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Actors guild goes 'Wild' with notable omissions

SAG nominates Hirsch, Holbrook and Keener. Globe favorites 'Atonement' and 'Sweeney Todd' are shut out.

December 21, 2007|Susan King | Times Staff Writer

TRYING to handicap the Oscars didn't get any easier Thursday with the release of the 14th annual Screen Actors Guild Award nominations: The top nominee was "Into the Wild," which had been shut out in the acting categories of the Golden Globe nominations last week, while two Golden Globe favorites, "Atonement" and "Sweeney Todd," got nothing.

"Into the Wild," Sean Penn's harrowing drama about Christopher McCandless, a young man who traveled the country after graduating from college only to perish in Alaska, captured four SAG nominations: for Emile Hirsch as best actor, Hal Holbrook as supporting actor, Catherine Keener as best supporting actress and for best ensemble.

The legal thriller "Michael Clayton" and the dark contemporary western "No Country for Old Men" each received three nominations from the actors union.

The SAG Awards have been a relatively reliable bellwether for the Oscars. Last year, three of the film acting winners -- Forest Whitaker ("The Last King of Scotland"), Helen Mirren ("The Queen") and Jennifer Hudson ("Dreamgirls") -- went on to receive the Academy Award. But the academy and the union have not always agreed on the major winners, and this year's discrepancies with the Golden Globes only serve to underscore that there are no front-runners.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday, January 08, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 2 inches; 65 words Type of Material: Correction
Screen Actors Guild Awards: An article in the Dec. 21 Calendar section about nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Awards said that since the awards were created, no performer has won an Oscar without at least being nominated for the SAG honor. In fact, Marcia Gay Harden won the Academy Award as best supporting actress for "Pollock" in 2001 without having received a SAG nomination.

The only certainty is that, since the union awards were created, no performer has won an Oscar without at least being nominated for the SAG honor.

The awards will be handed out Jan. 27 at the Shrine Exposition Hall in Los Angeles and will be televised simultaneously on TNT and TBS. Unlike the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards, the SAG Awards have received a waiver from the striking Writers Guild of America, allowing WGA members to pen the show.

Vying with "Into the Wild's" Hirsch for best actor in a motion picture are George Clooney for "Michael Clayton," Daniel Day-Lewis for "There Will Be Blood," Ryan Gosling for "Lars and the Real Girl" and Viggo Mortensen for "Eastern Promises." Clooney already was named best actor by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, while Day-Lewis received the nod from the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. and the New York Film Critics Circle.

Nominees for best actress in a motion picture are Cate Blanchett for "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," Julie Christie for "Away From Her," Marion Cotillard for "La Vie en Rose," Angelina Jolie for "A Mighty Heart" and Ellen Page for "Juno." Christie was named best actress by the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle, while the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. picked Cotillard.

"No Country for Old Men" got two of its SAG nominations in the supporting actor category, for Javier Bardem and Tommy Lee Jones. Rounding out the category are Holbrook, Casey Affleck for "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" and Tom Wilkinson for "Michael Clayton."

Joining Keener in the supporting actress category are Blanchett in "I'm Not There," 83-year-old Ruby Dee in "American Gangster," Tilda Swinton in "Michael Clayton" and Amy Ryan for "Gone Baby Gone."

Also in the mix for ensemble cast recognition are "No Country for Old Men," "American Gangster," "Hairspray" and "3:10 to Yuma."

On the television side, Michael Keaton ("The Company"), Kevin Kline ("As You Like It"), Oliver Platt ("The Bronx Is Burning"), Sam Shepard ("Ruffian") and John Turturro ("The Bronx Is Burning") earned SAG nominations for outstanding performance by an actor in a TV movie or miniseries.

Because of a tie, there are six nominees for actress in a TV miniseries or movie. The crowded group consists of Ellen Burstyn for "Mitch Albom's For One More Day," Debra Messing for "The Starter Wife," Anna Paquin for "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," Queen Latifah for "Life Support," Vanessa Redgrave for "The Fever" and Gena Rowlands for "What if God Were the Sun?"

Though "The Sopranos" was virtually ignored last week at the Golden Globe nominations, HBO's acclaimed mob series garnered SAG nods for outstanding performance by an actor in a drama series, James Gandolfini; actress in a drama series, Edie Falco; and outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series.

Competing with Gandolfini are Michael C. Hall for "Dexter," Jon Hamm for "Mad Men," Hugh Laurie for "House" and James Spader for "Boston Legal."

Joining Falco in the actress category are Glenn Close for "Damages," Sally Field for "Brothers & Sisters," Holly Hunter for "Saving Grace" and Kyra Sedgwick for "The Closer."

Nominees for actor in a comedy series are Alec Baldwin for "30 Rock," Steve Carell for "The Office," Ricky Gervais for "Extras," Jeremy Piven for "Entourage" and Tony Shalhoub for "Monk."

Vying for actress in a comedy series are Christina Applegate for "Samantha Who?," America Ferrera for "Ugly Betty," Tina Fey for "30 Rock," Mary Louise-Parker for "Weeds" and Vanessa Williams for "Ugly Betty."

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