Viola Davis and Jean Dujardin have opened up the race to the Oscars after picking up top accolades at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
It was a night for the underdog as Viola saw off Meryl Streep to win best actress for her turn in The Help.
And the civil rights drama cleaned up in two other categories including best ensemble cast and best supporting actress for Octavia Spencer.
CLICK ON PHOTO FOR FULL GALLERY
Holding aloft her trophy, proud Viola told fans to "dream big and dream fierce" before pointing out African-American actress Cicely Tyson, her childhood inspiration - who was in the audience.
This theme was continued by The Artist's Jean who halted George Clooney's domination of awards season, walking away with best actor.
He said: "My teachers called me 'Jean of the moon'. I realised I never stopped dreaming. Thank you for this dream."
The Hollywood newcomer proved to be as entertaining in real life as he is on screen.
Asked about his chances of winning an Oscar, he belted out the opening bars of the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, as if pretending to avoid the question.
"That is my answer. Pressure. Big Pressure. No, it's unbelievable, it's amazing already. Too early to tell," he said.
Other big winners included Kate Winslet who repeated her Golden Globes success for her television role in Mildred Pierce.
18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
- Jean Dujardin - The Artist
- Viola Davis- The Help
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
- Christopher Plummer - Beginners
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
- Octavia Spencer - The Help
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A CAST
- The Help
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES
- Kate Winslet - Mildred Pierce