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Trial Of The Chicago 7 takes top prize at the SAG Awards

Sacha Baron Cohen stars in The Trial Of The Chicago 7, which won the top prize at the SAG Awards (AP Photo)
Sacha Baron Cohen stars in The Trial Of The Chicago 7, which won the top prize at the SAG Awards (AP Photo)

Netflix legal drama The Trial Of The Chicago 7 won the top prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

For the first time in the 27-year history of the SAG Awards, the ceremony was pre-recorded and the TV broadcast was just an hour long.

There was no red carpet due to the pandemic and, while much about the show was different to previous years, the 2021 SAG Awards still honoured excellence in TV and film.

The Trial Of The Chicago 7, which tells the true story of a group of anti–Vietnam War protesters accused of attempting to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, won outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture.

It won ahead of Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Minari and One Night In Miami.

Members of Chicago 7’s ensemble cast – including Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Sacha Baron Cohen, Michael Keaton and Frank Langella – gathered virtually to accept the prize.

Langella delivered an acceptance speech on behalf of his co-stars.

He praised director Aaron Sorkin and said the filmmaker’s voice was the “soul” of the movie.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom co-stars Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman won the leading actor and actress awards.

Davis was honoured for her portrayal of a revered blues singer in the movie while Boseman, who died in August last year aged 43 following a battle with colon cancer, was recognised for playing an ambitious trumpeter.

His wife, Simone, accepted the award in his memory and paid tribute to the cast and crew of the film.

Boseman looks likely to win a posthumous Oscar later this month.

A rare British victory at the virtual SAG Awards came in the form of Daniel Kaluuya’s triumph in the supporting actor category.

He won for playing a Black Panther leader in Judas And The Black Messiah.

In the supporting female actor category, South Korea’s Youn Yuh-jung won over star-studded competition and was recognised for her portrayal of a wily grandmother in moving family drama Minari.

In a charming acceptance speech, an emotional Youn, 73, said: “I don’t know how to describe my feelings. I am being recognised by Westerners.”

Her fellow nominees, including Olivia Colman and Glenn Close, could not hide their delight at Youn’s win.

In the TV categories, The Crown won the ensemble in a drama series prize while Schitt’s Creek was honoured with the comedy equivalent.

Gillian Anderson won in the female actress category for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher, beating her co-stars Colman and Emma Corrin.

However Netflix’s headline-making regal drama did not win in the male actor category after being denied by another of the streaming giant’s shows.

Ozark’s Jason Bateman heard his name called over The Crown’s Josh O’Connor and Bridgerton’s Rege-Jean Page.

There was more success for Canadian show Schitt’s Creek when star Catherine O’Hara won female actor in a comedy series.

However Schitt’s Creek was denied a sweep by Ted Lasso’s Jason Sudeikis, who picked up the male actor in a comedy series gong.

Following the debate over the hoodie he wore at the Golden Globes, Sudeikis, who plays an amateur US football coach put in charge of a Premier League team in Ted Lasso, donned a jumper bearing the slogan “My Body My Choice” for his virtual acceptance speech.

Mark Ruffalo won male actor in a television movie or miniseries for playing identical twins in I Know This Much Is True.

Anya Taylor-Joy took home the actress equivalent for Netflix’s chess smash hit The Queen’s Gambit.

British nominees who missed out on awards included Vanessa Kirby, Carey Mulligan, Riz Ahmed and Sir Anthony Hopkins.

Two awards in the stunt categories were handed out before the televised broadcast.

Superhero movie Wonder Woman 1984 won stunt ensemble in a motion picture while Disney+ series The Mandalorian took home the TV equivalent.

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