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Nicole Kidman’s speech and other SAG highlights

It was back to the bold and beautiful at Sunday's Screen Actors Guild awards, following the alm..

It was back to the bold and beautiful at Sunday's Screen Actors Guild awards, following the almost universal black dress code deployed at the recent Golden Globes.

But that didn't mean female empowerment was off the agenda.

Kristen Bell became the first host of the ceremony – that's the first host full-stop, not just female – while the huge majority of presenters were women.

And Nicole Kidman, 50, was lauded for her impassioned speech about roles for older women.

"How wonderful it is that our careers today can go beyond 40 years old," she said, close to tears.

"Twenty years ago we were pretty washed up by this stage in our lives.

"That's not the case anymore. We've proven… that we are potent and powerful and viable. I just beg that the industry stays behind us as our stories are finally being told."

She added: "It's only the beginning."

But the Big Little Lies actress wasn't the only one left weepy by the occasion.

British star Gary Oldman was visibly moved as he collected his best actor nomination for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in The Darkest Hour.

"I've become emotional," he explained as he took to the podium.

"I am so deeply, deeply honoured."

Morgan Freeman's speech, thanking the guild for his lifetime achievement honour, will probably be best remembered for his reaction to someone in the audience apparently chatting away just as he had begun to speak.

"Hey … I'm talking to you. Yeah, hey," he said, looking directly at the unidentified culprit.

"You just stand out to me. That's all, " he added, before continuing with the rest of his speech.

We were intimidated just watching it. Note to self – never, ever, interrupt Morgan.

Glow star Alison Brie found herself in an unenviable position on the red carpet after she was asked about the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against her brother-in-law and SAG nominee James Franco.

She told E! News: "I think that above all what we've always said is it remains vital that anyone that feels victimised should and does have the right to speak out and come forward.

"I obviously support my family. Not everything that has been reported is fully accurate, so I think we're waiting to get all the information.

"But of course now is the time for listening and that's what we're all trying to do."

Franco has denied the allegations.

This Is Us star Sterling K Brown became the first black actor to win the SAG award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a drama.

He joked: "To my white family [the This is Us cast], which is thankfully nothing like the family from Get Out, I love you," – referring to the recent horror film in which things go awry when a black man visits his white girlfriend's family for the first time.

Another record-breaker was Julia Louis Dreyfus – she made history when she became the first TV actress to win five individual SAG awards by winning the outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series for her role in Veep.

But sadly, Julia couldn't make it to the ceremony after undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer.

She did manage to compose an amusing tweet for the occasion though.

Skip Twitter post by @OfficialJLD

I wish I could have been @SAGawards tonight but have to admit it's pretty fun to watch in my pj's. So honored to win. So proud to be a union member. So happy for my @VeepHBO bozos for winning ensemble award. Miss being at the table with you all. How was the chicken?

— Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD) January 22, 2018

End of Twitter post by @OfficialJLD

The final shout-out must go to the person who made a spelling gaffe as Dame Judi Dench's face appeared on screen as one of the nominees in the outstanding leading female actress category, for her portrayal of Queen Victoria in Victoria and Abdul.

Dame Judi's face flashed up on the screen alongside the words "leading roll".

Well, she is the toast of the town, after all.

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So, we guess this means Beyonce and Jay-Z are OK then

The first couple of pop music took the world by surprise by dropping their first album together last..

The first couple of pop music took the world by surprise by dropping their first album together last weekend. As you'd expect, it's a statement.

There is arguably no couple better at controlling their own press than Beyonce and Jay-Z. When a video surfaced in 2014 showing Bey's younger sister Solange attacking her brother-in-law in an elevator, rumours of a strained marriage proliferated.

Rather than battle the tabloids, the spouses used the gossip to fuel the creation of two critically beloved, commercially successful records: Beyonce's Lemonade and Jay-Z's 4:44. And, in them, they offered just as many details about their private lives as they chose.

