Screen Actors Guild kicks off 2008 awards season with class

Courtney Linde

It is safe to say that the ’08 awards show season has officially begun.

Unlike this year’s Golden Globes, the 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were presented in a two-hour telecast, complete with A-List celebrities strutting down the red carpet in designer suits and gowns.

Since this was the first formal awards show of the season, attire was a main focal point of the evening.

The memo must have made its way around Hollywood, because the stars were shining bright.

Eva Longoria, Ellen Pompeo and Kate Beckinsale take home the award for best dressed on the red carpet.

Although the arrivals before the ceremony are an anticipated event, the award show itself was outstanding.

The Screen Actor’s Guild Awards are normally not one of the high-profile award shows of the season; however, this year, because of the essential cancellation of the Golden Globes, they became much more anticipated.

Receiving the SAG award is an honor that many find even more accomplishing than even the prestigious Academy Award.

This is because the 120,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild are the people who are voting.

Being recognized by your peers is an achievement that one can only hope to receive in any business, not just entertainment.

This year’s ceremony marked the end of an era – “The Sopranos” era, that is.

The HBO drama series completed its run this year and “iced the cake” with James Gandolfini and Edie Falco receiving best actor and actress in a drama series, as well as taking home the award for outstanding ensemble in a drama series.

Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey represented their comedy series “30 Rock” by receiving the awards for best actor and actress in a comedy series, respectively.

“The Office” completed the TV honors by receiving the award for outstanding ensemble in a comedy series.

The films that have been eligible to receive award nominations this past year have been outstanding. The talented actors and actresses that have brought these films to life are deserving of their nominations.

Javier Bardem from “No Country for Old Men” and Ruby Dee from “American Gangster” were the recipients for best male and female actor in a supporting role, respectively.

Best male and female actor were awarded to Daniel Day-Lewis for his role in “There Will Be Blood” and Julie Christie for her performance in “Away From Her,” respectively.

“No Country for Old Men” concluded the evening by receiving the award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture.

This may have been one of the most well-rounded award show presentations I have seen in recent years.

The elements included in the ceremony celebrating the Screen Actors Guild’s 75th anniversary helped make this evening truly special.

The most heartfelt aspect of the evening was Dennis Leary and Burt Reynolds’ presentation of the Life Achievement Award to one of the best character actors in the business, Charles Durning.

It is a well-known fact that breaking into show business is not an easy task, and this was no different for Durning.

After much rejection and consistently being told that he was “not good enough,” Durning used this as inspiration and never gave up on his dream.

He has since become one of the most respected artists in all of Hollywood.

It is moments like this when one opens his or her eyes and looks past all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and sees the true meaning of the industry.

No amount of fame or money can buy what many of these people have to share with the rest of the world – the amazing gift to entertain.