The films "Inglourious Basterds," "Up in the Air" and "Precious" were shaping up as this awards season's front-runners, each earning three nominations apiece as the Screen Actors Guild Award nominations were announced this morning.
Earlier this week, the trio of films were nominated for Golden Globes and Critics' Choice Movie Awards, and all three have been hauling in their share of year-end honors from critics groups as well.
Quentin Tarantino's gory World War II epic earned a supporting nomination for Christoph Waltz and Diane Kruger as well as one for best ensemble. The dramedy "Up in the Air" scored nominations for best lead male actor for George Clooney and best supporting female actor for Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick. And "Precious" the harrowing drama about an abused teenager received nominations for best lead female actor Gabourey Sidibe, best supporting female actor for Mo'Nique and best ensemble.
Joining Clooney in the best lead male actor race are Jeff Bridges for "Crazy Heart," Colin Firth for "A Single Man," Morgan Freeman for "Invictus" and Jeremy Renner for "The Hurt Locker." Vying with Sidibe for outstanding female actor are Sandra Bullock for "The Blind Side," Helen Mirren for "The Last Station," Carey Mulligan for "An Education" and Meryl Streep for "Julie & Julia."
The SAG Awards are the only accolades devoted strictly to honoring actors. The awards are also a prime bellwether for the Academy Awards. Though several actors have earned Oscar nominations without receiving a SAG nod, only one performer, Marcia Gay Harden for 2000's "Pollock," won the Academy Award without being nominated for a SAG.
Other nominees for best ensemble in a film are "The Hurt Locker, "An Education" and "Nine."
On the TV side, "Glee," "Mad Men," "30 Rock," "Dexter," "True Blood" and "The Good Wife" were among the top nominees. The nominees for best male actor in a drama series are Simon Baker for "The Mentalist," Bryan Cranston for "Breaking Bad," Michael C. Hall for "Dexter," Jon Hamm for "Mad Men" and Hugh Laurie for "House."
Nominations for best female actor in a drama series went to Patricia Arquette for "Medium," Glenn Close for "Damages," Mariska Hargitay for "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," Holly Hunter for "Saving Grace," Julianna Margulies for "The Good Wife," and Kyra Sedgwick for "The Closer." Because there was a tie, there were six nominees instead of the traditional five nominees in this category.
Competing for best ensemble in a drama series are the cast of "The Closer," "Dexter," "The Good Wife," "Mad Men" and "True Blood."On the comedy series front, the nominees for best male actor in a comedy series are Alec Baldwin for "30 Rock," Steve Carell in "The Office," Larry David in "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Tony Shaloub for "Monk" and Charlie Sheen for "Two and a Half Men."
Vying for best female actor in a comedy series are Christina Applegate for "Samantha Who?" which is no longer on the air, Toni Collette for "The United States of Tara," Edie Falco for "Nurse Jackie," Tina Fey for "30 Rock" and Julia Louis-Dreyfus for "The New Adventures of Old Christine."Rounding out the category of best ensemble nominees: "30 Rock," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "The Office" and newcomers "Glee" and "Modern Family."
Betty White has been announced as this year's lifetime achievement award recipient.
The SAG Awards air at 8 p.m. Jan. 23 on both TNT and TBS from the Shrine Exposition Hall in Los Angeles. The two-hour program will be shown tape-delayed on the West Coast.
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