Iran hostage crisis drama Argo won the best film drama prize at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards on Sunday, in yet another boost for its prospects at next month’s all-important Oscars.
Steven Spielberg’s top-tipped presidential drama Lincoln also scored successes with best actor for Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role and supporting actor Tommy Lee Jones.
Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence took the best actress SAG award for her role in romcom Silver Linings Playbook, while Anne Hathaway took best supporting actress for her singing performance in musical Les Miserables.
On the small screen, Downton Abbey and Modern Family were the big winners in the drama and comedy categories respectively, while television-themed hit comedy series 30 Rock — about to end its last season — won two top awards.
For Ben Affleck, who directed and starred in Argo, it was the second top prize in as many days after his film won the Producers Guild of America award, a key bellwether for Oscars glory, on Saturday night.
Argo caused a surprise by winning best picture and best director for Affleck at this month’s Golden Globes and is nominated in seven categories for the Oscars on Feb. 24.
It tells the story of a daring CIA mission to rescue six US diplomats who took refuge at the Canadian embassy in Tehran during the 1979 hostage crisis, bringing them out disguised as crewmembers for a Hollywood science-fiction film.
Day-Lewis’ SAG success will only increase his already strong chances of winning the best actor category at the Oscars, while Lawrence’s success adds a dimension to her star status from worldwide blockbuster Hunger Games.
The British-Irish actor, who won the best actor Globe for his role as the US’ 16th president, joked about having hesitated before accepting the role of such a political icon.
“It occurred to me it was an actor that murdered Abraham Lincoln ... and therefore it’s only fitting that every now and then, an actor tries to bring him back to life again,” he said, to laughter from his fellow acting professionals.
Asked backstage about his hopes for winning an Oscar this year — in what would be a record third best actor Academy Award for one person — he joked: “Members of the Academy [of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences] love surprises.”
Affleck took to the stage shortly after Day-Lewis accepted his award at the end of the two-hour SAG show.
“I can’t believe I’m standing in the place where Daniel Day-Lewis just was. I feel like maybe I’ll be a better actor, just from the radiation,” he joked.
On the small screen, multiple Emmy-winning British historical drama Downton Abbey won best drama series cast, while Modern Family took the cast prize in the comedy category. Best TV drama actor went to Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad, while Claire Danes won best drama actress for spy series Homeland.
Best TV comedy series actor and actress prizes went to the stars of 30 Rock, Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey, whose show is about to finish after seven successful seasons.
The US and the Philippines plan to announce new sites as soon as possible for an expanded Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), which gives the Western power access to military bases in the Southeast Asian country. Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr last month granted the US access to four military bases, on top of five existing locations under the 2014 EDCA, amid China’s increasing assertiveness regarding the South China Sea and Taiwan. Speaking at the Basa Air Base in Manila, one of the existing EDCA sites, US Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall said the defense agreements between the two countries
‘DUAL PURPOSE’: Upgrading the port is essential for the Solomon Islands’ economy and might not be military focused, but ‘it is not about bases, it is about access,’ an analyst said The Solomon Islands has awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to a Chinese state company to upgrade an international port in Honiara in a project funded by the Asian Development Bank, a Solomon Islands official said yesterday. China Civil Engineering Construction Co (CCECC) was the only company to submit a bid in the competitive tender, Solomon Islands Ministry of Infrastructure Development official Mike Qaqara said. “This will be upgrading the old international port in Honiara and two domestic wharves in the provinces,” Qaqara said. Responding to concerns that the port could be deepened for Chinese naval access, he said there would be “no expansion.” The Solomon
CONFLICTING ACCOUNTS: The US destroyer’s routine operations in the South China Sea would have ‘serious consequences,’ the defense ministry said China yesterday threatened “serious consequences” after the US Navy sailed a destroyer around the disputed Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) in the South China Sea for the second day in a row, in a move Beijing claimed was a breach of its sovereignty and security. The warning came amid growing tensions between China and the US in the region, as Washington pushes back at Beijing’s growingly assertive posture in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway it claims virtually in its entirety. On Thursday, after the US sailed the USS Milius guided-missile destroyer near the Paracel Islands, China said its navy and
Seven stories above a shop floor hawking cheap perfume and nylon underwear, Thailand’s “shopping mall gorilla” sits alone in a cage — her home for 30 years despite a reignited row over her captivity. Activists around the world have long campaigned for the primate to be moved from Pata Zoo, on top of a Bangkok mall, with singer Cher and actor Gillian Anderson adding their voices in 2020. However, the family who owns Bua Noi — whose name translates as “little lotus” — have resisted public and government pressure to relinquish the critically endangered animal. The gorilla has lived at Pata for more