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Oppenheimer movie dominates SAG Awards, while Streisand wins lifetime prize

Christopher Nolan's biopic Oppenheimer dominated at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards on Saturday, where several winners paid tribute to last year's actors' strike. Cillian Murphy won best actor, Robert Downey Jr was awarded best supporting actor, and the Oppenheimer ensemble won outstanding performance by a cast.

Speaking at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Irish star Murphy said he was proud to be given the award by his fellow professionals. He said: "Twenty-eight years ago when I was trying to become an actor, I was a failed musician, and I felt extremely like an interloper. But looking out on all of you guys here today, I know I'm part of something truly wonderful." Oppenheimer tells the life story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the man who is often called "the father of the atomic bomb".

Accepting the outstanding cast prize, British actor Sir Kenneth Branagh commended the actors' union strike, which delayed many projects in Hollywood last year. "Thank you for fighting for us, thank you for every Sag-Aftra member whose support and whose sacrifice allows us to be standing here better than we were before" he said.

Killers of the Flower Moon star Lily Gladstone was named best leading actress, and also spoke about the strike. "This has been a hard year for all of us" Gladstone said in her speech. "I'm so proud that we have gotten here in solidarity with all of our other unions."

The SAG awards are often seen as a good prediction of who will win at the Academy Awards, which will be held on March 10. While Murphy is the favourite to win best actor, the best actress race is closer. Gladstone is a frontrunner, but she is up against Poor Things star Emma Stone for the award.

The Holdovers star Da'Vine Joy Randolph won best supporting actress, and Oppenheimer's Robert Downey Jr was named best supporting actor. In television, Succession won best ensemble drama cast for its fourth and final season, while The Bear was named best ensemble comedy cast.

Barbra Streisand was awarded this year's lifetime achievement prize, presented by Jennifer Aniston and Bradley Cooper. Recalling her youth, Streisand said: "I didn't like reality, I wanted to be in movies. Even though I knew I didn't look like the other women on screen. My mother said 'you'd better learn to type'. But I didn't listen. And somehow, some way, it all came true."

Tributes were paid to Matthew Perry, Harry Belafonte, Sir Michael Gambon, Tina Turner, Angus Cloud, Glenda Jackson, Alan Arkin, Julian Sands, Lance Reddick, Lee Sun-kyun, Tom Wilkinson, Andre Braugher and Chita Rivera during the show's In Memoriam segment.

The Devil Wears Prada stars Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt reunited to present the first award of the night, performing a sketch featuring several of their movie's most famous lines, almost 20 years since it was released.

London-born actor Idris Elba presented the ceremony, the 30th SAG awards, which were streamed on Netflix for the first time. "Personally, I can't wait to get home, and have Netflix recommend this show to me" he joked.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Robbie Griffiths
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