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The Screen Actors Guild: Predictable with a twist

The awards show gave prizes to favorites and mixed up the Best Picture race

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Since 19 out of 20 of SAG’s film acting nominees matched up with Oscar nods, it’s no surprise that the Screen Actors Guild Awards (held Jan. 28) were a fairly predictable affair. The four individual prizes went to the current front-runners: The Queen‘s Helen Mirren and The Last King of Scotland‘s Forest Whitaker, as well as Dreamgirls‘ Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy. Meanwhile, Little Miss Sunshine‘s best-ensemble win (SAG’s equivalent of Best Picture) could rev up the Academy Awards race. In three out of the last four years — most notably in 2006, when Crash beat Brokeback Mountain for the best-cast prize — the SAG winner went on to score the Oscar. So could Sunshine, which also won the Producers Guild trophy, now be poised to upset The Departed and Babel come Feb. 25? Its chances are certainly improving, but consider a similar situation two years ago, when another charming indie, Sideways, took home the SAG award only to lose to a larger-scale film (Million Dollar Baby) on Oscar night. So it seems this fight will definitely come down to the final round.

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