when theirs became the first foreign-language film to win the best ensemble SAG Award. In the two hours between, the gleeful cast and director Bong Joon Ho, savored their moment in the Hollywood spotlight, taking group selfies during every commercial break. They greeted a steady stream of fellow-actor fans, including Steve Buscemi. "I'm a little embarrassed," cast member Lee Sun Kyun said after the show through a translator. "We're feeling a little like the parasites of Hollywood now."
SOME SAG STARS LOOM LARGER THAN OTHERS
TV and movie screens tend to obscure actors' heights, but when they're all in a room together it's very clear who looms over whom. The winners of the show's first two awards for actresses, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Laura Dern, both reportedly 5-foot-10, made it seem like the night was going to be dominated by the tallest nominees, but the trend ended there. The win of a much shorter Joaquin Phoenix — for "Joker" — over a reportedly 6-foot-3 Adam Driver for best actor in a film was more typical of the night. And the tallest actor and actress in the crowd, Stephen Merchant of "Jojo Rabbit," who stands about 6-foot-7, and Gwendoline Christie of "Game of Thrones," who stands about 6-foot-3, never got to take the stage with their casts, over whom they towered when they stood up during commercial breaks.
LITHGOW VISITS DRIVER'S SEAT
John Lithgow is even taller than Driver, and is nearly 40 years older, but it was Lithgow doing the looking up when the two met for the first time during a commercial break. Lithgow, nominated along with the rest of the cast of "Bombshell," smiled and gushed to Driver, nominated for best actor for "Marriage Story," expressing his admiration for Driver's run of recent performances. "Great to meet you Adam," Lithgow said with enthusiasm as the SAG Awards telecast returned from commercial and Lithgow rejoined Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie and his other cast mates at the neighboring table.
SMALL STARS SCRAMBLE FOR SAG SELFIES
You could be excused for thinking it was Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work day for the professional actors of the SAG Awards. Actually, the wee ones running around the ballroom were acting pros, too, on a night where children abounded among the nominees. The kid actors from "Big Little Lies," including brothers Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti, were all over the ballroom during commercial breaks, taking photos with stars including their cast mates Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. Twelve-year-old Roman Griffin Davis sat proudly at his table like he utterly belonged alongside his fellow "Jojo Rabbit" cast members, who include Scarlett Johansson. Leonardo DiCaprio politely spoke to a steady stream of people excited to meet him during commercial breaks, but he positively beamed when his 10-year-old "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" co-star Julia Butters, in a shiny silver suit, brought three young friends to meet him. He greeted each of them with a huge grin just moments before he lost out on best actor to Phoenix.
DE NIRO AND STREEP MAKE SAG CROWD SWOON
If anyone inspired more awe in the ballroom than DiCaprio it was Robert De Niro, to whom DiCaprio presented the SAG Life Achievement Award during the ceremony. Many major stars came to pay tribute to De Niro as he sat at a table that included his "The Irishman" co-stars Al Pacino and Harvey Keitel. But when Meryl Streep — his co-star in "The Deer Hunter" more than 40 years ago — stopped by to exchange kisses and kudos, photographers descended in droves and phone cameras came out on all sides to capture the meetup of the pair that many regard as the greatest actor and actress of their generation.
Virtually the entire ballroom can see the SAG Awards telecast's teleprompters if they look over their shoulder, and can see who's going off-script. When Ray Romano said while introducing the best ensemble nomination for "The Irishman" that he still couldn't believe he played a mob lawyer opposite De Niro and Keitel, Keitel roasted him by responding "I can't believe it either." Romano replied, "Hey, that's not up there," pointing at the teleprompter. Romano was right. It wasn't.
MR. ROGERS, JUDY GARLAND ARE NEIGHBORS
Actors usually sit with their cast mates at SAG Awards tables, but sometimes the seating chart yields more novel pairings, like the adjacent placement of Tom Hanks, nominated for "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," and Renée Zellweger, nominated for "Judy." The pairing made theirs a popular table for fans and cameras, and it proved prescient. They met up again onstage late in the show, when Hanks handed Zellweger the trophy for best actress in a film.
