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Critics notebook: SAG awards turn gender equality into a trick



After a refreshingly relevant Golden Globe broadcast, the SAG Awards' focus on empowering women felt superficial, and a predictable set of winners only complicated the sense of stagnation.

If the Golden Globes were the impressive debut of Time & # 39; s Up, the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday night were the disappointing follow-up of the movement.

It may not be fair to call the Sunday night award: the biggest industrial event since the Globes two weeks ago – The Time & # 39; s Up second cycle "effort", as its organizers seem to have barely put the effort. Led by the inaugural presenter Kristen Bell and presented by an all-female cast, the SAG Awards – which took place the day after the second Women's March – largely converted the issue of gender equality into a trick of attention that made little to advance in talks in the industry.

The most powerful moment of the night (quite boring) came when Marisa Tomei and Rosanna Arquette took the stage to pay tribute to the "silent" who presented their stories of abuse. "Rosanna, you are one of those voices," Tomei said as the crowd applauded, "and we all owe you a debt of gratitude." A visibly moved Arquette thanked other artists for introducing themselves: Asia Argento, Annabella Sciorra, Ashley Judd, Daryl Hannah, Mira Sorvino, Anthony Rapp and Olivia Munn.

And remarkably, Sam Rockwell, who took home the Best Supporting Actor trophy for Three billboards outside of Ebbing, Missouri, became the first male winner to endorse Time & # 39; s Up on the podium, if it was oblique. After calling his Billboard co-star Frances McDormand a "powerhouse" he declared, " I'm shoulder to shoulder with you and all the amazing women in this room trying to improve things . "

The rest of the two hours of the ceremony ranged from mild complacency to deaf deaf. Bell tried to give life to some of the prizes of the series of prizes "for actors, actors" with its characteristic sardonic humor. She appeared at the top of the show with: "I'm Kristen Bell, and I'm a narcissist, I'm sorry, I'm an actor," a web taunt that only worked because of her veteran comedic time. But from its brief opening monologue, The actress Good Place was constantly disappointed by the writers of the awards, as practically all the presenters.

And because the presenters were so A significant or entertaining little joke, the spectacle of seeing the women present the prize categories became that: a show. The unexpected chemistry between some couples, like Olivia Munn and Niecy Nash (who, let's face it, is a born superstar who could evoke sparks with a mop), was created for an unexpectedly pointy moment. (Nash called Dibs to announce the name of Sterling K. Brown if he won the Best Actor award in the Drama Series category; "you can say any Asian nominee," said actress Claws Munn, deliberately alludes to the relative lack of Asian representation in the film and television industries.)

And any self-respecting prize producer would receive by phone the next morning to book Molly Shannon and Leslie Mann as a duo of co-hosts. But because these women were the presenters, their time on stage was limited and scripted to flatter another person, thus reinforcing the role of women as support and nurturing of others.

The predictability of the winners added to the boring mood of the night. with Oscar's favorite Three billboards in Ebbing, Missouri defeating the competition with Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and the best triumphs of the Ensemble. Other pillars of this awards season came to the podium: Gary Oldman for The Darkest Hour Allison Janney for Yo, Tonya Nicole Kidman for Big Little Lies ] Sterling K Brown for This is Us and Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Veep cast of the famous HBO comedy.

Kidman practically begged for "writers, directors and financiers" "to give the opportunity to tell stories about women over 40 in a heartwarming but familiar speech." "We have shown that we can do this," Kidman said of the actresses in their demographics. "We can continue doing this, but only with the support of the industry and that money and passion."

It is a feeling with which McDormand imagines in agreement; she said so many words during her publicity tour for her HBO miniseries 2014 Olive Kitteridge . But when McDormand took the stage to pick up his Best Actress trophy and let everyone in the Shrine Auditorium know he had something to say about "acting," he was only referring to his agent, manager and publicist. Taking into account the controversies surrounding Three Billboards for their racial and non-feminist issues, the dramatic pause before and after the word "representation" felt worthy of Bell's mild comments on self-involvement of the actors.

Hollywood The naughtiest actress demonstrated how she got the title at the end of her speech with this self-conscious, half-insensitive statement: "I leave the forest every few years and you invite me to the party, but there are a lot of young people on the way, and They also need doors.

In fact, working and fighting actors received numerous shouts from the stage, including one from the president of SAG-AFTRA, Gabrielle Carteris. At the time in the spotlight, she pivoted #MeToo's conversation to the importance of unions, affirming the feeling that the boosterism of the SAG Unions remained on the path of their show of solidarity with their most vulnerable members. I suspect that the women of Hollywood, with their talent for the collective show, are keeping the meaty things of #MeToo for the Oscars. It's okay; everyone in that audience knows the importance of ascending and descending tension. But he sure made Sunday night feel like a train rider, at best, and a miscalculation that exploits a real shortage of female representation at worst.


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