“Trial of the Chicago 7” judged best performance this year by the Screen Actors Guild

Los Angeles, April 5 2021: Aaaron Sorkin’s court-room drama based on the trial of the lead protestors involved in the 1968 US anti-war demonstrations and subsequent riots, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”, has been awarded best performance by the Screen Actors Guild, strengthening its potential for an Oscar nomination.

The film which has a civil-rights theme at its center was lauded by the actors and the Guild alike. The awards are a key-predictor of the Oscars later in the year.

In a virtual bare-bones affair, with a host-less ceremony broadcasted online this year, the SAG awards included one for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” star, Chadwick Boseman, was posthumously voted best actor for 1920s blues drama. His widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, who accepted his prize quoted her deceased husband, “If you see the world unbalanced, be a crusader that pushes heavily on the seesaw of the mind.” The actor who also performed in “Black Panther” was honoured with a memorium along with Sean Connery and Christopher Plummer

“Nomadland”, Chloe Zhao’s road movie remains and Oscar favourite but did not receive a SAG nomination.

It was a year that saw a a wide minority representation both behind and in-front of the camera, Daniel Kaluuya was awarded best supporting actor for his performance as Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in “Judas and the Black Messiah.”

The SAG has recently found appreciation for South Korean drama and this year, Yuh-jung Youn won supporting actress for “Minari,” an immigrant tale set in 1980s Arkansas.

The actor was visibly surprised and said, “I don’t know how to describe my feelings, being recognized by Westerners… everything is not familiar!”.

“Minari”, along with “Ma Rainey,” “One Night in Miami” and “Da 5 Bloods” all with predominantly Black casts,  lost the night’s final prize to “Chicago 7,” which gives the film the best chance at competing with “Nomadland” for the Oscar.

Jason Sudeikis who plays the clueless American coach in “Ted Lasso” was named best TV comedy actor, while “Schitt’s Creek” took the other comedy prizes, including Catherine O’Hara for best actress. The history-based royal drama, “The Crown” won best drama, with its star Gillian Anderson earning best actress. “Ozark” actor, Jason Bateman won the best actor male in drama.

In the category of limited series, Mark Ruffalo and Anya Taylor-Joy added to their Golden Globe wins for “I Know This Much Is True” and “The Queen’s Gambit.”

The speeches included actors commenting on they spent their pandemic-confined lives the past year, and a particular incident where Helen Mirren quoted her account of chasing a bear away from her home in the US Sierra Nevada mountains made for memorable viewing.

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