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Screen Actors' Guild opt for Johnny Depp (2004)



Story by: Jack Foley

AHOY matey! Johnny Depp has finally been recognised for his Summer stealing performance in Pirates of the Caribbean, after being named best actor at the Screen Actors’ Guild awards, on Sunday, February 22, 2004.

The accolade has thrown the Oscar race wide open, given that the SAG awards are often seen as a useful indicator of which stars may triumph at the Academy’s showpiece event. Sean Penn and Bill Murray were expected to be the favourites.

Unfortunately, Depp was not present to collect his award.

Of the other winners at the Los Angeles ceremony, the cast of The Lord of the Rings were honoured for the final film in the series, The Return of the King, which remains the favourite to take the best picture honour at Sunday’s glittering event.

Cast member, John Rhys-Davies, who plays the dwarf, Gimli, told the audience: "At the risk of sounding immodest, we deserved this award. This is the most enormous undertaking in film history."

Charlize Theron took the best actress award, for her performance as serial killer, Aileen Wuornos, in the low-budget film Monster, and she thanked ‘my angel and my date tonight, my mom, who put me on a plane with a one-way ticket to Hollywood when I was 19-years-old’.

"Thank you for being so brave and for letting me go to make my dreams come true," she added.

Golden Globe winner, Tim Robbins, repeated his success, by winning the best supporting actor, for Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River, while Renee Zellweger won best supporting actress for Civil War drama, Cold Mountain, which makes her favourite to triumph on Sunday.

In the TV categories, Sex and the City, which ends its run this year, won the best ensemble cast in a TV comedy - on the same night that the final episode was broadcast in the US.

Kristin Davis, who plays Charlotte in the series, told the audience: "We will all miss you so much."

Six Feet Under won the award for best cast, for the second year running, while Frances Conroy, who plays Ruth Fisher, in the black comedy, set in a funeral parlour, won best actress in a drama series.

Kiefer Sutherland, meanwhile, won the best actor prize for best actor in a TV drama, for 24, the real-time drama, which is now in its third series.

Hollywood heavyweights, Meryl Streep and Al Pacino were named best actress and actor, respectively, in a TV movie or mini-series, for Angels in America, about the Aids epidemic in New York in the early 1980s.

Other awards

As the race for the Oscars entered its final week, three more ceremonies took place which may have some bearing on the eventual winners.

The Directors Guild of Great Britain held its awards on Saturday, February 21, 2004, and named The Lord Of The Rings: The Return of the King as best international film, while Mystic River won best foreign film at the Cesars, in France, which represent that country’s Oscars.

Lost In Translation and American Splendor took the honours at the Writers' Guild of America.

The first Directors Guild of Great Britain awards saw director, Peter Jackson, take the top prize for The Return of The King, while Michael Winterbottom won the best British film title, for refugee drama In This World.

Richard Curtis, meanwhile, who helmed Love Actually before Christmas, received an award for outstanding contribution to British film and television.

The guild represents UK directors in all disciplines, from film to TV, theatre and radio.

At the Writers' Guild of America awards, meanwhile, which took place in two separate ceremonies in New York and Los Angeles, Lost In Translation and American Splendor took the top prizes.

Sofia Coppola's Lost In Translation won best screenplay, while American Splendor, based on a series of comic book stories, won best adapted screenplay for writers Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman.

And in France, Denys Arcand's The Barbarian Invasions took the best movie prize, while Eastwood’s Mystic River was named best foreign film, and Goodbye Lenin! took best European Union film. Goodbye Lenin! was also successful in London, taking best foreign film from the Directors Guild.

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