The Screen Actors Guild Awards, commonly referred to as the SAG Awards, are one of the most prestigious awards in the entertainment industry. Every year, actors and actresses gather together to celebrate the best performances in film and television. The 29th edition of the SAG Awards was held on Sunday, February 27th, 2023, and it was a night to remember.
Hosted by actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish, the ceremony took place at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles. The red carpet was filled with stars, all dressed to impress. With COVID-19 restrictions still in place, the audience was smaller than usual, but the energy and excitement were still high.
The ceremony began with a heartfelt tribute to the late Sidney Poitier, a trailblazing actor who paved the way for generations of Black actors. Poitier passed away just a few weeks before the ceremony, and his impact on the industry was felt throughout the night. The tribute included clips from his most iconic roles, as well as speeches from his colleagues and friends.
As for the awards themselves, there were some surprises and some expected wins. In the film categories, “The Power of the Dog” emerged as the big winner of the night, taking home four awards, including Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Jane Campion, who directed the film, also won for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Feature Film. Kristen Stewart won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for her portrayal of Princess Diana in “Spencer,” while Denzel Washington won for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for “The Tragedy of Macbeth.”
In the television categories, “Succession” continued its winning streak, taking home the award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. The show’s star, Brian Cox, also won for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series. Meanwhile, “Hacks” and “Ted Lasso” were also big winners, with Jean Smart and Jason Sudeikis taking home awards for their performances.
One of the most emotional moments of the night came when the late Chadwick Boseman won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Boseman, who passed away in 2020, was remembered fondly by his colleagues and friends, who paid tribute to his talent, kindness, and impact on the industry.
In addition to the awards themselves, the SAG Awards ceremony featured a number of memorable moments. Host Tiffany Haddish kept the audience laughing with her sharp wit and comedic timing, while presenters and winners alike delivered heartfelt speeches that touched on a wide range of topics, from the importance of representation and diversity in Hollywood to the need for greater mental health support for performers.
One particularly powerful moment came when actress Laverne Cox presented the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series. In her speech, Cox spoke about the challenges faced by transgender actors in the industry and called for greater visibility and support. She also highlighted the importance of allyship, saying “If you are not an ally to trans people, you’re not an ally to anyone.”
Another standout moment came when actress Laura Dern presented the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role. Before announcing the winner, Dern paid tribute to her parents, actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd, and spoke about the importance of family in the entertainment industry. She also honored the memory of her close friend and collaborator, director David Lynch.
Throughout the night, the SAG Awards also featured a number of musical performances. Singer-songwriter H.E.R. delivered a soulful rendition of her hit song “Fight for You,” which was featured in the film “Judas and the Black Messiah.” Andra Day, who won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role last year for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” also performed a moving tribute to the late singer.
Overall, the 29th edition of the SAG Awards was a night filled with celebration, emotion, and talent. It was a reminder of the incredible work that actors and actresses do every day, and a celebration of the power of storytelling. While the world continues to face challenges, it is heartening to know that the entertainment industry continues to thrive, bringing joy, inspiration, and hope to people all over the world.