December 10, 2016

Oscars: How does “The Help” SAG win shake up the Best Picture race? – ANALYSIS


By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: Not so fast, Oscar prognosticators (myself, included). There might be a little more juice in this year’s Oscar race than previously assumed.

One night after “The Artist” seemed to button up a Best Picture Oscar by picking up the Directors Guild trophy for Michel Hazanavicius, Tate Taylor’s “The Help” threw its weight around the Screen Actors Guild awards, picking up key awards for Female Actor in a Supporting Role (Octavia Spencer), Female Actor in a Leading Role (Viola Davis) and Cast in a Motion Picture … the SAG equivalent of Best Picture.

A win by the “Artist” ensemble would have slammed shut any other film’s chances of topping Hazanavicius’ silent ode to old Hollywood in the coveted Best Picture race. But the show of support for Taylor’s period drama shows signs of life in what has been a landslide race up to this point. Could “The Help” build on its SAG momentum and turn the next few weeks into a frenzied contest for Oscar’s affections?

We shall see.

Elsewhere at the SAG awards (at least on the movie side), Christopher Plummer picked up yet another award for his work in “Beginners,” expertly playing a closeted homosexual coming out of the closet after his wife passes away.

But “Artist” lead Jean Dujardin threw a wrench into “Descendants” star George Clooney’s Oscar plans by picking up the SAG for Male Actor in a Leading Role. As THR’s main Oscarologist Scott Feinberg notes, Dujardin has a very good chance of taking Best Actor away from Clooney on Oscar eve, and this SAG win suggests a shift in momentum in that category.

“In so doing, [Dujardin] became the new frontrunner to win the best actor Academy Award, just like the last seven best actor SAG Award winners and all but four best actor SAG Award winners ever,” Feinberg writes.

So, the race – which we declared over just a few days ago – is back on. The ball is back in Harvey Weinstein’s court, because the bulk of today’s headlines are about “The Help,” and not “The Artist.” Plenty of time to swing momentum back to Hazanavicius’ gem, but the next big move has to happen soon.

And because we never tire of showing it, here is Davis and the cast of “The Help” picking up our Hollywood Ensemble trophy at the Hollywood Film Awards in October. Truly, this film’s awards journey started on our stage, and we couldn’t be happier for their success:

Awards Alley brings you the best Oscar coverage. Click below to read our exclusive interviews with:
Harvey Weinstein
– The cast of “The Artist.”
Kenneth Branagh for “My Week With Marilyn.”
Bennett Miller talks “Moneyball.”
– Producer Jim Burke for “The Descendants.”
Sir Ben Kingsley and Chloe Grace Moretz for “Hugo.”
Tilda Swinton for “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
David Fincher, Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for “The Help.”
Tate Taylor for “The Help.”
Woody Harrelson for “Rampart.”
Gavin O’Connor for “Warrior.”
Gary Oldman and Colin Firth for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”
Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody for “Young Adult.”
Steve McQueen for “Shame.”
Glenn Close for “Albert Nobbs.”
Seth Rogen and Will Reiser for “50/50.”
– Producer Grant Heslov for “The Ides of March.”

For complete Oscar and Film Festival coverage, visit our Awards Alley for the latest news items, reviews and interviews all season long.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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One Comment

  • January 30, 2012 | Permalink |

    With ‘The Help’ winning big time last night, that MAY or IS gonna change things for the oscars!!!!!!

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