‘The Help’ wins big at Screen Actors Award
LOS ANGELES - Agence France-Presse
Viola Davis (R) poses with her award for Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor.“The Help,” a big-screen drama focusing on race relations in America, was the big winner at the Screen Actors Guild awards ceremony Jan. 29, sweeping the top prizes for best actress, best supporting actress and best ensemble.
The film, which tells the story of an aspiring journalist who decides to write a book exposing racism faced by domestic help in the 1960s, beat black-and-white silent movie “The Artist,” “Bridesmaids,” “The Descendants” and other films that had been expected to win top honors.
The Screen Actors Guild awards are seen as one of the key preludes to the Oscars ceremony, the culmination of the Hollywood awards season that will be held on Feb. 26.
“It’s been such a labor of love,” said Viola Davis, the winner of the best actress award, as she reminisced about her work in “The Help.”
Octavia Spencer, who won the prize for best supporting actress, said the movie was “a light for women who haven’t been given a voice in American history.”
Dujardin best actor
French actor Jean Dujardin was honored as the best leading actor for his role in “The Artist,” which is seen by movie critics as a favorite for winning an Oscar next month. Dujardin competed for the top actor’s prize against some of the biggest Hollywood names, including George Clooney (The Descendants), Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar) and Brad Pitt (Moneyball).
Veteran Canadian actor Christopher Plummer won the award for best supporting actor. Plummer, 82, starred in “Beginners,” where he played a man who comes to terms with his homosexuality late in life.
The 18th SAG ceremony got under way in Los Angeles with a star-studded group in attendance, including Clooney, Dujardin, Meryl Streep, Michelle Williams and Pitt, who was accompanied by his companion, Angelina Jolie.
In the television category, the comedy “Modern Family” won the SAG award for best cast in a comedy.
Veteran Betty White, 90, took the award for her role in the comedy “Hot in Cleveland.”
“Modern Family” also took the prize for best comedy cast, defeating “Glee,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “30 Rock” and “The Office.” The work of Steve Buscemi in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” where he plays a politician who ruled Atlantic City during the Prohibition era, was rewarded with the prize for best male actor in a drama series.
On Jan. 28, French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius won the top honor from the Directors Guild of America for “The Artist,” an award that has traditionally been a strong indicator of Oscar glory.