My wife and I watched the SAG awards last nights. I would have to say that the SAGs are probably the best of the awards shows. I mean there is of course the name, which always makes me think the Golden Girls might show up. There is also the fact that it is all about the actors, which means we don't have to watch some poor sound technician get up and get cut off halfway through his speech so they can move on.
Helen Mirren won the best actress award last night and Forest Whitaker won the best actor award. What these two had in common was that they both played characters that were real people. These two are also likely headed for the Oscar as well, which made me start wondering whether it is still possible to win an award if you play someone who is made up. Last year Reese Witherspoon and Philip Seymor Hoffman both won Oscars for playing real people.
In fact, since 2000 only 2002 had both lead acting categories taken by people playing fake people (Denzel Washington and Halle Berry). But perhaps so that year wouldn't feel completely left out, the Best Picture Oscar went to A Beautiful Mind (which, of course, was about a real person). In 2003, it was both awards going to actors playing the real (Adrien Brody and Nicole Kidman). Every other year it was one or the other.
None of this is important, of course, but it intrigues/annoys me nonetheless. Is there greater acting skill displayed when playing an actual figure? Does it mean our imaginations aren't very good? Is it simply true that real life (or a loose version of it) is more interesting than fiction? I've never had a good answer to that question, "Who would play you in a movie?" But at least I know that whoever it was, they would have a shot at an award.