This “American Beauty” thing is starting to look like a trend. A night after the suburban satire’s action-caller Sam Mendes took top honors from the Directors Guild of America, his stars Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening ruled in the thespian department at the 6th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Spacey was deigned best actor in a movie, Bening best actress. In turn, the two beat back much of the same competition they’ll face March 26 on Oscar night.
Ever the smart actor, Spacey gave all the credit for his win to his director.
“If this is my best work, you are the reason,” Spacey said of Mendes during his mike time at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium. “… I thank God for the ground you walk on.”
Bening, looking very, very pregnant, had this apt (and/or curious) call to diapers for her fellow actresses: “Don’t wait to have a baby. Do it now.” (Fortunately, for the comfort of the viewing audience, Bening did not have hers “now.”)
The cast of “American Beauty” also was honored for best ensemble work.
In a sort-of upset, Michael Caine was tapped best supporting actor for “The Cider House Rules,” defeating Golden Globe winner (and semi-Oscar favorite) Tom Cruise. “It” starlet Angelina Jolie took the best supporting actress race for “Girl, Interrupted.”
“This one’s got a really good backside,” said that spitfire Jolie, remarking on the naked man sculpture that is the official SAG trophy.
In the TV categories, the SAGs looked a lot like the Globes — that is, “The Sopranos” won a bunch of stuff, including best drama actor (James Gandolfini), best drama actress (Edie Falco) and best drama ensemble.
Elsewhere, outgoing “Spin City” star Michael J. Fox won best lead actor in a comedy series. Lisa Kudrow took best comedy actress honors for “Friends.”
Landmark leading man Sidney Poitier — who also won an Oscar and directed more than a handful of films in his time — was presented with SAG’s lifetime achievement award.