Big or Small, the Awards Season Begins to Take Shape

Malibu A-listers are in line at the SAG Awards. Leonardo DiCaprio in “Don’t Look Up.” Contributed Photo

Between COVID, diversity issues, flat-out boycotts, seriously scaled down ceremonies, like it or not, the Hollywood award season is underway.

The shindig in the desert and the gloriously glamourous Golden Globes went down to a few honorable mentions and a sip of Chardonnay.

Still, the show is going on, and event extravaganzas like the SAG Awards, Directors Guild Awards, Writers Guild Awards, Critics Choice Awards, the Independent Spirit Awards should keep venues like the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica busy in February and March. All, including the Oscars, are set to go on as scheduled for the time being.

Malibu’s lovely Lady Gaga got off to a good start, named with the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s Icon Award for her role in Ridley Scott’s “House of Gucci.”
She was also honored with the Best Actress Award from the New York Film Critics Circle along with a Critics Choice nomination.

The pared-down Golden Globe Awards gave a boost to “The Power of the Dog” for drama and local Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” for best musical.

One good sign is that the SAG-AFTRA nominations were announced as planned. Gaga’s “House of Gucci” and “The Power of the Dog” are the top film nominees earning three nominations apiece.

Local Leonardo Dicaprio also got a leg up with his recently released nail-bitter “Don’t Look Up.” With Jennifer Lawrence along with Cate Blanchett, Ariana Grande, Tyler Perry, and Meryl Steep, it made the category of best cast, which is the equivalent of best picture. Others who made the grade were “Belfast,” “CODA,” “House of Gucci,” and “King Richard.”
In addition to “Belfast’s” Caitriona Balfe, “House of Gucci’s” Lady Gaga and Jared Leto earned individual nominations. “House of Gucci” is an all-star production adding Salma Hayek, Jeremy Irons, Adam Driver, Jack Huston, and Al Pacino in the mix.

Family dramas “CODA” and “King Richard” each snagged individual acting noms. Troy Kotsur made it on the list, and Will Smith got a best male actor nod for “King Richard.”
Lady Gaga goes up against a weepy Jessica Chastain in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” Nicole Kidman is in as Lucille Ball in “Being the Ricardos,” and Jennifer Hudson picked up honors for “Respect.”

The guys have Javier Bardem in “Being the Ricardos,” Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Power of the Dog,” Denzel Washington in “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” Will Smith as “King Richard” and Andrew Garfield in “Tick, Tick…Boom!”

In the TV category, the popular small-screen sensations “Succession” and “Ted Lasso” were in the lead with five nominations each.

Among the outstanding performances by an ensemble in a TV drama series include “The Handmaid’s Tale” with Elisabeth Moss, Bradley Whitford, and Joseph Fiennes, “The Morning Show” starring Jennifer Aniston, Shari Belafonte, Steve Carell, Billy Crudup, and Reese Witherspoon, as well as “Squid Game,” “Succession” and “Yellowstone.

When it comes to comedy, it was “The Great,” against “Hacks,” “The Kominsky Method,” with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, “Only Murders in the Building,” with Steve Martin and Martin Short, and “Ted Lasso.”

After going virtual last year due to COVID, the SAG Awards are scheduled to air live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. They’re set to be at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica.

If all goes as planned, there will also be an elegant English Rose in our midst. Dame Helen Mirren has been selected to receive the 28th annual Life Achievement Award. Jolly Good!