Robert De Niro, Emilia Clarke arrive for Hollywood’s SAG awards

Robert De Niro arrives for the 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California January 19, 2020. — Reuters pic
Robert De Niro arrives for the 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California January 19, 2020. — Reuters pic

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LOS ANGELES, Jan 20 — A silver-haired Robert De Niro, sporting a beard, Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown, and Helena Bonham Carter of The Crown were among early arrivals at the Screen Actors Guild SAG) awards today, where Hollywood actors will make their picks for the best movie and television performances of 2019.

British actor Andrew Scott, the “hot priest” from quirky television comedy Fleabag donned a pink silk shirt and pink suit, while Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke chose a hot pink gown to walk the silver carpet in Los Angeles.

Joker star Joaquin Phoenix, Marriage Story lead actor Adam Driver, Jennifer Lopez of Hustlers and Laura Dern in Marriage Story are among the A-listers competing for SAG awards, three weeks before the Oscars in February.

De Niro, whose lead performance in The Irishman has been snubbed by the Oscars, Golden Globes and SAG is getting a lifetime achievement award at the SAG dinner.

Sexual harassment drama Bombshell went into today’s awards with a leading four nods for its story of how misconduct allegations by women in 2016 led to the ouster of Fox News network founder Roger Ailes.

Charlize Theron, who underwent hours in make-up to transform her appearance for her role as former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, is one of the favourites, along with her Bombshell co-stars Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie. Ailes denied the multiple accusations from female staffers and died a year later.

However, Rene Zellweger has picked up most of the prizes so far for her performance as a desperate, ageing Judy Garland in biopic Judy. A win at SAG after a Golden Globe earlier this month will further boost her chances for a second Oscar next month.

The SAG awards are closely watched as an indicator of Oscar success because actors form the largest voting group in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Yet this year, several of the contenders for best picture at the Oscars on February 9 were not nominated for cast ensemble at SAG. They include immersive World War One film 1917, the big winner at the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday, as well as dark comic book story Joker, heart-wrenching divorce drama Marriage Story, and novel adaptation Little Women.

Bombshell last week failed to make a big impact in Oscar nominations and after a disappointing US$30 million (RM122 million) box office so far, awards pundits say the contest for SAG’s top prize of best movie cast is likely to come down to two star-laden films — Netflix gangster epic The Irishman and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the 1960s throwback celebrating the entertainment industry.

Brad Pitt’s charming stuntman and Leonardo DiCaprio’s fading Western TV star are nominated for Once Upon a Time, while Al Pacino and Joe Pesci are both in the supporting actor race for The Irishman.

In television, the casts of series competing for the top categories include Big Little Lies, The Crown, Fleabag, Game of Thrones, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel. — Reuters

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