“The Trial of the Chicago 7” won the award for the best ensemble cast of 2020 at the 27th Screen Actors Guild Awards, which were handed out in a pretaped ceremony on Sunday.
The win was a significant one for Aaron Sorkin’s courtroom drama, which is battling “Nomadland” in the Oscar Best Picture race without the benefit of a Best Director nomination for Sorkin. Although the film hasn’t won any individual acting awards, its victory in the SAG ensemble category is an important sign that it has strength with actors, who make up the largest branch of the Academy.
(The win also means that Michael Keaton is now the first person to be part of three casts that have won the SAG ensemble award, the others being “Spotlight” and “Birdman.”)
As expected, Chadwick Boseman won a posthumous Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role award for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Viola Davis won the award for a leading female performance for the same film, coming out on top in what was thought to be a tight race with Frances McDormand for “Nomadland” and Carey Mulligan for “Promising Young Woman.” The two wins made “Ma Rainey” the only film to win more than one award.
Daniel Kaluuya was named the best male actor in a supporting role for his performance as Black Panther Chairman Fred Hampton in “Judas and the Black Messiah,” continuing his nearly unbroken string of wins in supporting-actor categories. The female supporting actor award went to Yuh-Jung Youn for her role as the feisty grandmother in “Minari,” giving her an important victory in a category in which the competitors include Maria Bakalova for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” and Glenn Close for “Hillbilly Elegy.”
Boseman, Davis, Kaluuya and Youn were the first quartet of non-white actors to sweep the SAG Awards’ individual acting categories. The Oscars have never given all four of their acting awards to actors of color.
In the television awards, the ensemble prize for a drama series went to “The Crown.” Individual drama acting awards went to Gillian Anderson, one of three nominees in the category from “The Crown,” and to Jason Bateman for “Ozark.”
“Schitt’s Creek” won the award for the ensemble cast of a comedy series, while Jason Sudeikis and Catherine O’Hara won the comedy-series acting awards for “Ted Lasso” and “Schitt’s Creek,” respectively.
In the television movie or limited series categories, the winners were Mark Ruffalo for “I Know This Much Is True” and Anya Taylor-Joy for “The Queen’s Gambit.”
Netflix fared best among all distributors, winning three film awards (two for “Ma Rainey” and one for “Chicago 7”) and four TV awards (two for “The Crown” and one each for “The Queen’s Gambit” and “Ozark”).
Over the past decade, about 85 percent of SAG Awards winners in the film categories have gone on to win the Academy Award. Five times in those 10 years, all four of the SAG winners have repeated at the Oscars.
While the SAG ensemble award for film is considered an indicator that a film could have enough support to win the Oscar for Best Picture, its winner has only gone on to win Best Picture five times in the last 10 years, and 12 times in 25 years — including wins for “Parasite” last year and “Spotlight” in 2016, both of which were key to positioning those films as strong Oscar contenders.
Because of the difficulty of staging an awards show during the pandemic, SAG turned the usual live and in-person two-hour ceremony into a virtual, pre-taped one-hour show. Winners were announced during private tapings with the nominees on Wednesday and Thursday, with everyone involved in those tapings signing nondisclosure agreements to keep the results secret until the broadcast.
None of the results leaked ahead of time, and the broadcast was a brisk and effective one that for the most part managed to avoid the awkwardness that has plagued virtual or hybrid awards shows over the last several months.
SAG is now the third of the four major guilds to give out its awards. “Nomadland” won the top prize at the Producers Guild Awards, while “Promising Young Woman” and “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” won at the Writers Guild Awards.
Prior to the broadcast, SAG announced that its stunt awards went to “Wonder Woman 1984” for film and “The Mandalorian” for TV.
The show did not have a host. It interspersed the 13 awards presentations with comedy bits.
Here is the list of nominees. Winners are indicated with *WINNER.
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
“Da 5 Bloods”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
“One Night in Miami”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7” *WINNER
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Riz Ahmed – “Sound of Metal”
Chadwick Boseman – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” *WINNER
Anthony Hopkins – “The Father”
Gary Oldman – “Mank”
Steven Yeun – “Minari”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Amy Adams – “Hillbilly Elegy”
Viola Davis – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” *WINNER
Vanessa Kirby – “Pieces of a Woman”
Frances McDormand – “Nomadland”
Carey Mulligan – “Promising Young Woman”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Sacha Baron Cohen – “The Trial of Chicago 7”
Chadwick Boseman – “Da 5 Bloods”
Daniel Kaluuya – “Judas and the Black Messiah” *WINNER
Jared Leto – “The Little Things”
Leslie Odom Jr. – “One Night in Miami”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Maria Bakalova – “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Glenn Close – “Hillbilly Elegy”
Olivia Coleman – “The Father”
Youn Yuh-Jung – “Minari” WINNER
Helena Zengel – “News of the World”
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
“Better Call Saul”
“The Crown” *WINNER
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
“Dead to Me”
“The Flight Attendant”
“Schitt’s Creek” *WINNER
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series
Bill Camp – “The Queen’s Gambit”
Daveed Diggs – “Hamilton”
Hugh Grant – “The Undoing”
Ethan Hawke – “The Good Lord Bird”
Mark Ruffalo – “I Know This Much is True” *WINNER
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series
Cate Blanchett – “Miss America”
Michaela Cole – “I May Destroy You”
Nicole Kidman – “The Undoing”
Anya Taylor-Joy – “The Queen’s Gambit” *WINNER
Kerry Washington – “Little Fires Everywhere”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman – “Ozark” *WINNER
Sterling K. Brown – “This is Us”
Josh O’Connor – “The Crown”
Bob Odenkirk – “Better Call Saul”
Rege-Jean Page – “Bridgerton”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Gillian Anderson – “The Crown” *WINNER
Olivia Coleman – “The Crown”
Emma Corin – “The Crown”
Julia Garner – “Ozark”
Laura Linney – “Ozark”
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Nicholas Hoult – “The Great”
Dan Levy – “Schitt’s Creek”
Eugene Levy – “Schitt’s Creek”
Jason Sudeikis – “Ted Lasso” *WINNER
Ramy Youssef – “Ramy”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Chrstina Applegate – “Dead to Me”
Linda Cardellini – “Dead to Me”
Kaley Cuoco – “The Flight Attendant”
Annie Murphy – “Schitt’s Creek”
Catherine O’Hara – “Schitt’s Creek” *WINNER
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
“Da 5 Bloods”
“News of the World”‘
“Trial of the Chicago 7”
“Wonder Woman 1984” *WINNER
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series
“The Mandalorian” *WINNER