23 December, 2009

SAG Awards: Actors In The Spotlight

by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor

The Screen Actors Guild, the most important union of actors and actresses working in the American film and television industries, have announced their award nominees for this year. With the focus squarely on the acting arts, the list of those tapped for possible awards makes another pit stop in the road to the Oscars (which will be given out this year on March 7).

As expected, lead and supporting actors in the films as UP IN THE AIR, PRECIOUS and INGLORIOUS BASTERDS scored well, each receiving three acting nominations. These nods have heated up the race for the Golden Globe and Oscar award races. UP IN THE AIR saw SAG nominations for its three principal cast members: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick - but was surprisingly snubbed for Best Cast Ensemble. In that category, considered the most prestigious in the SAG Awards race, were Quentin Tarantino's World War II-set INGLORIOUS BASTERDS and the urban drama PRECIOUS, alongside the Iraq War drama THE HURT LOCKER, the 1960s-set AN EDUCATION and the musical extravaganza NINE.

Aside from the snub of UP IN THE AIR, the other major surprise was the choice of Diane Kruger for her Best Supporting Actress role in INGLORIOUS BASTERDS. She was chosen over such possible favorites as Julianne Moore as a boozy expat in A SINGLE MAN and Samantha Morton as a grieving widow in the indie drama THE MESSENGER. The Coen Brothers' film A SERIOUS MAN and the American remake of the Danish film BROTHERS also did not secure a single nomination.

Others who did not make the list included Daniel Day-Lewis and Marion Cotillard for the musical NINE; Alfred Molina as the disapproving father in AN EDUCATION; Emily Blunt as the virgin queen in THE YOUNG VICTORIA; and Christian McKay, who garnered strong notices for his turn as the young tyro director in ME AND ORSON WELLES.

The Screen Actors Guild Awards will be announced on January 23, 2010at a televised ceremony in Los Angeles.


Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
An Education
“The Hurt Locker
“Inglourious Basterds”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney, “Up In The Air”
Colin Firth, “A Single Man”
Morgan Freeman, “Invictus”
Jeremy Renner, “The Hurt Locker”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Sandra Bullock, “The Blind Side”
Helen Mirren, “The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, “An Education
Gabourey Sidibe,“Precious”
Meryl Streep, “Julie & Julia”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Matt Damon, “Invictus”
Woody Harrelson, “The Messenger”
Christopher Plummer, “The Last Station
Stanley Tucci, “The Lovely Bones”
Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Penelope Cruz, “Nine”
Vera Farmiga, “Up In The Air”
Anna Kendrick, “Up In The Air”
Diane Kruger, “Inglourious Basterds”
Mo’Nique, “Precious”


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