Wednesday, December 11, 2013

20th Annual SAG Award Nominations

This morning's 20th Annual SAG Award nominations announcement brought with it an early frontrunner status for "12 Years a Slave," which scored four nominations total.

Chiwetel Ejiofor landed in the best actor category next to Tom Hanks for "Captain Phillips," Matthew McConaughey for "Dallas Buyers Club," Forest Whitaker for "Lee Daniels' The Butler" and the nice inclusion of Bruce Dern for his career-topping performance in "Nebraska," which boosts the veteran actor's Oscar nomination chances against the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio for "The Wolf of Wall Street" and the other veteran actor in the running, Robert Redford for "All Is Lost."

Michael Fassbender represented "12 Years a Slave" in the best supporting actor category, alongside Jared Leto for "Dallas Buyers Club," the other expected frontrunner. The rest of the category was a bit of a mixed bag, including the surprises of James Gandolfini for "Enough Said," boosting a well-deserved posthumous Oscar chance, as well as first-time actor Barkhad Abdi for "Captain Phillips," and lastly, Daniel Bruhl for "Rush," perhaps the only representation of Ron Howard's film we'll see this awards season.

In the best supporting actress category, Lupita Nyong'o received a nomination for "12 Years a Slave" with fellow frontrunner Oprah Winfrey for "Lee Daniels' The Butler," and then Jennifer Lawrence for "American Hustle" and Julia Roberts for "August: Osage County," all four of which will be repeated come Oscar nomination morning. The fifth slot appears more and more up for grabs with a nomination for June Squibb for "Nebraska" against such competition as Sally Hawkins for "Blue Jasmine."

The only category without "12 Years a Slave" was best actress, with five nominations that firm up exactly what we'll see with the Oscars. They are: Cate Blanchett for "Blue Jasmine," Sandra Bullock for "Gravity," Judi Dench for "Philomena," Emma Thompson for "Saving Mr. Banks" and Meryl Streep for "August: Osage County."

The cast of "12 Years a Slave" faces off for best ensemble against best picture contenders "American Hustle," "Dallas Buyers Club," "Lee Daniels' The Butler" and, lastly, "August: Osage County," which boosts its Oscar best picture chances in an otherwise crowded category with high prestige pictures.

What does it mean for "The Wolf of Wall Street" earning zero representation here with the SAG nominations? Probably not much at all as it's not considered an actors movie but more about craft. The best picture chances of "Blue Jasmine" would've boded well here, too, had it earned a best ensemble nomination.

Check here for a full list of nominees, and tune in to the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. / 5 p.m. PST on TNT and TBS.

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