For anyone who’s been paying attention during the awards season tug of war, it’s come down to this: Meryl Streep vs. Viola Davis vs. maybe Michelle Williams.
Streep went into last night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards as the odds on favorite, fresh off her win at the golden globe. But she may have been her own worst enemy by wrapping up her slightly upended Golden Globe acceptance speech by saying, “I love you Viola, you’re my girl” and throwing her a kiss, letting everyone there know just who the winner thought the winner should have been.
Turns out Streep’s fellow actors listened to the woman they all believe is the best actress on the planet, and last night Davis was not only Meryl’s girl, but the woman of the evening at the Screen Actors Guild, winning best actress in a lead role for her work in “The Help.” The film also won best ensemble cast and her already honored co-star Octavia Spencer picked up another statuette for supporting actor.
Alen Ben, senior editor of “Hollywood Reporter” said the SAG Awards are a much better predictor of the Oscars than the Golden Globes could ever hope to be.
This now lifts the curse of “released too soon.” The accolades by actors for the actors in “The Help” resets the clock for the Academy Awards. It is a reminder about a film and its performances that was all the rage early in the year and then swept under the rug by the time oscar ballots go out in January.
“The Help” may have just received the help it needed. If nothing else, it splits decision between the Golden Globes and the SAG awards, Meryl and Viola. Sunday’s victory for Viola sets up a bit more of a horse race for the Oscars.
As for best picture, the directors guild just gave its top honor to the director of “The Artist,”a strong predictor of the Oscar best picture. “The Artist” won in its category at the Globes, but at the SAG awards—only its lead actor heard applause. Add to that George Clooney and “The descendants.” The are darlings of the Hollywood Foreign Press but ere not the choice of the Hollywood unions this weekend.