'Trumbo' leads Screen Actors Guild award nominations
Bryan Cranston's run of Breaking Bad honors is over but he's doing fine on the movie front after Wednesday's nominations for the 22nd annual Screen Actors Guild awards.
Cranston earned a best male actor nomination for playing blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo in Trumbo, the leader among SAG's movie contenders with three nods. Trumbo is also a finalist for the ensemble cast prize, featuring supporting female actor nominee Helen Mirren, playing celebrity gossip vulture Hedda Hopper.
Several movies grabbed two nominations each, including Beasts of No Nation, The Big Short and Spotlight, joining Trumbo in the ensemble competition that is the closest SAG gets to a best picture award. The hip-hop biopic Straight Outta Compton earned only one nomination but it rounds out this important category for Oscar momentum.
Other films receiving two nominations for solo performers include Carol, The Danish Girl, Room and Steve Jobs.
As usual, the nominations hinted slightly at how the Academy Awards race is developing, by who was included or overlooked. One surprising snub was Jennifer Lawrence and her Joy in general. Will Smith was touted for Concussion, to no avail. Matt Damon's hit The Martian was also shut out. At least two shrouded late-year releases, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight weren't seen in time by many voters.
Many nominations lined up with expectations; Cranston's listing is the most surprising in his category alongside Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl) and Johnny Depp (Black Mass)
Early Oscar favorites Brie Larson (Room), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) and Cate Blanchett (Carol) were easily predicted, and Mirren's nomination for Woman in Gold not surprising. The shocker is the inclusion of comedian Sarah Silverman for her heavy dramatic turn in I Smile Back.
In the supporting female competition, Mirren is joined by Rooney Mara (Carol), Rachel McAdams (Spotlight), Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) and Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs).
Supporting male finalists include Christian Bale (The Big Short), Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation, Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), Michael Shannon (99 Homes) and Jacob Tremblay (Room).
SAG's most unique category is best stunt ensemble, honoring Hollywood's unsung heroes. This year's nominees are: Everest, Furious 7, Jurassic World, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation.
The Screen Actors Guild award will be presented on Jan. 30, 2016 - three weeks before Oscar balloting closes. The actors branch is the academy's largest - nearly one-quarter of all voters - so SAG results matter. Over the past three years, 11 of 12 SAG winners proceeded to win the Academy Award (Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln is the only miss.) All three ensemble cast winners later claimed the best pitcure Oscar.