All four SAG winners are also nominated at this month’s Academy Awards.
For the first time in SAG Awards history, people of color took home the coveted prize in all four film acting categories. Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman won for their leading roles in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, while Daniel Kaluuya and Yuh-Jung Youn won for their supporting performances in Judas and the Black Messiah and Minari, respectively.
Viola Davis beat out fierce competition, including Amy Adams (Hillbilly Elegy), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Frances McDormand (Nomadland), and Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman). Davis embodied Ma Rainey’s fearlessness and demanding presence. She mimicked Ma Rainey’s lips movement and steady articulation — lingering patiently over certain words — to capture the Mother of the Blues’ unfettered swagger.
Davis’ co-star Chadwick Boseman won the SAG award posthumously (as he did the Golden Globe), and his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the award on his behalf. He earned the award for his portrayal of the determined yet stubborn and easily antagonized Levee Green. He was up against Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Steven Yeun (Minari), Anthony Hopkins (The Father), and Gary Oldman (Mank).
Daniel Kuluuya played the powerful Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah, beating out Sacha Baron Cohen (Trial of the Chicago 7), Chadwick Boseman (Da 5 Bloods), Jared Leto (The Little Things), and Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami…). Kaluuya delivered Hampton’s speeches with power and conviction, capturing the leader’s messianic and inspiring presence.
In Minari, Yun-Jung Youn played Soonja — a mother who comes to live with her daughter to help care for her children, David and Anne. David initially wants nothing to do with his grandmother, as he feels they are from two different worlds. Yet, as the film progresses, the two form a close bond. Youn beat Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Olivia Colman (The Father), and Helena Zengel (News of the World).
It’s unclear if the Academy Awards will also follow suit in awarding people of color in their acting categories. However, last year, the SAG winners in these four acting categories were echoed by the Oscar winners. SAG and the Oscars also had identical winners in 2018, and 3 of the 4 winners were the same in both 2016 and 2017.
Only a few more weeks before we see if these four actors will also sweep the same four categories at the Academy Awards, which air on April 25.
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I’m saying “yes” to this casting news, which is a step in the right direction for Ramirez.
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