It may be snowing in Sundance, but the stars showed up at the annual SAG Awards tonight and two key acting races for Oscar started to become clearer.
First off, don't get too excited about "Inglorious Basterds" winning Best Ensemble. Neither "Avatar" nor "Up in the Air" made the cut and both are better shots to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Plus, its important to remember the key word here: ensemble. That's one of the reasons "Nine" got in even if the SAG membership was won over by the musical's starpower before the hideous reviews came out. The best picture isn't at stake here, it's what the actors bring to it (at least in theory). That said, let's take a look down the individual awards including those intriguing TV categories.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
JEFF BRIDGES / Bad Blake - "CRAZY HEART" (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Lowdown: Much better speech than at the Golden Globes. The standing ovation doesn't hurt for Oscar either. Clooney would have to make a major comeback to pull off his second acting Oscar win.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
SANDRA BULLOCK / Leigh Anne Tuohy - "THE BLIND SIDE" (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Lowdown: Uh-oh Ms. Streep, this puts Bullock in the frontrunner slot for Oscar. At this point, Sony Pictures might have to scream to the Academy how many times Streep has lost in a row for the legend to finally win her third Oscar (and to be quite honest, we wouldn't blame them).
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
CHRISTOPH WALTZ / COL. Hans Landa - "INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS" (The Weinstein Company/Universal Pictures)
Lowdown: Woody Harrelson had a chance, but that moment has passed. Waltz is going to win the Oscar all the way.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
MO’NIQUE / Mary - "PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE" (Lionsgate)
Lowdown: Faux media backlash aside, Mo'Nique is just as much a lock as Waltz is. Something truly dramatic would have to occur for either not to take home the Oscar equivalant of this award.
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (The Weinstein Company/Universal Pictures)
DANIEL BRÜHL / Fredrick Zoller
AUGUST DIEHL / Major Hellstrom
JULIE DREYFUS / Francesca Mondino
MICHAEL FASSBENDER / LT. Archie Hicox
SYLVESTER GROTH / Joseph Goebbels
JACKY IDO / Marcel
DIANE KRUGER / Bridget von Hammersmark
MÉLANIE LAURENT / Shosanna
DENIS MENOCHET / Perrier LaPadite
MIKE MYERS / General Ed Fenech
BRAD PITT / LT. Aldo Raine
ELI ROTH / SGT. Donny Donowitz
TIL SCHWEIGER / SGT. Hugo Stiglitz
ROD TAYLOR / Winston Churchill
CHRISTOPH WALTZ / COL. Hans Landa
MARTIN WUTTKE / Hitler
Lowdown: Listen, no one is going to disparage "Glourious" winning, but its hard to see it getting the Oscar for Best Picture. Not with "Avatar" in the way.
And with a little help from HitFix's own Daniel Fienberg, a look at the television categories...
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
KEVIN BACON / Lt. Col. Michael R. Strobl - "TAKING CHANCE" (HBO)
Lowdown: Sentimental favorite and there's that game that reflects he's worked with every actor in Hollywood. In fact, when you are in a movie with Kevin Bacon you actually get a SAG card! Really.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
DREW BARRYMORE / Little Edie - “GREY GARDENS” (HBO)
Lowdown: This breaks the tie with Drew Barrymore losing the Emmy, but winning the Golden Globe. Like Kevin Bacon, Drew's also been around for awhile.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
MICHAEL C. HALL / Dexter Morgan - “DEXTER” (Showtime)
Lowdown: It's a tough category and sometimes every once in awhile someone else gets chance to win besides Jon Hamm and Hugh Laurie.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
JULIANNA MARGULIES / Alicia Florrick - “THE GOOD WIFE” (CBS)
Lowdown: According to Fienberg, it's the most popular new show that doesn't involve the letters "NCIS" and she is a respected "professional." That did it.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
ALEC BALDWIN / Jack Donaghy - “30 ROCK” (NBC)
Lowdown: He's just the funniest male actor on television at the moment. 'Nuff said.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
TINA FEY / Liz Lemon - “30 ROCK” (NBC)
Lowdown: Fienberg says this is the one surprising win as she beat out Toni Collette, Lea Michelle and Eddie Falco. Perhaps the votes across the board were just that tight?
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
MAD MEN (AMC)
ALEXA ALEMANNI / Allison
BRYAN BATT / Salvatore Romano
JARED S. GILMORE / Bobby Draper
MICHAEL GLADIS / Paul Kinsey
JON HAMM / Don Draper
JARED HARRIS / Lane Pryce
CHRISTINA HENDRICKS / Joan Holloway (Harris)
JANUARY JONES / Betty Draper
VINCENT KARTHEISER / Peter Campbell
ROBERT MORSE / Bertram Cooper
ELISABETH MOSS / Peggy Olson
KIERNAN SHIPKA / Sally Draper
JOHN SLATTERY / Roger Sterling
RICH SOMMER / Harry Crane
CHRISTOPHER STANLEY / Henry Francis
AARON STATON / Ken Cosgrove
Lowdown: It's the best series on television. Hands down.
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
DIANNA AGRON / Quinn Fabray
CHRIS COLFER / Kurt Hummel
PATRICK GALLAGHER / Ken Tanaka
JESSALYN GILSIG / Terri Schuester
JANE LYNCH / Sue Sylvester
JAYMA MAYS / Emma Pillsbury
KEVIN McHALE / Arty Abrams
LEA MICHELE / Rachel Berry
CORY MONTEITH / Finn Hudson
HEATHER MORRIS / Brittany
MATTHEW MORRISON / Will Schuester
AMBER RILEY / Mercedes
NAYA RIVERA / Santana Lopez
MARK SALLING / Puck
HARRY SHUM JR. / Mike Chang
JOSH SUSSMAN / Jacob Ben Israel
DIJON TALTON / Matt Rutherford
IQBAL THEBA / Principal Figgins
JENNA USHKOWITZ / Tina
Lowdown: Even within SAG, people are very passionate about this show. And, hey, it's having its moment.
Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
STAR TREK (Paramount Pictures)
Webster Winnery, Jr.
Lowdown: Sure, "Transformers" may have had more difficult stunts, but people love their "Star Trek." Could this mean something in regards to Oscar? Hmmmm.
Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series
Jimmy Sharp, Jr.
Lowdown: As Fienberg notes, "At least 'Heroes' didn't win."