CIA thriller Argo continued to steamroll through awards season, winning the top honour for overall cast performance at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
SAG’s lead-acting honours went to Jennifer Lawrence for her role as a troubled widow in a shaky new relationship in the lost-souls romance Silver Linings Playbook and Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln in the Civil War epic Lincoln.
Anne Hathaway of Les Miserables and Tommy Lee Jones of Lincoln won the supporting-acting honours.
“It occurred to me - it was an actor that murdered Abraham Lincoln,” said Day-Lewis, a solid front-runner to join an exclusive list of three-time acting Oscar winners.
“And therefore, somehow it is only so fitting that every now and then an actor tries to bring him back to life again.”
It was a brisk, businesslike and fairly bland evening as the actors union handed out honours to a predictable line-up of winners who generally had triumphed at earlier Hollywood ceremonies or past SAG shows. The SAG cast win came a day after Argo claimed the top honour from the Producers Guild of America, whose winner often goes on to claim best picture at the Academy Awards.
Argo also was a surprise victor two weeks ago at the Golden Globes, where it won best drama and director for Ben Affleck.
The awards momentum positions Argo for a rare feat at the February 24 Oscars, where it could become just the fourth film in 85 years to be named best picture without a nomination for its director.
Argo continues its winning streak at the Screen Actors Guild Award.
“To me this has nothing to do with me, it has to do with the incredible people who were in this movie,” said Affleck, who also stars in Argo and accepted the SAG prize alongside his cast.
The cast prize at SAG adds some weight to the Oscar prospects for Argo, though the guild honour has a spotty record at forecasting eventual best-picture winners.
Only eight of 17 times since the guild added the category has the cast winner gone on to take the best-picture Oscar. The Help won the guild’s cast prize last year, while Oscar voters named The Artist as best picture.
The acting prizes solidify those categories, though. Silver Linings star Lawrence won a Golden Globe and has become one of Hollywood’s hottest talents, with part two of her blockbuster franchise, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, due out in November.
“Now I have this naked statue that means some of you even voted for me, and that is an indescribable feeling,” Lawrence said after explaining she earned her SAG card aged 14 by filming a spot for MTV.