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SCREEN ACTORS GUILD NOMINATIONS - THOUGHTS

Wow, a ton of wild picks from the Screen Actors Guild this morning.  Starting with Best Cast in a Motion Picture this group picked "Hairspray," "American Gangster" and "3:10 to Yuma," as well as "No Country for Old Men" and "Into the Wild."  That left "Atonement," "Michael Clayton," "Juno," "There Will Be Blood" and "Sweeney Todd:  The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" out of the mix.  Because of the SAG's rather accurate track record for predicting BP nominees, it's hard not believe that "No Country for Old Men" is the frontrunner at this point. 

And what a day for "Into the Wild."  Nominations for Pic, Actor, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress.  If Sean Penn can snag a DGA nomination, his film may give "No Country for Old Men" all it can handle come Oscar time. 

Remember, in each of the last 5 years, at least 3 SAG nominees go on to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination.  Not since the SAG Awards began has a film that failed to receive a SAG nomination gone on to win the Best Picture Oscar.

 "American Gangster" appeared DOA three weeks ago.  But a Golden Globe nomination and a SAG nomination have to wake a few folks up (Director Ridley Scott also picked up a GG director nod).  Of course, the "Hairspray" choice is inexcusable, but when a film THAT BAD beats "Sweeney Todd," you have to take it for what it means - - that "Sweeney Todd" wasn't respected by the acting arm of the Academy.  Uh-oh.

Johnny Depp being shut out by the SAG is an absolute stunner.  I simply can't believe it.  Ryan Gosling and Viggo Mortensen both getting noms is a pleasant surprise.  I'm very psyched for Emile Hirsch's nomination, which was absolutely one of the year's best.

I'm a bit surprised by Tommy Lee Jones's nomination for best supporting actor.  He obviously beat out Philip Seymour Hoffman, whom SAG may feel has been credited enough recently.  Hal Holbrook?  I love it!

On the female side, the biggest surprise has to be the lack of love for "Atonement."  No Keira Knightly for lead, and Soairse Ronin and Vanessa Redgrave were both shut out of supporting.  Ellen Page ("Juno"), Julie Christie ("Away from Her") and Marion Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose") were all locks.  Angelina Jolie and Cate Blanchett took big steps forward in their campaigns for the final two spots.  Laura Linney ("The Savages") was a sleeper in this race . . . until now.

SAG's affection for "American Gangster" catapulted Ruby Dee in the best supporting actress category.  She's very good. 

It appears that it's "No Country for Old Men," "Into the Wild" and then everyone else.  This race just got all shook up.  I'll have my pre-holiday Oscar update later this afternoon.

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