Bong Joon Ho’s Korean class satire, Parasite, became the first foreign-language film to take top honours from the Screen Actors Guild on Sunday, setting itself up as a legitimate best picture contender to the front-runner 1917 at next month’s Academy Awards.
Parasite was the clear crowd favourite, where even the cast’s appearance introducing the film drew a standing ovation. Yet until the SAG Awards, the many honours for Parasite have seldom included awards for its actors, none of whom were nominated for an Oscar.
Song Kang Ho, one of the film’s stars, said through a translator, “Although the title is Parasite, I think the story is about coexistence and how we can all live together."
Before the win for Parasite, the SAG Awards served as a reunion for Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, who took home awards and celebrated the other’s win.
Pitt is headed toward his first acting Academy Award for his supporting performance in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and he added, “Let’s be honest, it was a difficult part. A guy who gets high, takes his shirt off and doesn’t get on with his wife. It was a big stretch.”
The audience laughed and clapped, including — as the cameras captured — Aniston, his ex-wife.
Aniston later won an award of her own for best female actor in a drama series for the Apple TV Plus show The Morning Show. “What!” she said upon reaching the stage.
Backstage, Pitt watched Aniston’s acceptance speech. After she got off stage, they warmly congratulated each other on their first individual SAG Awards.
Along with Pitt, all the Oscar favourites kept their momentum, including wins for Renee Zellweger for best actress in Judy, Joaquin Phoenix for best actor in Joker and Laura Dern in Marriage Story for an actress in a supporting role.
Robert De Niro was given the guild’s lifetime achievement award, an honour presented by Leonardo DiCaprio who, like De Niro, is a frequent leading man for Martin Scorsese. A raucous standing ovation greeted the 76-year-old actor.
Because actors make up the largest percentage of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, their picks are closely watched for clues on how the Oscar race might turn out.
Here's the complete list of winners:
Actress: Renée Zellwegger, Judy
Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Actress in a supporting role: Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Actor in a supporting role: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Stunt Ensemble: Avengers: Endgame
Actor in a comedy series: Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Actress in a comedy series: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag
Comedy series ensemble: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Actor in a drama series: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Actress in a drama series: Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
Drama series ensemble: The Crown
Actor in a TV movie or limited series: Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verson
Actress in a limited TV movie or series: Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon
TV Stunt Ensemble: Game of Thrones