The Help apparently didn't need any at the Screen Actor's Guild (SAG) Awards this weekend. The drama starring Emma Stone and Academy Award-nominees Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain took home three of the five Theatrical Motion Picture awards, for Davis (Actress in a Leading Role), Spencer (Actress in a Supporting Role) and the film's ensemble cast, which is the SAG Awards equivalent of a "Best Picture" category. Predictably, The Artist's Jean Dujardin took home Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Christopher Plummer won for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in Beginners, where he plays an elderly man who comes out of the closet near the end of his life.
Most of the winners are the expected frontrunners in the Oscar race, but Viola Davis managed to trump both Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams in the Best Actress in a Leading Role category, making the Best Actress Oscar the most neck-and-neck race in recent memory. Streep and Williams took home the Golden Globes, shutting out Davis completely, but clearly SAG – whose members actually overlap with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) members – feel differently. They also felt that The Help had a stronger ensemble cast than Best Picture Oscar frontrunner The Artist, but let's not be too hasty about saying Michel Hazanavicius' silent has much competition. Hazanavicius won the Director's Guild of America (DGA) Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Feature Film, and you know what that means…
Um… Do you? The DGA Awards are actually one of the best prognosticators of the Oscar race. Since the DGA started handing out awards in 1949, the winner of the accolade has gone on to win the Academy Award for Best Director over 90% of the time. Only six directors have ever won the DGA Award without going on to an Oscar win in the same category, making Michel Hazanavicius the clear frontrunner for the Academy Award. And since the Best Director winner usually goes hand-in-hand with Best Picture (over 72% of the time, at any rate), it certainly seems like nothing can stop The Artist from taking home the big prize.
CraveOnline will be back with more Oscar Race news after we polish our statues.