The period costumes of a Julian Fellowes drama can be excruciatingly accurate, as an actress in his new series "Belgravia" discovered.
The Epix drama from "Downton Abbey" creator Fellowes and executive producer Gareth Neame is set in 19th-century London and features Tamsin Greig, who starred in the TV comedy "Episodes," and Philip Glenister ("Cranford").
Asked if the elaborate outfits were difficult or easy to work in, Greig gave a quick reply.
"Do you think that they look easy?' she said. "I was under the care of an osteopath within a week of filming, and I realized that I should have prepared better by wearing a corset for a few hours each day in the weeks up to beginning shooting."
It's impossible to get the silhouette of the 1840s without the binding undergarment that women wore, she said. If the limited series' actresses look like they're comfortable, Greig added, "it's really great acting."
Alice Eve ("Bombshell") and Ella Purnell ("Sweetbitter") also star in the series and joined in a presentation to TV critics Saturday. The six-part drama will debut April 12.
"Belgravia," set in the grand London neighborhood of that name, was adapted by Fellowes from his eponymous 2016 novel. Asked to compare the series to "Downton Abbey," the hit TV drama that unfolded in the early 1900s, Fellowes said the projects reflect the periods in which they're set.
For the Epix limited series, it's the "rise of the great Victorian era of manufacturing and money and ... the expansion of London," he said. "Whereas you could say that 'Downton' was on the other side of the hill, it was part of the decline, particularly as we follow it through the '20s."
"Belgravia" is a "can-do show," he said. "It's really about people achieving what they want, despite the difficulties the society places in their path. ... But I hope it is essentially a kind of uplifting tale."
Fellowes was pleased by the reception for last year's big screen version of "Downton Abbey," which arrived four years after the series ended on PBS, but was noncommittal about the possibility of a second film. He's got another TV series in the works, "The Gilded Age" for HBO, set in 1880s America.
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston both took home awards at the 26th Screen Actors Guild on Sunday.
Pitt is headed toward his first acting Academy Award for his supporting performance in "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood," and he added to his front-runner status with a win from the actors' guild. Along the way, his speeches have been full of one-liners, and he didn't disappoint Sunday at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
Pitt, who said he was nursing a flu, looked down at his award and said, "I've got to add this to my Tinder profile."
"Let's be honest, it was a difficult part. A guy who gets high, takes his shirt off and doesn't get on with his wife," joked Pitt. "It was a big stretch." The audience laughed and clapped, including — as the cameras captured — Aniston, his ex-wife.
Aniston later won an award of her own for best female actor in a drama series for the Apple TV Plus show "The Morning Show." "What!" she said upon reaching the stage. Aniston finished her speech with a shout-out to her "Murder Mystery" co-star Adam Sandler, whose performance in "Uncut Gems" has gone mostly unrewarded this season despite considerable acclaim.
"Your performance is extraordinary and your magic is real. I love you, buddy," said Aniston.
Laura Dern also further established herself as the best supporting actress favorite for her performance in "Marriage Story" with a win from the Screen Actors Guild. On her way to the stage, she hugged her father, Bruce Dern.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge continued her awards sweep for "Fleabag," a winner at the Emmys and the Golden Globes. Waller-Bridge added a SAG win for best female actor in a comedy series and took a moment to reflect on the show's parade of accolades.
"This whole thing really has been a dream, and if I wake up tomorrow and discover it was just that, then thank you," said Waller-Bridge. "It's been the most beautiful dream."
"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" also continued its streak, winning best comedy series ensemble for the second straight year, along with Tony Shalhoub taking home the statue for best male actor in a comedy series. But accepting the ensemble award, the show's shocked Alex Borstein said she had voted for "Fleabag."
"Honestly this makes no sense,' said Borstein. "'Fleabag' is brilliant.'"