Beyonce and Jay-Z on stage in France for the 2014 On the Run tour.

Photo: Rob Hoffman

Now the couple have continued their domination of pop music, surprising the world last Saturday by releasing their joint album Everything Is Love, which is something of a sequel to those two solo records. Though they have collaborated for at least 15 years, this marks their first joint album, which they dropped under the name The Carters.

The record is a victory lap from a couple who have mined their relationship for universal truths and then presented them as art. It's a fierce love letter to success, to family, to blackness – but, most of all, to each other.

Artwork for the album Everything is Love by The Carters, aka Beyonce and Jay-Z.

Photo: Karl Quinn


Lyrically, it primarily focuses on two aspects of the Carters' lives: their marriage and their success. (more…)

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Rachel Griffiths: female characters are finally getting real on screen

Almost a year into the #MeToo era, Rachel Griffiths believes the likes of Mystery Road, Wentworth, P..

Almost a year into the #MeToo era, Rachel Griffiths believes the likes of Mystery Road, Wentworth, Picnic at Hanging Rock and Top of the Lake show that female characters are finally coming of age on Australian screens.

In a spirited speech at the launch of a new state government scheme to support more women directors in television, the actor-turned-director said it was exciting to see female characters move beyond "the typical tropes of 'likable, f—able, adorable'" to "more complex depictions of female experience" recently.

Happy to see "more complex depictions of female experience": Rachel Griffiths (left) with Leah Purcell at the launch of #SheDirects.

Photo: Louie Douvis

While she acknowledged there were male directors who created fresh and compelling women characters, Griffiths said the "male gaze" often reduced them to colouring the characters of their male counterparts.

"[They are created to] make him hot, make him authentic, make him empathetic, make him fatherly, make him conflicted, make him grieve," she said. "In the male gaze, we are so often not the gatekeepers; we're not the ferryman. Sometimes the mentor but usually only ironically, like Judi Dench's M…

"Under-written and under-observed, brought into our sexual awareness precociously and prepubescent in order to accommodate the male libido.


"Often in television we're used by lazy writers and producers who can think of nothing more interesting this week than 'let's have her have sex with X' or 'discover she's a lesbian – for an episode'."

Griffiths, who is about to begin editing the Melbourne Cup drama Ride Like A Girl after finishing the shoot, endorsed Hollywood star Sandra Bullock's recent comment that it was time for women to "stop being polite" about gender equality. (more…)

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Rachel Maddow breaks down on air over Trump immigration policy

US television host Rachel Maddow has broken down on live air as she delivered the latest development..

US television host Rachel Maddow has broken down on live air as she delivered the latest developments in the Trump administration's controversial "zero tolerance" immigration policy.

Maddow, who hosts her own show on MSNBC, was reading from a breaking news release from the Associated Press that revealed government officials have been sending babies and toddlers to what are being called "tender age" shelters in the US.

The youngsters are some of the 2,300 children who have been forcibly separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border since the White House announced a zero-tolerance policy on migrant families in May.

"The AP has just broken some new news," Maddow started.

"Um, this has just come out from the Associated Press, this is incredible. Trump administration have been sending babies and other young children – oh, hold on," she said, her voice breaking.


Maddow attempted to get through the breaking news piece one more time before moving the show over to a guest. "To at least three – three tender age shelters in South Texas. Lawyers and medical providers… I think I'm going to have to hand this off. Sorry."

Maddow took to Twitter shortly after the segment aired to say sorry to her viewers. "Again, I apologise for losing it there for a moment," she wrote. "Not the way I intended that to go, not by a mile."

She also tweeted out what she had been trying to say in her live read, writing out what was presented in the AP story. "Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the "tender age" shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis…" she wrote.

"Decades after the nations child welfare system ended the use of orphanages over concerns about the lasting trauma to children, the administration is standing up new institutions to hold Central American toddlers that the government separated from their parents." (more…)

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