The Screen Actors Guild Award nominations are more revealing in many ways than the much-touted Golden Globes, because they reveal how the actors think. That's important because the actors branch of the Academy is by far the most dominant, some 1200 votes out of 6000. Thus you can glean from the nominations below several things:
1. The actors love Up in the Air, Inglourious Basterds and Precious, which earned three nominations each, but Up in the Air was scratched from the outstanding performance by a cast category, the actors' equivalent of the best picture category. The other winners were An Education, Nine and The Hurt Locker.
2. The Hurt Locker is a leading awards contender: its star Jeremy Renner grabbed the fifth best actor slot.
3. SAG best actress nominee Sandra Bullock could land an Oscar nom for The Blind Side. It's classic: a popular brunette comedienne goes blonde to play a character role in a hit drama.
4. The SAG supporting actors mirror the Golden Globes, but I'm not positive Invictus' Matt Damon will grab a nom on Oscar noms morning (he doesn't have much to do in the movie). Plummer is in for The Last Station, Harrelson for The Messenger, Tucci for The Lovely Bones, Waltz for Inglourious Basterds. I still think momentum will pick up for It's Complicated's Alec Baldwin.
5. Harvey Weinstein is a mighty campaigner. Don't look for Diane Kruger to grab a supporting actress Oscar nom. But her inclusion (at the expense of A Single Man's Julianne Moore) means Inglourious Basterds is very popular.
No one ever expected James Cameron's Avatar to be an actors' picture. (Neither was The Lord of the Rings trilogy.) As we head toward Oscar nominations, Avatar and The Hurt Locker are duking it out for best picture and director.
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
“The Hurt Locker “
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”
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”