Glamour returns to Hollywood with actors award show

Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:51am EST
 
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Star power makes a welcome return on Sunday as the Screen Actors Guild hands out its annual awards in the glitziest ceremony of a season clouded by a bitter industry strike.

Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe are among the celebrities expected on the red carpet at the Shrine auditorium in Los Angeles in the only awards show so far this year that resembles traditional Hollywood glamour.

Forecasts of heavy rain, the sudden death of promising actor Heath Ledger last week and the strike cloud hanging over next month's Oscars may dampen some of the enthusiasm at Sunday's party. Organizers have erected a vast tent over the arrivals area because of the rain.

But the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards gives actors, producers and studios an opportunity to celebrate after three months of a strike by screenwriters that has crippled movie and TV production and led to a star boycott of the Golden Globe and People's Choice Awards earlier this month.

The striking Writers Guild Of America allowed its members to write for the SAG awards show and said it would not mount protests outside the event because actors have been strong allies of the writers in their dispute with studios over better payments for work distributed over the Internet.

No such deal has been reached for the Oscars on February 24 although talks resumed last week between the WGA and major studios after a six-week break marked by growing hostility.

OUT OF SYNC WITH OSCARS

Winners at SAG are normally seen as key contenders for an Oscar since actors make up the biggest group of the 6,000 Academy Award voters.   Continued...

 
<p>Seat placecards for actors (L-R) Russell Crowe, Angelina Jolie, Charles Durning, Jeremy Piven, Tina Fey and Nikki Blonsky are shown during a media opportunity for the 14th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles January 25, 2008. REUTERS/Sam Mircovich</p>