Back-to-work Hollywood actors bring SAG Awards to Netflix

Fresh from their months-long strike, Hollywood’s actors will gather Saturday for the prestigious Screen Actors Guild Awards, where another big night for “Oppenheimer” would surely tie up the Oscars race.

The 30th SAG Awards, starting at 5:00 pm in Los Angeles (0100 GMT Sunday), will be the first awards show to stream globally on Netflix, lending a likely boost in viewers and prestige for a show already seen as an important Academy Award indicator.

The mood is expected to be jubilant as members of SAG-AFTRA — the union that represents some 120,000 performers, including A-list stars — celebrate in numbers for the first time since extracting hard-fought gains from studios including Disney and Netflix in last year’s work stoppage.

“This is the first time that many of them have gathered together like this at a show after being on the picket line,” Jon Brockett, the awards’ executive producer, told Variety.

“I think the energy, the camaraderie and the pride will translate into their speeches and the feeling in the room.”

Likeliest to be making those winners’ speeches are the actors from “Oppenheimer,” Christopher Nolan’s epic drama about the father of the atomic bomb, which has been relentlessly scooping up awards all season.

The movie — which has already won top prizes at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Awards, Directors Guild of America Awards, and Britain’s BAFTAs — is the favorite to win SAG-AFTRA’s top prize, for best performance by a cast.

Victory in that category led to best picture Oscar wins for recent movies such as “Parasite,” “CODA” and “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

Many of the same actors who vote for the SAG Awards also make up the largest voting bloc for the Oscars, which will be held this year on March 10.

“Oppenheimer” is up against “Barbie,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “American Fiction” and “The Color Purple” for top honors.

In the best actress category, Emma Stone (“Poor Things”) and Lily Gladstone (“Killers”) are expected to vie for the prize, while Cillian Murphy (“Oppenheimer”) and Paul Giamatti (“The Holdovers”) are frontrunners on the best actor side.

Supporting actress and actor prizes have been going consistently this season to Da’Vine Joy Randolph (“The Holdovers”) and Robert Downey Jr. (“Oppenheimer”), with few predicting an upset in either category at Saturday’s gala.

Unlike the other major award shows, the SAG Awards also reward best stunt performances.

– Lifetime honor for Streisand –

The night also honors television. The final season of “Succession” dominates the drama nominations, while “The Bear” has garnered plenty of comedy nods.

Idris Elba will open the show, with presenters to include Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt.

And Barbra Streisand, who has been busy promoting her recent memoir “My Name is Barbra,” will receive a lifetime achievement award from Jennifer Aniston.

Netflix has been cautiously moving into the live events space in recent years, including a Chris Rock comedy special and a celebrity golf tournament.

But the SAG Awards deal marks the platform’s first time hosting a Hollywood prize-giving gala.

Moving to Netflix from smaller US cable networks TBS and TNT gives the SAG Awards access to the streaming giant’s 260 million-strong subscriber base — and means no commercial breaks.

AFP

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