SAG Loves The Sopranos & No Country for Old Men

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LOS ANGELES: No Country for Old Men emerged as the Oscars favorite on Sunday by taking top honors for overall cast along with Javier Bardem’s supporting-actor prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the lone gathering of A-list stars in an awards season hobbled by the writers strike.

Past Oscar winners Daniel Day-Lewis of There Will Be Blood and Julie Christie of Away From Her won the lead-acting honors, also giving them a boost to win the same trophies at the Academy Awards on February 24. Day-Lewis dedicated his win to Heath Ledger, the 28-year-old Australian actor who was found dead in his Manhattan loft last week. “In Brokeback Mountain , he was unique, he was perfect,” said Day-Lewis, already an Oscar winner for My Left Foot . “That scene in the trailer at the end of the film is as moving as anything I think I’ve ever seen.”

Two weeks after the Golden Globes, the presence of blue-chip Hollywood stars such as Tom Cruise, Cate Blanchett, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (in a flowing, is-she-or-isn’t-she dress that did little to quell twins rumours) reminded that SAGs may be the highlight of Hollywood’s film-honours season — if the writers strike undermines the Oscars.

But the show itself was free of labor talk, with only Christie addressing the matter openly among the winners. “It’s lovely to receive an award from your own union,” she said, “especially at a time when we’re being so forcefully reminded how important unions are.”

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