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Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston win SAG Awards, and "Parasite" comes up big

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston reconnect
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston reconnect 01:21

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston drew lots of attention at the Screen Actors Guild awards show Sunday, but the movie "Parasite" officially infected Hollywood's award season.

Bong Joon Ho's Korean language social satire about the wealth gap in South Korea became the first foreign language film to take top honors from the guild, setting itself up as a legitimate best picture contender with front-runner "1917" at next month's Academy Awards.

Before the win for "Parasite," the SAG Awards were most notable for their reunion of Pitt and Aniston. They each took home awards and celebrated the other's win.

26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Media Center
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston at 26th Annual Screen Actors' Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020, in Los Angeles. Emma McIntyre / Getty

Pitt is widely seen as headed for his first acting Academy Award for his supporting performance in "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood," and he added to his front-runner status with a win from the actors' guild. Along the way, his speeches have been  full of one-liners and he didn't disappoint Sunday. Pitt, who said he was nursing a flu, looked down at his award and said, "I've got to add this to my Tinder profile."

He added: "Let's be honest, it was a difficult part. A guy who gets high, takes his shirt off and doesn't get on with his wife. It was a big stretch." The audience laughed and clapped, including — as the cameras captured — Aniston, his ex-wife.

Aniston later won an award of her own for best female actor in a drama series for the Apple TV+ show "The Morning Show." "What!" she said upon reaching the stage. Aniston finished her speech with a shout-out to her "Murder Mystery" co-star Adam Sandler, whose performance in "Uncut Gems" has gone mostly unrewarded this season despite considerable acclaim.

"Your performance is extraordinary and your magic is real. I love you, buddy," said Aniston.

Backstage, Pitt watched Aniston's acceptance speech. After she got off stage, they warmly congratulated each other on their first individual SAG Awards.

Robert De Niro was given the guild's lifetime achievement award, an honor presented by Leonardo DiCaprio who, like De Niro, is a frequent leading man for Martin Scorsese. (The two co-star in Scorsese's upcoming "Killers of the Flower Moon.") A raucous standing ovation greeted the 76-year-old actor.

De Niro, a fiery critic of Donald Trump, referenced the president in his remarks.

"There's right and there's wrong. And there's common sense and there's abuse of power. As a citizen, I have as much right as anybody — an actor, an athlete, anybody else — to voice my opinion," said De Niro. "And if I have a bigger voice because of my situation, I'm going to use it whenever I see a blatant abuse of power."

The best ensemble cast win for "Parasite" came over the starry epics "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" and "The Irishman." It was a surprise, but only to a degree.

"Parasite," up for six Oscars including best picture, has emerged as perhaps the stiffest competition for Sam Mendes' "1917," which won at the highly predictive Producers Guild Awards on Saturday.

But "Parasite" was the clear crowd favorite Sunday at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, where even the cast's appearance introducing the film drew a standing ovation. Yet until the SAG Awards, the many honors for "Parasite" have seldom included awards for its actors, none of whom were nominated for an Oscar.

Director Bong Joon Ho said winning the award made him think that "maybe we haven't created such a bad movie."

"I am so honored to receive this award. I will never forget such a beautiful night," he said through an interpreter.

"Although the title is 'Parasite,' I think the story is about coexistence and how we can all live together," said Song Kang Ho, one of the film's stars, also through an interpreter.

Because actors make up the largest percentage of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, their picks are closely watched as Academy Awards harbingers.

If "Parasite" can pull off the upset at the Oscars on February 9, it would be the first foreign language film to do so.

Along with Pitt, all the Oscar favorites kept their momentum, including wins for Renee Zellweger ("Judy"), Joaquin Phoenix ("Joker") and Laura Dern ("Marriage Story").

As expected, Phoenix took best performance by a leading male actor. After individually praising each fellow nominee, Phoenix concluded with a nod to his Joker predecessor. "I'm standing here on the shoulders of my favorite actor, Heath Ledger," said Phoenix.

Dern also further established herself as the best supporting actress favorite with a win from the actors guild. On her way to the stage, she hugged her father, Bruce Dern, part of the "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" ensemble.

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