Annette Bening and Kevin Spacey snagged top honors from their acting brethren at Sunday night's Screen Actor Guild Awards for their dysfunctional squabbling in American Beauty. SAG also awarded its ensemble acting prize to the Beauty cast, led by Spacey as a joint-toking man enduring a midlife crisis and Bening as his social-climbing wife.
Which all means it might not be such a wide-open Oscar race after all. After five years in existence, SAG has a near-perfect record in picking Academy Award-winning actors. The guild has chosen nine of the 10 performers who went on to win Oscars for lead roles.
And the Beauty wins came just one day after rookie filmmaker Sam Mendes took home the Directors Guild's top prize for the film (the DGA is another accurate Academy Award predictor), leaving little doubt that the dark suburban flick will take home some major hardware on March 26.
But SAG is far from a perfect prognosticator of Oscar glory. The guild has a 50-50 record for picking the best supporting roles in films. This year, Michael Caine upset Magnolia chauvinist and Golden Globe winner Tom Cruise, for his role as an ether-addicted abortion doctor in The Cider House Rules. Angelina Jolie took home another supporting actress prize for her much-lauded performance in Girl, Interrupted, beating out the likes of Magnolia's Julianne Moore and Being John Malkovich's Catherine Keener.
Meanwhile, SAG paid homage to another heavily awarded family that's probably nothing like your own, handing the HBO mobsters The Sopranos top awards for lead actors in a TV drama (James Gandolfini and Edie Falco), and for best ensemble cast.
The difference between SAG's honors and the glut of other awards shows is that only card-carrying members of the actors union can vote on the honors. The nominations are picked by 4,200 randomly selected SAG members, and are voted on by the entire membership of more than 97,000 actors and actresses.
Here's the complete list of winners at the Sixth Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards: Actor, Motion Picture: Kevin Spacey, American Beauty Actress, Motion Picture: Annette Bening, American Beauty Supporting Actor, Motion Picture: Michael Caine, The Cider House Rules Supporting Actress, Motion Picture: Angelina Jolie, Girl, Interrupted Ensemble Acting, Motion Picture: American Beauty Actor, TV Drama: James Gandolfini, The Sopranos Actress, TV Drama: Edie Falco, The Sopranos Ensemble Acting, TV Drama: The Sopranos Actor, TV Comedy: Michael J. Fox, Spin City Actress, TV Comedy: Lisa Kudrow, Friends Ensemble Acting, TV Comedy: Frasier Actor, TV Miniseries/Movie: Jack Lemmon, Oprah Winfrey Presents: Tuesdays With Morrie Actress, TV Miniseries/Movie: Halle Berry, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge Life Achievement Award: Sidney Poitier