Oscar hopes for "Birdman" got an enormous updraft over the weekend as it won best ensemble Sunday night at the 21st annual Screen Actors Guild Awards a day after it also won the top honor at the Producers Guild Awards.
Richard Linklater's "Boyhood," the acclaimed indie made with the unprecedented real-life time-elapse of 12 years, has long held as the awards seasons favorite. But "Birdman" fills the role of a classic Oscar winner, like "Shakespeare in Love," as a celebration of showbiz. Its fortunes look especially bright considering the last seven Producers Guild Awards winners have also won best picture at the Academy Awards.
"Actors love this movie for showing the courage actors have to kind of go out there and lay it on the line," "Birdman" star Michael Keaton said backstage at the SAG Awards. He accepted the best ensemble award with his co-stars, including Emma Stone, Edward Norton and Zach Galifianakis.
Yet Keaton also lost at the SAGs, held Sunday at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Instead, most outstanding actor went to "The Theory of Everything" star Eddie Redmayne, whose exceeding technical performance as Stephen Hawking has equally drawn raves.
The other Oscar favorites — Julianne Moore, Patricia Arquette and J.K. Simmons — also cemented their front-runner status with awards for their roles in "Still Alice," "Boyhood" and "Whiplash," respectively.
Sunday's show kicked off with a pair of wins for the Netflix prison series "Orange Is the New Black," honoring it as best ensemble in a comedy and naming Uzo Aduba most outstanding female actor in a comedy series.
Colombia's Vega crowned Miss Universe
Miss Colombia Paulina Vega has been crowned Miss Universe, beating out first runner-up Miss USA Nia Sanchez and contestants from more than 80 other countries at Sunday's pageant in Miami. Vega, a 22-year-old student of business administration from Barranquilla, Colombia, said the contests leading up to Miss Universe were the first she had participated in. She also said they would be her last as she was eager to return to her studies in Colombia after her reign. "It will be a dream come true to represent the woman of today. A woman that not only cares about being beautiful and being glamorous, but also cares about being a professional, intelligent, hardworking person," Vega had said earlier in the week in talking about the role of the winner. The second runner-up was Miss Ukraine Diana Harkusha.