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Oscar fever/SAG wrap up

We are now less than a month from Oscar Night. Over the weekend, I saw three nominated films (Notes on a Scandal, Last King of Scotland, and Venus), poured through the Entertainment Weekly Oscar preview issue, and glanced hopefully at every magazine rack I passed for the new Vanity Fair. I am feeling that fever. Luckily, there's David Schmader's awesome new podcast, AA MEETING, over at The Stranger and the Vanity Fair blog to fulfill my increasing need for info, gossip and speculation. Last night, I stopped my twitches by watching the Screen Actors Guild Awards. You can find the list of who won here. The evening went mostly as predicted: Helen Mirren won for playing both Queen Elizabeths (in Elizabeth I and The Queen), the casts of Grey's Anatomy and The Office all crowded up on stage, Hugh Laurie was charming. The only things that surprised me were Alec Baldwin's win for 30 Rock (Hurrah! People watch that show! Let's see the cast up there next year!) and the last award of the night, Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture. I thought for sure the power of Pitt/Blanchett in Babel or at least the ladies and Eddie of Dreamgirls would get it. But now that I think about it, Babel is about smaller groups of people in loosely interwoven stories and in Dreamgirls, everyone takes a turn belting it out. The cast of Little Miss Sunshine had to work together as a tight knit (almost literally in those van scenes) ensemble. There were no sprawling backgrounds or songs or historical flashbacks to cut to, just the family and their story. It makes sense, I guess. It also makes Little Miss Sunshine the frontrunner for Best Picture (Crash won this last year), along with its Producer's Guild win. Maybe I need to watch it again... Fashion side note: Little Miss Sunshine co-director Jonathan Dayton was wearing a smart looking hat throughout the awards presentation. Unexpected actor interaction moment: The cast of The Mary Tyler Moore show gave The Office their award. While Steve Carrell was talking, I swear I saw John Krasinski lean over and whisper something to Mary Tyler Moore. What did he say? "I love Flirting With Disaster"? In lieu of anyone else unexpected winning, there were some great speeches. Forest Whitaker was shy and humble in the mostendearing way; I can only imagine how he'll look when he wins the Oscar. Grey's Anatomy's Chandra Wilson was proud to take her award home to her girls. The luminous Julie Andrews accepted the Life Achievement Award with true grace. And while most everyone mentioned the special honor of getting an award from one's peers, America Ferrera did it the best. You can read everyone's speeches here. I wish every awards show had acceptance speech transcripts. If anyone is hiring for someone to transcribe Academy Award speeches, please let me know. I'll work for a place on the bleachers outside on the Red Carpet.

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