David O. Russell’s ‘‘American Hustle’’ has won the Screen Actors Guild award for outstanding cast, setting up the con-artist comedy as the film to beat at the Academy Awards.
The other nominees Saturday night at the ceremony at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium were ‘‘12 Years a Slave,’’ ‘'Dallas Buyers Club,’’ ‘'August: Osage County’’ and ‘‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler.’’ Because actors making up the largest branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the SAG Awards are considered one of the most predictive tea leaves of the Oscars.
Saturday’s awards were a somewhat low-key affair with a few memorable speeches but no earthquakes in a rapidly solidifying award season. The night’s acting winners — Matthew McConaughey ("Dallas Buyers Club"), Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine"), Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years a Slave") and Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyers Club") — are each probably the favorites of their categories.
‘‘It really shines a great light on this bull ride we call acting,’’ said McConaughey, honored for lead actor in the Texas HIV drama. ‘‘I've been able to recently find some characters that I can humble myself to their humanities and get feverishly drunk on their obsessions.’’
Coming two days after Academy Award nominations, the SAG Awards are particularly monitored for predicting Oscar momentum. The outstanding cast category, the night’s top honor, was perhaps a showdown between ‘‘American Hustle’’ and ‘‘12 Years a Slave.’’ The two very different films were kept separated by drama and comedy categories at the Golden Globes.
You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month
Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.
- High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
- Convenient access across all of your devices
- Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
- Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
- Less than 25¢ a week