Malibu Seen: Screen gems

It’s getting down to the wire as Oscar momentum continues to build. Local director Steven Spielberg’s epic “Lincoln” has the most nominations in this year’s race, including four of the biggest—best picture, best director, Daniel Day Lewis for best actor and Sally Field for best supporting actress. Impressive as that may be, Ben Affleck’s CIA drama “Argo” is picking up steam. 

The most recent evidence came at Sunday night’s star-filled Screen Actors Guild award ceremony. “Argo” took home the big prize when it won best cast in a motion picture. 

“Lincoln’s” Daniel Day Lewis captured another trophy at the awards show. The acclaimed actor has received rave reviews for his portrayal of one of the nation’s great presidents. Tommy Lee Jones nabbed the supporting role statuette. 

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From the Palm Springs Film Festival to the People’s Choice Awards, the red carpet season is well underway, but the SAG fete is always seen as a good barometer for Oscar glory, as so many of its members belong to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 

On another local note, Malibu’s legendary Dick Van Dyke received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award (for more info, read our front-page story). Alec Baldwin presented the honor to the 87-year-old vet. The “30 Rock” star stepped in at the very last minute after Dick’s longtime professional pals Mary Tyler Moore and Carl Reiner ended up at home nursing the flu bug. 

Loads of locals know Dick as a friend and neighbor, and weren’t surprised when he accepted his award with his trademark “gee whiz, oh gosh” humility and grace. After receiving a standing ovation from the likes of Robert De Niro and Claire Danes, Dick marveled at the honor. 

“Oh wow, the years have been full of surprises and fun,” he exclaimed. “I am looking at the greatest generation of actors and you are everywhere.” Hoisting the heavy actors award, he continued, “If this heavy object means I can refer to all of you as my peers, then I am a happy man.” 

Dick made his mark in unforgettable family classics like “Mary Poppins” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” as well as Nick at Nite faves like “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” The actor’s moving speech was one of the evening’s highlights and gave everyone a trip down memory lane. 

As for “Argo” versus “ Lincoln,” that contest will continue this Sunday with the Director’s Guild Awards. Affleck will compete against Spielberg as well as Kathryn Bigelow, who was the woman behind “Zero Dark Thirty,” Tom Hopper, who created the drama of “Les Miserables,” and Ang Lee who whipped up the magic in “Life of Pi.” 

It all leads up to the Academy Awards ceremony, which is only a few weeks away. “Argo” or “Lincoln?” “Pi” or “Les Miserables?” The Oscar race is anyone’s guess, and there could just be a “Silver Lining.” 

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