"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, dominated the 14th annual Screen Actors Guild Award nominations announced this morning.
The film was nominated for four SAG awards -- best actor, Emile Hirsch; supporting male actor, Hal Holbrook; supporting female actor, Catherine Keener; and best ensemble.
The actors in "Into the Wild" were shut out in the Golden Globe nominations a week ago.
The gripping legal thriller "Michael Clayton" and the dark contemporary western "No Country for Old Men" each received three nominations.
"Michael Clayton" picked up nominations for best male actor, George Clooney; supporting male actor, Tom Wilkinson; and supporting female actor, Tilda Swinton. "No Country for Old Men," the latest film from Joel and Ethan Coen, received nominations for best ensemble and best supporting actor for Javier Bardem and Tommy Lee Jones.
Notably missing from the list of nominees were the Stephen Sondheim musical "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," which received four Golden Globe nominations last week, and the epic romance "Atonement," which dominated the Globe nominations with seven.
Vying with Clooney and Hirsch for best male actor in a motion picture are Daniel Day-Lewis as the greedy oil kingpin in "There Will Be Blood," Ryan Gosling as a shy young man with an unusual girlfriend in "Lars and the Real Girl" and Viggo Mortensen as a Russian mobster living in London in "Eastern Promises." Clooney was named best actor by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, and Day-Lewis received best actor honors from both the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. and the New York Film Critics Circle.
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Nominees for best female actor in a motion picture are Cate Blanchett for "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," Julie Christie as a woman suffering from Alzheimer's in "Away From Her," Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf, France's Little Sparrow, in "La Vie En Rose," Angelina Jolie as journalist and widow Mariane Pearl in "A Mighty Heart" and Ellen Page as an acerbic pregnant teenager in "Juno." Christie was named best actress by the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle, while the Los Angeles Film Critic Assn. picked Cotillard.
Rounding out the supporting actor nominees are Casey Affleck, in contention for the western "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," along with Bardem, Holbrook, Jones and Wilkinson.
Joining Keener and Swinton in the supporting female actor category are Blanchett in "I'm Not There," the 83-year-old Ruby Dee in "American Gangster" and Amy Ryan for "Gone Baby Gone."
Also in the mix for ensemble cast recognition are "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 a male actor in a TV movie or miniseries.
Because of a tie, there are six nominees for female actor 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," 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, the acclaimed mob series garnered nods for outstanding performance by a male actor in drama series, James Gandolfini; female actor 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 female actor category are Glenn Close for "Damages," Sally Field for "Brothers & Sisters," Holly Hunter for "Saving Grace" and Kyra Sedgwick for "The Closer."
Nominees for male 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 Shaloub for "Monk."
Vying for female actor 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."
Joining "The Sopranos" in the category of ensemble in a drama series are "Boston Legal," "The Closer," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Mad Men." Nominees for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series are "Desperate Housewives," "Entourage," "The Office," "30 Rock" and "Ugly Betty."
The group announced two new honors this morning for the 14th annual nominations.
The new category recognizes outstanding performance by a stunt ensemble in both motion pictures and television. The nominees for motion pictures are "The Bourne Ultimatum," "I Am Legend," "The Kingdom," "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" and "300." On the television front, the nominees are "Heroes," "Lost," "Rome," "24" and "The Unit." The awards will go to the stunt performers and coordinator.
The SAG Awards have been a relatively reliable bellwether for the Oscars. Last year three of the movie winners -- Forest Whitaker ("The Last King of Scotland"), Helen Mirren ("The Queen") and Jennifer Hudson ("Dreamgirls") -- went on to receive the Academy Award.
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 a WGA writer to pen the show. The new SAG stunt awards will be announced from the red carpet during the ceremony's pre-show webcasts on TNT.TV and TBS.com
Also scheduled to be honored during the ceremony is Charles Durning, previously announced as recipient of the guild's 44th annual lifetime achievement award.
Two randomly selected teams -- one for television and one for movies, each comprising 2,100 SAG members -- selected the nominees. The entire active membership of the guild is allowed to vote on all the acting categories.