All of the Oscar acting favorites held to form at Sunday night's Screen Actors Guild Awards, but a South Korean black comedy made a big move toward being a best-picture contender.
Bong Joon-ho's "Parasite" took the top prize – best ensemble in a motion picture – at the 26th annual SAG Awards, an important stop on the way to the Academy Awards since thespians make up the largest voting bloc in the Academy. The movie, which made history as the first foreign-language film ever to win the SAG category, upended other favorites such as "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" and "The Irishman."
While the best-picture race is now a little more interesting going into next month's ceremony, the Oscar acting categories are starting to look like runaways for all the major contenders. "Joker" star Joaquin Phoenix took the SAG honor for best actor, Renée Zellweger won best actress for "Judy," "Once Upon a Hollywood" stalwart Brad Pitt conquered the supporting-actor category, and Laura Dern received supporting actress for "Marriage Story."
SAG Awards: The complete winners list
In the major TV categories, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" won two SAG awards, including best ensemble in a comedy series, and "The Crown" was named top cast in a drama.
Here are the night's minute-by-minute highlights from the night (in ET):
10:11: Bong Joon-ho's black comedy "Parasite" pulls off a huge victory, taking best ensemble in a motion picture. "A great honor," star Song Kang-ho says in English before shifting to his native Korean (with a translator on stage). "Although the title is 'Parasite,' the movie is about co-existence and how we can all live together." And with the win, he quips, "it appears to me we haven't created such a bad movie."
10:01: Renée Zellweger takes best actress for playing Judy Garland in "Judy." "Hello, my family," she says. Zellweger thanks her "extraordinary sisters," whom she loves to watch "with a popcorn breakfast at the theater." She adds that playing Garland "always will be one of my life's blessings. … Judy Garland, 50 years later your community is thinking of you tonight."
9:54: Joaquin Phoenix wins best actor for "Joker," his first SAG Award. "I was here many years ago and I couldn't fully appreciate it at the time. I now realize how fortunate I am to be in a community that has such reverence for actors and what we do." He took the time to bestow praise on his fellow nominees, including Leonardo DiCaprio ("You've been an inspiration for 25 years"), Christian Bale ("Just suck once"), Adam Driver ("You were devastating in ['Marriage Story'] and you should be here") and Taron Egerton ("I can't wait to see what else you do"). Phoenix closed by honoring the late thespian who last played the Joker to award-winning accolades: "I'm standing on the shoulders of my favorite actor, Heath Ledger."
'I have to say something': Robert De Niro talks 'dire' political situation at the SAG Awards
9:43: "Fosse/Verdon" gets its second win of the evening, with Sam Rockwell getting male actor in a miniseries. "Wow. I did not expect this at all," he says. "You think you can dance and then you meet these Fosse choreographers. … I had some MC Hammer moves and some Tom Cruise 'Risky Business' moves, but these people can dance." He also shouts out his "wonder twin," co-star Michelle Williams: "I can't imagine doing this with anyone but you."
9:32: "The Crown" upends "Game of Thrones" and "Stranger Things" for ensemble in a drama series. "It's so nice to win," says Helena Bonham Carter, one of only three cast members on hand. "There's actually 249 of us. … We're all working tomorrow, so we're leaving in five minutes."
9:25: Peter Dinklage snags male actor in a TV drama for the last season of "Game of Thrones." "Oh, my, I think he was on 'Game of Thrones,' " he quips about his actor trophy.
9:10: After a supercut of his greatest roles, from "Taxi Driver" to "The Irishman," Robert De Niro receives his life achievement honor and gets a standing ovation. "As actors we don't take victory laps. We're too worried about our next job." But because he's working with Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio next, "at least I have another year of health insurance," De Niro quips. While he doesn't namedrop his frequent foe Donald Trump, the president seems to be there between the lines when De Niro gets political: "We are in such a dire situation, I have to say something. 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 … to voice my opinion. And if I have a bigger voice because of my position, I will use it to point out a blatant abuse of power. And that's all I'm going to say."
Renee Zellweger: SAG winner thanks Tom Cruise, her 1996 'Jerry Maguire' co-star
9:05: Leonardo DiCaprio hits the stage to present the SAG Life Achievement award to Robert De Niro. "Robert De Niro seems elemental: He has always been here, and he will always be here," says DiCaprio, who co-starred with De Niro in 1993's "This Boy's Life" and is working again with the icon on Martin Scorsese's upcoming "Killers of the Flower Moon."
8:57: Top female actor in a TV drama goes to "The Morning Show" star Jennifer Aniston. "What?! Oh, my gosh, this is so unbelievable," Aniston says, recounting how she used to tape episodes of "Laverne & Shirley" and "Happy Days" as a little girl – on a tape recorder because she didn't have a VCR. "One day I'm going to do that," she recalls thinking. "And then I got a Bob's Big Boy commercial and I got into SAG." Interestingly, Aniston shouts out Adam Sandler, who wasn't nominated for "Uncut Gems": "Your performance is extraordinary and your magic is real, buddy."
8:45: Michelle Williams gets her first-ever SAG Award, female actor in a miniseries for "Fosse/Verdon." She talks about loneliness in acting, acting with a dog, but says she's "lucky" to have found a great partner in co-star Sam Rockwell.
8:35: Brad Pitt nabs supporting actor for "Once Upon a Time." "I get to add this to my Tinder profile," he jokes while holding his new hardware. "This means so much, more than I can possibly fathom." He also points out director Quentin Tarantino's onscreen foot fetish ("Seriously, Quentin has separated more women from their shoes than the TSA") and quips about his stuntman character. "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's a big stretch." But he closes with some feeling: "I've been banging away at this for 30 years. Some projects work, some don't ... just get on telling stories."
8:28: Laura Dern continues her roll through award season, taking the SAG for supporting female actor for "Marriage Story." "Now I'm emotional because I got to hug my dad," she says in accepting her award (Bruce Dern is also nominated as part of the cast of "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"). She gives a shout-out to her "fellow partners-in-law," co-stars Alan Alda and Ray Liotta, and also her "Big Little Lies" family: "We are the most blessed people in the world."
8:18: "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" takes best cast in a TV comedy, though they seemed to have been rooting for the competition. "I voted for 'Fleabag.' This makes no sense," jokes actress Alex Borstein. "I didn't vote for (co-star) Rachel (Brosnahan), I didn't vote for Tony." Adds Brosnahan: "This was a mistake but thank you."
8:12: Phoebe Waller-Bridge gets female actor in a comedy series for "Fleabag." She's a frequent winner at these events recently but actually wrote a speech this time: "I try to be spontaneous in these speeches but I worry about getting bleeped again." She calls her successful "Fleabag" run a "beautiful dream."
8:09: The first award – male actor in a TV comedy series – goes to Tony Shalhoub for "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." He shares the honor with his castmates ("It's a privilege to work beside you") and dedicates the win to co-star Brian Tarantina, who died of an accidental drug overdose in November.
8:02: Eugene Levy gets the crowd busting out laughing by going on too long, and his son Daniel quips that now Tom Hanks doesn't have time to speak. (Cue bewildered Hanks playing along.) The Levys take the stage to banter but aren’t exactly the hosts because, as Eugene points out, "we're not being paid."
8:00: The evening begins with actors revealing how they became thespians: Christina Applegate talks about starring in a 1976 movie ("I don't remember what it was but everybody was really, really high," she jokes), and British actress Cynthia Erivo says she was in a nativity play when she was 5.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: SAG Awards: 'Parasite' wins top cast, Joaquin Phoenix named best actor