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Mahershala Ali, winner for Best Supporting Actor at the Screen Actor Guild  Awards on Sunday, January 27, 2019.

The Screen Actors Guild Awards are always high praise for those so honored because the awards are the individual being honored by his or her peers.

Therefore, it is with a certain amount of justification that I note that “A Star Is Born” did not win any awards. I did not care for “A Star Is Born.”  I was mightily impressed that Bradley Cooper could (also) sing and, as a directorial debut, he did well. As for the rest of it, was there anyone among us who didn’t know that Lady Gaga could sing? And, after her appearances on “American Horror Story,” we knew she could act, as well.

But Barbra Streisand Gaga is not. Her performance opposite Cooper produced a great sound track and we all have heard “The Shallows,” which will probably win the Oscar for Best Song, but the chemistry between Gaga and Cooper, for me, was lacking. And nominating Sam Elliott for Best Supporting Actor at SAG was just odd, since he doesn’t even appear in half of the movie and his competitors were Mahershala Ali in “Green Book,” Timothee Chalomet in “Beautiful Boy,” and Adam Driver in BlackKKlansman.”

To be honest, I can’t quite understand why Mahershala Ali was considered “supporting” rather than the lead, as he was onscreen as much or more than Viggo Mortensen. But let’s just consider the screen time and achievement(s) of Chalomet as a drug-addicted teenager, Driver as a KKK member, and Ali as a pianist touring the South with Mortensen as his chauffeur.

I have to confess that “A Star Is Born” was semi-ruined by the masterminds at the Icon Theater on Roosevelt who cranked the volume up so high on a weekday afternoon that my ears nearly bled. Another admission of guilt on my part: I’m so over the entire story of “A Star Is Born.” After Barbra and Kristofferson took their swing at it back in the seventies, you could see the unhappy ending of this thing coming ten miles away.

So, let’s just all admit that “A Star Is Born” is not doing as well as the publicity it bought would have us believe. There are a couple of other films in that category this year (think “Roma”) of heavily-advertised-to-get-a-win, but let’s move forward with the TV and movie awards given out last night, which were interesting and perhaps predictive.

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I would have liked to have seen “Green Book” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” take home more than just a single award,  mourned the lack of love for Spike Lee’s “BlackKKlansman,“and I’m puzzled by veteran actor Viggo Mortensen’s continuing omission from the ranks of the winners. Viggo has been so good for so long in so many roles that I thought he would join Glenn Close as the much-nominated individual (7 times in Close’s case) who finally deserved to win.


The “given” winners, for me, were: Rachael Brosnahan in “The Magnificent Mrs. Maisel” for best female comedy series performance, Darren Criss as the leading male in a TV series for his outstanding performance as the psychotic killer of Giovanni Versace in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” Patricia Arquette in “Escape from Dannemorra” as Best Female Lead in a Limited or Mini Television Series. I was not surprised to hear the ensemble casts of “This Is Us” and “The Magnificent Mrs. Maisel” announced as winners in that category. Glenn Close as Best Actress in a Drama and Mahershala Ali as Best Supporting Performer in “Green Book” were, for me, expected.


I was surprised by Tony Shalhoub’s win for Best Actor in a Comedy Series playing the father in “The Magnificent Mrs. Maisel” and Emily Blunt’s win as Best Supporting Female Actor in “A Quiet Place.I wonder if Emily Blunt’s win was an acknowledgement of her 2 fine performances this year in the new “Mary Poppins” film as well as “A Quiet Place.” I was also pleasantly surprised to see Jason Bateman win in his category (Lead Male Actor in a Drama Series) for “Ozark” and Rami Malek’s win as Best Male Actor in a Leading Role in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” This makes 2 somewhat surprising wins for Rami Malek as Best Actor, adding to his Golden Globe win. Could this be a harbinger of the February 24th Oscars?

For me, Sandra Oh’s win for “Killing Eve” was a bit of a surprise, also, primarily because we have not yet been able to view it. On the other hand, it might not have been that surprising, since she picked up the Golden Globe award (as did Rami Malek) but hers was one of the few performances I have not had the opportunity to see.


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Patricia Arquette at the Screen Actor Guild (SAG) Awards on Jan. 27th.

Among the more interesting moments: Patricia Arquette thanking Robert Moeller for his investigation; Alan Alda accepting his Lifetime Achievement Award from Tom Hanks and receiving a very long standing ovation; and the rambling acceptance speech by Chadwick Boseman, onstage with the cast of “Black Panther,” that seemed as though it would never end and which did signal the end of the evening.