"The King's Speech" and "The Fighter" solidified their positions as Oscars front-runners Thursday morning when they each received four nominations for the 17th Screen Actors Guild Awards.
"The King's Speech," a period drama about King George VI's efforts to correct his stammer, earned nominations for Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter and, perhaps most importantly, in the ensemble category -- SAG's equivalent of the best picture Oscar.
"The Fighter," a drama about a Boston boxer who gets his shot at the championship, earned nods for Christian Bale, Melissa Leo, Amy Adams and ensemble. Notably missing from that list: lead actor Mark Wahlberg.
"The Social Network," which has been dominating critics' awards, received only two nominations: for lead actor Jesse Eisenberg and for ensemble. "True Grit," which was snubbed Tuesday when the Golden Globe nominations were announced, earned nods for lead actor Jeff Bridges and supporting female actor Hailee Steinfeld.
Besides the omission of Wahlberg, there were some other surprises in the film categories. Hilary Swank earned a nomination for her lead role in "Conviction," a movie that generally has been overlooked so far this awards season. And 79-year-old Robert Duvall, who also has been underappreciated this awards season, was recognized by SAG with a nomination for his role as a hermit in the period drama "Get Low."
Rounding out the lead male actor category is James Franco for "127 Hours." Competing with Swank are Annette Bening for "The Kids Are All Right," Nicole Kidman for "Rabbit Hole," Jennifer Lawrence for "Winter's Bone" and Natalie Portman for "Black Swan."
Mila Kunis was nominated in the supporting actress category for "Black Swan" along with Bonham Carter, Adams, Leo and Steinfeld. Joining Bale and Rush in the supporting actor category are John Hawkes for "Winter's Bone," Jeremy Renner for "The Town" and Mark Ruffalo for "The Kids Are All Right."
Besides "The Fighter" and "The King's Speech," the nominees for best performance by a cast in a motion picture are "Black Swan," "The Kids Are All Right" and "The Social Network."
The Screen Actors Guild Awards have become one of the movie season's major bellwethers for the Academy Awards. Last year, both the academy and SAG agreed on all four feature acting winners, including lead male actor for Jeff Bridges for "Crazy Heart," lead female actor for Sandra Bullock for "The Blind Side," supporting male actor for Christoph Waltz for "Inglourious Basterds" and supporting female actor for Mo'Nique for "Precious." The two bodies disagreed, however, on the big one. The outstanding cast award went to "Basterds" while the best picture Oscar went to " The Hurt Locker."
On the TV side, HBO actors earned nine nominations. Among them: Al Pacino, John Goodman and Susan Sarandon for "You Don't Know Jack," Claire Danes, Catherine O'Hara and Julia Ormond for "Temple Grandin" and Steve Buscemi and the cast of "Boardwalk Empire."
There were no surprises among the nominees in the drama series categories. In addition to Buscemi, the other nominees for male actor in a drama were Bryan Cranston for "Breaking Bad," Michael C. Hall for "Dexter," Jon Hamm for "Mad Men" and Hugh Laurie for "House." Glenn Close was nominated for "Damages," Mariska Hargitay for "Law & Order: SVU," Julianna Margulies for "The Good Wife," Elisabeth Moss for "Mad Men" and Kyra Sedgwick for "The Closer."
SAG also stayed the course with the nominations for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series. Along with "Boardwalk Empire," "The Closer," "Dexter," "The Good Wife" and "Mad Men" also earned nods.
Nominated for lead male actor in a comedy series were Ty Burrell and Ed O'Neill for "Modern Family," Chris Colfer for "Glee" and perennial favorites Steve Carell for "The Office" and Alec Baldwin for "30 Rock." Among the snubs: Jim Parsons, who won the Emmy this year for "The Big Bang Theory."
Betty White continues to be a force of nature. At 88, she was nominated for "Hot in Cleveland," which also earned a nomination in the ensemble category, no doubt due in part to White's naughty zingers. White has come full circle: She was given the Life Achievement Award at last year's SAG ceremony, where her saucy acceptance speech was an audience favorite.
Joining White in the category of lead actress in a comedy are Edie Falco for "Nurse Jackie," Tina Fey for "30 Rock," Jane Lynch for "Glee" and Sofia Vergara for "Modern Family."
Besides "Hot in Cleveland," the nominees in the ensemble comedy category are "30 Rock," "Glee," "Modern Family" and "The Office."
It was also a good day for Winona Ryder. Not only did Ryder earn a nomination for "When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story" in outstanding performance by an actress in a TV movie or miniseries, but she also was nominated as part of the ensemble for the film "Black Swan." She will be competing with Danes, O'Hara, Ormond and Sarandon. Goodman and Pacino will be vying for the SAG in the TV movie or miniseries category with Dennis Quaid in "The Special Relationship," Edgar Ramirez for "Carlos" and Patrick Stewart for "Macbeth."
The guild also nominated "Burn Notice," "CSI: NY," "Dexter," "Southland" and "True Blood" for outstanding stunt ensemble on television. "The Green Zone," "Inception" and "Robin Hood" were nominated for outstanding stunt emsemble, motion picture.
As previously announced, Ernest Borgnine will receive the Life Achievement Award when the SAGs are handed out Jan. 30 at the Shrine Exposition Hall during a two-hour telecast on TNT and TBS.