With tight races for Lead Actor and Lead Actress, suspense ran high before the first award show to stream live on Netflix, the two-hour commercial-free 30th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Saturday night. “Fucks” were allowed, as Idris Elba proved at the top of the show, followed by “Beef” winner Ali Wong and many others.

There were few surprises among the motion picture winners. The big winner of the night was the riveting historical epic “Oppenheimer” (Universal), which solidified its dominance during the Oscar voting period February 22-27 before the Oscar show on ABC March 10. “Oppenheimer” took home Best Cast in a Motion Picture as well as Male Actor in a Leading Role for Cillian Murphy and Supporting Actor for Robert Downey, Jr., whose win Oscar night seems inevitable. Murphy now takes a substantial lead after his BAFTA win against popular rival Paul Giamatti (“The Holdovers”). The “Oppenheimer” cast was “the greatest group of actors I ever worked with,” said Murphy during the ceremony.

Anyone with hopes for a movie to disrupt the “Oppenheimer” Oscar surge can give up now. The Christopher Nolan biopic won top honors at the Golden Globes, the Critics Choice Awards, the DGA, and the BAFTAs and will likely take the PGA on Sunday. “Oppenheimer” is contending for 13 Oscars including Best Picture, Director, and Adapted Screenplay.

Also not to be denied is the poignant center of “The Holdovers,” Da’Vine Joy Randolph, who won Actress in a Supporting Role yet again. As moving as she was at the BAFTAs, Randolph turned fierce Saturday night, exhorting up-and-coming actors to remember that “your life can change in a day,” she said. “It’s not a question of if, but when.”

Lily Gladstone took the Actress in Leading Role win for her charismatic Osage in “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Gladstone has won hearts and minds throughout the Oscar season with her gracious charm and outspoken support for Indigenous people all over the world. She told her fellow actors, “We bring empathy into a world that so needs it.” She’s the first Indigenous actor to win in the category.

Lily Gladstone at the 30th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall on February 24, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.
Lily Gladstone at the 30th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall on February 24, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.Gilbert Flores for Variety

Yorgos Lanthimos’ feminist fantasy “Poor Things” went home empty-handed, but there’s still hope for wins on Oscar night; the film has 11 nominations including Best Actress nominee Emma Stone, who won the Globe, Critics Choice, and BAFTA.

The SAG Awards provided a fresh glimpse at film clips, and artfully delivered winners’ speeches. SAG Award winners can be Oscar-race bellwethers. “Everything Everywhere All at Once, “CODA,” “Parasite,” “Shakespeare in Love,” “Crash,” and “Spotlight” were SAG Ensemble winners that went on to Best Picture wins. The SAG-AFTRA membership of 119,515 eligible voters is more mainstream than the 9,797 eligible Academy voters. It also weighs more heavily toward television than film and includes performers from theater, commercials, interactive, audiobooks, and new media, as well as influencers. In 2023, the “Everything Everywhere All at Once” wins at SAG presaged its eventual wins at the Oscars.

This year’s SAG awards winners provide clues and winning momentum for where the 1,336 Academy actors may head, but not much more. In fact, SAG nominees who did not land Oscar slots did not win Sunday night. These included Penélope Cruz (“Ferrari”), Willem Dafoe (“Poor Things”), and Margot Robbie (“Barbie”). All three films garnered no SAG Awards, but “Poor Things” and “Barbie” could total up some wins on Oscar night.

While Netflix gained valuable branding by putting on a smooth show (and notched two “Beef” wins), the film awards team may have reason to be anxious about scoring any Oscars for SAG no-shows “Rustin,” “Nyad,” and multi-hyphenate Bradley Cooper’s “Maestro,” which boasts seven Oscar nominations but lacks the mainstream appeal of rivals “Oppenheimer,” “Barbie,” and “American Fiction.”

Emotions overflowed as Barbra Streisand reminded us all of what life achievement looks like. She touted a French film, “Une Belle Course” (“Driving Madeline”), starring Line Renaud, who is now 95 years old. “There’s still hope for us girls,” Streisand said.

SAG film winners are below.

Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture

“American Fiction”
“The Color Purple”
“Killers of the Flower Moon”

Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture

Bradley Cooper, “Maestro”
Colman Domingo, “Rustin”
Paul Giamatti, “The Holdovers”
Cillian Murphy, “Oppenheimer” (WINNER)
Jeffrey Wright, “American Fiction”

Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture

Annette Bening, “Nyad”
Lily Gladstone, “Killers of the Flower Moon” (WINNER)
Carey Mulligan, “Maestro”
Margot Robbie, “Barbie”
Emma Stone, “Poor Things”

Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Sterling K. Brown, “American Fiction”
Willem Dafoe, “Poor Things”
Robert De Niro, “Killers of the Flower Moon”
Robert Downey Jr., “Oppenheimer” (WINNER)
Ryan Gosling, “Barbie”

Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Emily Blunt, “Oppenheimer”
Danielle Brooks, “The Color Purple”
Penelope Cruz, “Ferrari”
Jodie Foster, “Nyad”
Da’Vine Joy Randolph, “The Holdovers” (WINNER)

Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”
“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”
“John Wick: Chapter 4”
“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” (WINNER)

See the full list of 2024 Screen Actors Guild Award nominations here. The 2024 SAG Awards launched a packed awards weekend, as Sunday reveals the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the Producers Guild of America Awards.

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