‘Black Panther’ major winner at Screen Actors Guild Awards

Chadwick Boseman plays the title role in 'Black Panther
Chadwick Boseman plays the title role in 'Black Panther
Image: Supplied

Groundbreaking superhero blockbuster Black Panther won the top prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards – a major boost to its campaign for Oscars glory in February.

The film won for best ensemble cast, beating musical romance A Star Is Born, Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody and rom-com Crazy Rich Asians on Sunday night.

Chadwick Boseman, who plays the title role in what was the top-grossing film in North America in 2018, said the film’s significance lay in his co-stars, nearly all of them black.

Black Panther also won for best stunt ensemble.

Despite four nominations, A Star Is Born went home empty handed.

One major absentee at the 25th edition of the SAG Awards was Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma – the top Oscar nominee was left out of contention.

Glenn Close solidified her frontrunner status in the race for the best actress Oscar with a win for her searing work in The Wife.

So far this season, she has also won a Golden Globe and a Critics’ Choice Award.

For best actor, Rami Malek’s star turn as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody was rewarded – over Christian Bale’s work in another biopic, as former US vice president Dick Cheney in Vice.

Mahershala Ali (Green Book) continued his march to the Oscars by taking the best supporting actor trophy for his work in civil rights dramedy Green Book. Emily Blunt, meanwhile, pulled off a major upset, winning the statuette for best supporting actress for A Quiet Place, an innovative horror film directed by her husband and co-star, John Krasinski.

On the television side, NBC’s popular This Is Us won top honours for best drama ensemble cast for the second year in a row, while popular Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs Maisel swept the three prizes in the comedy categories.

Jason Bateman won as best actor for dark Netflix drama Ozark, while Sandra Oh triumphed for her work on BBC America drama Killing Eve.

Tom Hanks presented a lifetime achievement award to veteran actor Alan Alda, the star of the long-running TV comedy M*A*S*H who revealed last year he was battling Parkinson’s disease.

“It may never have been more urgent to see the world through another person’s eyes than when a culture is divided so sharply,” Alda said to a rapt audience.

“Actors can help, at least a little, just by doing what we do. . . . It can’t solve everything, but it wouldn’t hurt.”