LOS ANGELES, USA – The Oscars race officially kicked off on Wednesday, December 9 with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) nominations that saw Trumbo, a biopic about a blacklisted 1940s screenwriter, score the most nominations.
The movie received nods in 3 categories – best ensemble cast, best leading actor (Bryan Cranston) and best supporting actress (Helen Mirren).
On the television side, Netflix's political drama House of Cards led the field with 3 nominations, for best actor (Kevin Spacey), best actress (Robin Wright) and best cast performance in a drama series.
Here is the list of nominees for the 22nd SAG awards, to be held on January 30 in Los Angeles:
Outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture:
Outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role:
Outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role:
Outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role:
Outstanding performance by a female actor in a supporting role:
Outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series:
Outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series:
Outstanding performance by a male actor in a drama series:
Outstanding performance by a female actor in a drama series:
Outstanding performance by a male actor in a comedy series:
Outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series:
Outstanding performance by a male actor in a television movie or miniseries:
Outstanding performance by a female actor in a television movie or miniseries:
The SAG nominations are the first major awards announcement in Tinseltown's glittering awards season, which climaxes with the Academy Awards in February.
The SAGs are often a solid early indication of Oscars hopes, since members of the acting guild represent some 20 percent of the roughly 6,000 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Trumbo tells the story of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who in 1947 was blacklisted along with other artists for refusing to testify before Congress about alleged Communist propaganda in Hollywood films.
Cranston – of Breaking Bad fame – is up for an award for his portrayal of Trumbo, and Mirren was tapped for her role as conservative gossip columnist Hedda Hopper.
Mirren is a double nominee, also given a nod for best actress for her work on Woman in Gold.
In the best actor category, Cranston is up against Johnny Depp (Black Mass), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs) and Eddie Redmayne for the transgender tale The Danish Girl.
Beasts of No Nation, a war drama about child soldiers in Africa, and Straight Outta Compton, which charts the creation of the hugely successful hip hop group N.W.A and its demise, also received nods for cast in a motion picture as did Spotlight, a movie about the Boston Globe journalists who uncovered sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Massachusetts.
A surprise snub was The Martian, a blockbuster about an astronaut stranded on Mars, which was considered a sure bet by industry experts both for the film's ensemble and its star Matt Damon.
Other surprise snubs in the supporting actor category were Sylvester Stallone (Creed), Benicio Del Toro (Sicario) and Michael Keaton (Spotlight) – all considered frontrunners in the Oscars race.
Industry magazine Variety also expressed surprise that actors Will Smith (Concussion) and Jennifer Lawrence (Joy) had failed to make the final cut.
Concussion tells the story of Nigerian-born forensic pathologist Bennet Omalu, one of the first to diagnose degenerative brain disease in former players of the National Football League.
Joy is a comedy-drama which spans four decades in the life of Joy Mangano, who invented the self-wringing Miracle Mop.
The 22nd annual SAG awards winners will be announced on January 30 in Los Angeles.
Last year Birdman, about a faded Hollywood actor trying to make a comeback, won for best cast.
The SAG nominations on Wednesday were announced 24 hours before the Golden Globe nominees are set to be revealed, by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).
The Golden Globe nominations will further define the race for the Oscars on February 28. – Sara Puig, AFP/Rappler.com