The unexpected win for Jamie Lee Curtis was the first clue. The expected one for Ke Huy Quan kept the momentum going. The victory for Michelle Yeoh sealed the deal. And before the Screen Actors Guild Awards even came to an end with the inevitable film-ensemble win for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” the lesson of this crowded awards weekend was clear:
Voters are treating Everything Everywhere All at Once not just as a film title, but as a voting instruction.
“Everything Everywhere” took the top award at Saturday night’s Producers Guild Awards and then won in every category it could at Sunday’s SAG Awards, setting a new record for the most SAG wins in a single night by one film.
And an Oscar race that looked up in the air two days ago now has a seriously strong frontrunner. The indie movie that was supposed to be too divisive to win is now on such a roll that it’s hard to imagine it not winning at the Dolby Theater in two weeks.
Nothing is set in stone, but Sunday’s SAG Awards made the Best Picture race much clearer, gave Yeoh her first head-to-head victory over Cate Blanchett and dropped Curtis with a big bang into a supporting-actress race that was supposed to belong to Angela Bassett.
And in news that has nothing to do with “Everything Everywhere,” SAG-AFTRA voters also gave “The Whale” star Brendan Fraser a needed boost at a time when Austin Butler’s performance in “Elvis” seemed to be picking up momentum in the Best Actor race.
On Friday, I wrote a story outlining the things that all the major Best Picture contenders needed to do this weekend to take momentum into the start of Oscar voting on Thursday.
For “Everything Everywhere,” I gave this as the best-case scenario:
It wins Producers Guild on Saturday and SAG ensemble on Sunday to give it a formidable trifecta with the Directors Guild Award it already won. And if it wants to rub it in, supporting-actor lock Ke Huy Quan is joined in the SAG winners’ circle when Michelle Yeoh scores an upset over Cate Blanchett and Jamie Lee Curtis does the same over Angela Bassett or Kerry Condon.
I didn’t expect it to check off everything on that list, but it did. Because everything seems to be the operative word with this movie — and increasingly, the theme of this awards season.
In the SAG Awards TV categories, meanwhile, there were a few surprises and a handful of mixed messages. The final season of “Ozark” got a nice sendoff in the form of an acting award for Jason Bateman, which meant that the final season of “Better Call Saul” didn’t get any parting gifts. “The Bear” proved to be a newcomer to reckon with by virtue of its win for Jeremy Allen White, but other prizes went to familiar shows including “Abbott Elementary,” “Hacks” and “The White Lotus,” which seems to be surviving its move from limited series to drama series quite nicely.
And Jessica Chastain’s win for the limited series “George & Tammy” may have been a sign that the calendar has flipped, and that Amanda Seyfried can stop winning for “The Dropout” now that the one-year anniversary of its premiere nears.
But we’re months away from knowing if any of those TV awards will be duplicated at the 2023 Emmys. For now, the big news from the SAG Awards was that it means for the awards show that’s taking place in two weeks.
And that awards race is now pointing toward a crazy little movie that looks more formidable by the day.