After the Golden Globes largely went according to plan, we had a pair of decent-sized if unshocking upsets last night at the Shrine Auditorium on the fringe of the USC campus. The SAG members gave their Best Actor and Actress awards to Jean Dujardin and Viola Davis respectively - not that either is wholly undeserving but neither was the "best" in their class.
As much as I relished Dujardin's performance in 'The Artist', it's not on the same level of George Clooney's in 'The Descendants'. Exact same story for Davis v. Meryl Streep - both stellar but Streep transcended acting in 'The Iron Lady'. Here's to hoping the Academy gets the right pair in those slots come Feb. 26.
- The supporting side of things is all but locked up for the Oscars and rightfully so. With Albert Brooks getting royally jobbed - Christopher Plummer is the unquestioned pick as the best part of the so-so 'Beginners'. Same for Octavia Spencer who was the finest actress in 'The Help' - quite the statement considering it was the best ensemble performance of any film I saw in 2011.
- Still shaping up to be an 'Artist' v. 'Descendants' war at the Kodak. Giving the former a 55% shot of winning Best Picture but it's set to be one of the closest votes ever. 'The Help' still the dark horse as Academy voters adore period pieces.