'Hidden Figures' takes top prize at SAG Awards

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jan 30 2017 11:41 AM

Octavia Spencer (L), Janelle Monae (2nd L) and Taraji P. Henson accept their award for Cast in a Motion Picture for "Hidden Figures" during the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California. Mike Blake, Reuters

LOS ANGELES -- Fox's biographical comedy-drama "Hidden Figures" landed the top prize Sunday at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, seen as a major bellwether for the Oscars.

Starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae, it took the trophy for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, the SAG equivalent of a best film Academy Award.
Theodore Melfi's movie, which recounts the story of African-American mathematicians who helped NASA put the first men in space, was a surprise winner, with Kenneth Lonergan's "Manchester by the Sea" widely tipped for the top prize.

It also beat coming-of-age drama "Moonlight," comedy "Captain Fantastic" and race relations story "Fences."

"Manchester" star Casey Affleck -- the frontrunner for the best actor Oscar -- was also shut out, with the equivalent SAG award going instead to Denzel Washington for "Fences."

Washington, 62, who has two Oscars, also beat competition from Andrew Garfield ("Hacksaw Ridge"), Viggo Mortensen ("Captain Fantastic") and Ryan Gosling ("La La Land").

In the best actress category, Emma Stone won for "La La Land," Damien Chazelle's whimsical tribute to the musicals of Hollywood's golden age.

The support acting awards went to Mahershala Ali for "Moonlight" and Viola Davis for "Fences."

On the television side, five series were tied going into the show with three nominations each -- Netflix's "The Crown" and "Stranger Things," HBO's "Game of Thrones" and "Westworld," and FX's "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story."

It was "The Crown," which follows the lives and loves of Britain's post-war Royal Family, which came out on top, picking up best actor awards for John Lithgow and Claire Foy while "Stranger Things" won the award for best cast in a drama series.

The SAG nominations are the second major announcement in Tinseltown's glittering awards season, which climaxes with the Academy Awards on February 26.

The evening was marked by speeches denouncing President Donald Trump's immigration ban targeting several Muslim-majority countries.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus followed suit as she picked up her second SAG award for comedy acting in "Veep" -- her eighth statuette overall.

In a speech aimed solely at Trump, Dreyfus -- whose father fled Nazi-occupied France -- said she loved the US but hated its blemishes, adding "this immigration ban is a blemish."

She also poked fun at Trump's focus on attendance at his inauguration and allegations of voter fraud.

"Whether the Russians did or did not hack the SAG awards, I look out across the million, maybe 1.5 million people in this room and say this award is legitimate and I won it," she said.

© 1994-2017 Agence France-Presse