In a flurry of wins at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Sundance Film Festival, diversity made a comeback.
Over just a few hours Saturday night, the SAG Awards and Sundance showered their honors on a parade of performers and films that presented a stark contrast to the crisis that has plagued the Oscars. Shortly after the screen actors handed out awards to Queen Latifah, Uzo Aduba, Viola Davis and Idris Elba (twice), Nate Parker’s Sundance sensation “The Birth of a Nation,” a drama about Nat Turner’s slave rebellion, swept the festival’s awards.
The two ceremonies, in Los Angeles and Park City, Utah, offered a night of reprieve from weeks of rancor over systemic inequality in the movie business and a second straight year of all-white Academy Award acting nominees.
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to diverse TV,” said Elba in his third trip on stage as a presenter at the SAG Awards. His first two were to accept awards for his supporting performance in the Netflix child soldier drama “Beasts of No Nation” and for his lead performance in the BBC miniseries “Luther.”
Soon thereafter, at Sundance, Parker took the festival’s grand jury prize and its audience award.
“Thank you, Sundance, for creating a platform for us to grow, in spite of what the rest of Hollywood is doing,” said Parker, whose directorial debut sold for a record sum to Fox Searchlight Pictures.
The SAG Awards top honor, best ensemble in a film, went to the newspaper drama “Spotlight,” which came into Saturday badly in need of some momentum. The ensemble award had seemingly come down to “Spotlight” or Adam McKay’s high finance tale “The Big Short,” which last week took the Producers Guild’s top award.
Grease is the word
Vanessa Hudgens will take the stage in Fox’s “Grease: Live” on Sunday night in honor of her father, who passed away on Saturday.
The actress tweeted on Sunday that her father, Greg, had died the night before and thanked those who kept him in their prayers. Hudgens said he was suffering from stage 4 cancer.
On Sunday night, Hudgens will be performing the role of Rydell High’s resident bad girl Rizzo in “Grease: Live,” which is a hybrid of the stage and movie musical. Julianne Hough and Broadway veteran Aaron Tveit also star as Sandy and Danny.
“Grease: Live” airs on Fox on Sunday from 7-10 p.m. EST.
Singer Harry Styles is 21. … MMA fighter Ronda Rousey is 28. … Reality star Lauren Conrad is 29. … Actor Michael C. Hall is 44. … Rapper Big Boi is 40. … Actor Pauly Shore is 47. … Comediat Garret Morris is 78.
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