Actors recognized actors for playing actors as "Birdman" won the prize for performance by a cast in a motion picture at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday night. The prize continued what seems a recent awards-season surge for the film, as on Saturday "Birdman" also took home the top award from the Producers Guild of America.
In the film, Michael Keaton plays an actor, famous for a superhero role, who is attempting to revive his fallen career by mounting a stage adaptation of a Raymond Carver story. Shot to appear as if it was continuous take, the film captures the backstage intrigues and goings-on of its cast with frenetic energy.
FULL COVERAGE: SAG Awards 2015
In accepting the award, Edward Norton stepped to the microphone first, only to make a quick "age before beauty" joke by way of turning it over to Keaton, who referred to acting as "the ultimate team sport." Joined onstage by fellow cast members including Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Ryan and Andrea Riseborough, Norton eventually stepped back to the microphone.
"It's fun to be an actor, but as everybody in this room knows, it's a true privilege to be a working actor," Norton said.
Also nominated in the category were "Boyhood," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "The Imitation Game" and "The Theory of Everything."
Last year four of the five nominees had more than 10 cast members, with the award going to the cast of 11 credited for “American Hustle.” This year only “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” with 17, had a cast of more than 10, with just four actors credited for "Boyhood." "Birdman" had a credited cast of seven.
All five of Sunday night's nominated films are also nominated for the Oscar for best picture, along with "American Sniper," "Selma" and "Whiplash." Anyone looking for Oscar prognostication from the night's events might note that last year all four of the individual film actors recognized by the SAG Awards went on to win the Oscar, while the winner of the cast award did not. Though "American Hustle" took home the SAG Award, the Oscar for best picture went to "12 Years A Slave."