“King's Speech” Rules at SAG Awards

Stars shine in likely Oscar preview

As Hollywood's awards' season progresses, one thing is becoming increasingly clear: it's good to be the king.

"The King's Speech," the historical drama that shows the rise of Britain's King George VI to the throne and the speech therapist who helped him overcome a stuttering problem, scored big at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, picking up another lead actor honor trophy for Colin Firth and also winning the outstanding cast award, the SAG equivalent of best film.

"I'd like to thank security for letting me in the building," Firth joked, perhaps referring to how his film has so quickly become the Oscar frontrunner.

Natalie Portman continues to dance her way into the hearts of voters and her fellow actors, picking up a SAG Award for her work in "Black Swan." She won the Golden Globe earlier this month for the same role as a talented, but disturbed ballet dancer.

Christian Bale and Melissa Leo of "The Fighter" maintained their winning streaks as well, with each claiming the supporting actor nods for their roles in Mark Wahlberg's hard-luck boxing drama. Both actors also won Golden Globes in the same category.

On the television side of the ledger, HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" took the top prize for a TV drama and Steve Buscemi won best actor, collecting his first SAG award to pair with his Golden Globe win. Julianna Margulies was the other drama winner for her work on "The Good Wife."

Al Pacino won for his portrayal of Dr. Jack Kevorkian in "You Don't Know Jack" and Claire Danes was honored for her work in "Temple Grandin."  Comedy legend Betty White also picked up a SAG for lead actress in a comedy for her role in "Hot in Cleveland." "30 Rock's" Alec Baldwin won his fifth consecutive trophy for lead actor in a comedy.

"The Social Network" had a quiet night and seems to be flagging after picking up the best picture award at the Golden Globes. "The King's Speech" is shaping up to be the movie to beat at the Oscars, as it leads the field with 12 nominations, and picked up the Producers Guild Award last week with director Tom Hooper claiming the Directors Guild Award January 29.

Ernest Borgnine received the SAG's Lifetime Achievement Award. The seasoned thespian, who won the Oscar for lead actor in 1955's "Marty," has also starred in other famed films such as "From Here to Eternity," "The Wild Bunch," and "The Dirty Dozen."

"There are millions of those in the world who would love to be in our shoes," he said as he accepted the award. "We are a privileged few who have been chosen to work in this field of entertainment...I hope we will never let our dedication to our craft fail."

Selected Reading: Los Angeles Times, NY Daily News, Entertainment Weekly.

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