Meryl Streep and Sean Penn took the top honors at the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony last night at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles; giving them added heat in the race for Oscar. Streep was both thrilled and surprised to win the best actress in a Motion Picture statuette:”Even though awards mean nothing to me anymore,” she said, “I’m really happy.” Streep won for her role as nun in the film, “Doubt.”
Sean Penn won the best actor in a motion picture trophy for his performance as San Francisco gay activist Harvey Milk in the film, “Milk.” As expected, the best supporting actor award went to the late Heath Ledger for his portrayal of the Joker in the “Dark Knight.” Ledger truly deserves the Oscar for his extraordinary performance in that film.
Kate Winslet won the best supporting actress statuette for “The Reader,” but lost out to Streep in the best actress category. Winslet has been winning awards for her lead role in “Revolutionary Road,” however, last night she had to settle for just a SAG nomination for that performance.
The evening’s other major prize, ensemble cast in a film, went to that mighty little flick “Slumdog Millionaire.” Some film critics and movie watchers are saying “Slumdog Millionaire” is now a shoo-in for the best picture Academy Award. I wouldn’t go that far, but clearly “Slumdog Millionaire” is the front runner.
On the television side, best ensemble in a drama went to “Mad Men” and best ensemble in a comedy series was picked up by “30 Rock.” Also, actor James Earl Jones was honored with the life achievement award. The winners were selected by approximately 100,000 active members of the Screen Actors Guild. A complete list of the winners is on the SAG Awards website.