The Screen Actors Guild Awards 2014
Big wins for Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey and the cast of American Hustle
Actors of the 1970s con-artist crime drama American Hustle was in high spirits last night on accepting the top prize of Outstanding Cast from the Screen Actors Guild. The event is viewed as hot tips for Oscar wins, six weeks ahead of the Academy Awards.
Director David O. Russell has been hailed for the film's performances, although it won no individual acting awards on the night, and in actual fact only Jennifer Lawrence was nominated for her supporting role. It prevailed over another presumed Oscar front-runner, Steve McQueen's historical drama 12 Years a Slave.
Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner star in American Hustle
Cate Blanchett won Best Actress for her role as a socialite who suffers a breakdown in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, while best actor went to Matthew McConaughey for his turn as an unlikely AIDS activist in Dallas Buyers Club.
In what is widely considered one of the best years for quality film making in recent times, both actors are the clear front-runners for best acting Oscars after also winning Golden Globes last Sunday. Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards are honours that actors particularly relish, because they come from their peers.
Jared Leto was honoured for his supporting role alongside McConaughey's Texas cowboy. He dedicated the award to those who have died of AIDS and to all "the Rayon's of the world" in reference to his character in the film.
Impressive red carpet newcomer Lupita Nyong'o won Best Supporting Actress for her performance as the singular slave Patsy in 12 Years a Slave. She thanked McQueen "for taking a flashlight and shining it underneath the floorboards of this nation and reminding us what it is we stand on."
The night saw an array of Hollywood names that included Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts for August: Osage County, Morgan Freeman who presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to West Side Story star Rita Moreno, and Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker representing Lee Daniels' The Butler.
Morgan Freeman and Julia Roberts
Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner
Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts
Emma Thompson and Ewan McGregor
Oprah Winfrey and actor Forest Whitaker