SAG Awards 2020 Review: Ranking All the Speeches from Another Solid Show

IndieWire | 1/19/2020 | Staff
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While it may have felt like the 2020 SAG Awards were hosted by Dan and Eugene Levy — even the “Schitt’s Creek” father/son duo had to tell the audience they weren’t hosting (twice) — the Screen Actors Guild knows how to put on a show without a central showman. They’ve gone without a host for 24 of their 26 ceremonies, with the two exceptions being Kristen Bell in 2018 and Megan Mullally in 2019. Both of those fine thespians did exactly that — fine! — but the SAGs wisely returned to what works and put on another streamlined, talent-focused broadcast that ran 12 minutes long, but still felt quick and should prove memorable.

Why? All the speeches!

Show - Tribute - Montages - Superheroes - Shows

OK, so the show wasn’t entirely speeches. There were two tribute montages to, um, superheroes and all the great shows that ended in 2019 (plus “Game of Thrones”). The Levys got an extended intro where Eugene droned on about acting with comedic persistence (it worked!) and then they took the stage to give out the first award. When returning from commercials, select actors told stories about their early days in showbiz (like Jason Alexander failing to light a cigarette) and their early resumes (let’s see that stage combat, Adam Scott!).

But that was about it. This is a show about acting, and while delivering a great speech isn’t exactly the same as nailing your big monologue, many of the same qualities matter: tone, delivery, timing, emotion, and the chosen or improvised words all make up a performance meant to arrest the audience, in the room and at home. So let’s look at the speeches to see who, exactly, helped carry the 2020 SAG Awards to new heights.

Dad - Bruce - Dern - Way - Stage

Kissing her dad, Bruce Dern, on the way to the stage and thanking him with her final words in the...
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