‘The Help,’ ‘Bridesmaids,’ Clooney, Pitt among nominees for SAG Awards


LOS ANGELES — Three crowd-pleasers with wildly
different tones — “The Help,” “Bridesmaids” and “Midnight in Paris” —
led the way in the outstanding cast performance category at the
nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Wednesday.

“The Descendants,” which stars George Clooney as a
father trying to find his way, and “The Artist,” the (mostly) silent
film set in old Hollywood, were the final two nominees in the category
that, in some years, had been a bellwether for the best picture race at
the Academy Awards.

For television, the first season of “Game of
Thrones,” HBO’s dark medieval epic, earned a nomination in the drama
ensemble category, where it will cross swords with two other pay-TV
shows, Showtime’s serial-killer series “Dexter” and HBO’s Prohibition
epic “Boardwalk Empire,” as well as AMC’s “Breaking Bad.” The lone
network series in the mix: The CBS series “The Good Wife.”

The daffy and dysfunctional led the way for
television comedies with “Modern Family,” “30 Rock,” “The Big Bang
Theory,” “Glee” and “The Office” earning nominations in the ensemble
category. “Modern Family” also racked up the most individual actor
nominations, with nods for Ty Burrelll, Eric Stonestreet, Julie Bowen
and Sofia Vergara.

In the film male actor category, Clooney’s name was
also called out for his work in Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants.” The
other nominees are Leonardo DiCaprio, who portrayed the most famous
G-man of them all in “J. Edgar”; Brad Pitt, who played a baseball
general manager with a maverick approach in “Moneyball”; Demian Bichir,
who brought the struggles of an immigrant gardener to the screen in “A
Bettter Life”; and Jean Dujardin, the French actor in critics’ darling
“The Artist,” which took moviegoers back to the days when “talkies” were
the new tech in Tinseltown.

“The Help,” the adaptation of the Kathryn Stockett
novel about 1960s Mississippi, got four nominations, including one for
Viola Davis for lead female actor. The other nominees in that category:
Glenn Close, for her gender-bending performance in “Albert Nobbs”; Meryl
Streep for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady”;
Michelle Willams for her channeling of Marilyn Monroe in “My Week with
Marilyn”; and Tilda Swinton for her performance as the mother of a teen
on the edge in “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”

The supporting actor category for film shows a
generational mix with two relative newcomers — Jonah Hill, who played a
statistician assistant to Pitt in “Moneyball,” and Armie Hammer, who
played a sidekick of a different sort to DiCaprio’s J. Edgar Hoover — as
well three veterans: Kenneth Branagh, playing Laurence Olivier in “My
Week with Marilyn”; Nick Nolte portraying the estranged father of two
fighters in “Warrior”; and Christopher Plummer as a 75-year-old widower
who comes out of the closet in “Beginners.”

In the counterpart category for female actors, “The
Help” made a strong showing with two nominees, Jessica Chastain and
Octavia Spencer. The others included French actress Berenice Bejo, who
plays a rising star in the black-and-white era in “The Artist”; Janet
McTeer, who, like Close, played an Irish woman going through 19th
century life disguised as a man in “Albert Nobbs;” and Melissa McCarthy,
who brought the raunch to the commercial hit “Bridesmaids.”


©2011 the Los Angeles Times

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