Among the films vying for the screen actors' top honor, best ensemble, are Oscar heavyweights "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" and "The Irishman." They are competing with "Parasite" (only the second foreign language nominee after "Life Is Beautiful," which received a nod in 1999), "Jojo Rabbit" and "Bombshell."
Because actors make up the largest percentage of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, their picks are closely watched. But the last two years, the SAG ensemble winner has not gone on to win best picture: "Black Panther" last year and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" in 2018.
Two of this year's top best-picture contenders at the Oscars — "Joker," more of a one-man show; and "1917," more acclaimed for its technical acumen — weren't nominated for best ensemble. On Saturday, "1917" won top honors at the highly predictive Producers Guild Awards, solidifying its front-runner status. In 21 of the last 30 years, the PGA winner has lined up with the eventual best picture winner.
Robert De Niro was given the guild's lifetime achievement award, an honor presented by Leonardo DiCaprio who, like De Niro, is a frequent leading man for Martin Scorsese. (The two co-star in Scorsese's upcoming "Killers of the Flower Moon.") A raucous standing ovation greeted the 76-year-old actor.
De Niro, a fiery critic of Donald Trump, referenced the president in his remarks.
"There's right and there's wrong. And there's common sense and there's abuse of power. As a citizen, I have as much right as anybody — an actor, an athlete, anybody else — to voice my opinion," said De Niro. "And if I have a bigger voice because of my situation, I'm going to use it whenever I see a blatant abuse of power."
Awards for stunt ensemble were announced ahead of the ceremony, with prizes going to Marvel's "Avengers: Endgame" and HBO's "Game of Thrones."
Fluidity graced the menswear catwalks in Paris as fall-winter crescendoed through the weekend, with shows from houses such as Jacquemus and Hermes on Saturday.
Here are some highlights of the day's fall-winter 2020-2021 menswear shows in the French capital.
JACQUEMUS GOES FLUID
Simon Porte Jacquemus, 30, produced a show of soft geometry.
Sections of the silhouette — such as the midriff or the top of thighs — seemed to be visually lopped off in a clever show of shape-play by the French designer.
Elongated legs paired with mushroom-shaped and rounded shoulders at the top. Rounded hats or scarves flattened the head.
Soft wools and cottons ensured comfort, while a sculpted gown in white coffee worn by model-of-the-minute Bella Hadid gave the collection some bite.
HERMES' PURE LINES
"Pure lines form ample shapes and generous proportions," Hermes said of its beautiful collection by Veronique Nichanian.
With that mantra, Hermes' veteran designer crowned the fall trend for fluid geometry with 45 thoughtful and accomplished looks.
A loose turtleneck in silken dark vanilla fabric, with a streak of black on the collar, rippled gently on the male model.
The flash-of-color theme reappeared as a blue inset on the lapel of a stylish dark-coffee wool coat.
Hermes has become a byword for simple, unpretentious luxury. With panache, Nichanian proved this again in a classy and masculine showing.
BALMAIN'S HEIGHTENED SUBTLETY
Oliver Rousteing took his foot off the extravagance pedal for a more-understated-than-usual collection of tasteful fluid designs for fall.
Autumnal gold, bronzes and khakis graced the display marked by banding across the torso and draping.
Safari jackets and shimmering desert sandals continued the Lawrence of Arabia theme the 33-year-old designer had toyed with in previous seasons.
But the increased subtlety was a nice direction for the house.
ECOLOGY ESCAPES PARIS FASHION
The art of the chic invite is still very much a staple of Paris fashion.
Houses compete to produce the most eye-catching, inventive — and often plain wasteful — show invitations delivered by gas-guzzling courier to each guest's personal residence.
The little works of art often provide a hint about what the collection has in store.
Louis Vuitton menswear sent out thick packets containing custom clocks for a show about the transitions from boyhood to adulthood. Berluti — the storied shoemaker — sent out blocks of wood while fashion-forward house Etudes sent out metal tags with the show information embossed.
In other countries like in Brazil, fashion invites are often sent by plain old email.