NEW YORK (AP) – In nominations announced Wednesday, the 24th Screen Actors Guild Awards heartily endorsed the Frances McDormand-led revenge drama “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” offered swift redemption for the Golden Globes-overlooked romantic comedy “The Big Sick” and left many Oscar favorites empty handed.
Martin McDonaugh’s “Three Billboards” led all films with four nominations, including best ensemble, and acting nods for McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson. That adds to the movie’s strong awards portfolio, including six Golden Globes nods and the often predictive audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The other nominees for best ensemble were: Greta Gerwig’s mother-daughter tale “Lady Bird,” Jordan Peele’s horror hit “Get Out,” Dee Rees’ Jim Crowe-era drama “Mudbound” and “The Big Sick,” which was shut out Monday by the Golden Globes.
In the television categories, HBO’s California murder mystery “Big Little Lies” dominated as expected with five nominations, including best ensemble. Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and “GLOW” fared well, with four nods apiece. The steaming service led all networks with 19 total nominations.
As one of the steadiest bellwethers of the Academy Awards, the SAG Awards have considerable sway over the Oscar race. Actors make up the largest branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, though the guild’s ranks are much larger. Only about 1,000 of their 160,000 members are in the film academy. Last year, “Hidden Figures” upset eventual Oscar-winner “Moonlight” as well as “Manchester by the Sea” for the SAG Awards’ best ensemble. But it’s been 22 years since a film that wasn’t at least nominated for best ensemble at the SAG Awards won best picture at the Oscars.
The Oscars race is so far considered wide open, and by winnowing the field down to five movies for its top award on Wednesday, the Screen Actors left out many frontrunners. Steven Spielberg’s Pentagon Papers drama “The Post” was shut out entirely, including its lauded stars, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.
After topping the Globes with seven nods Monday, Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” missed out on the ensemble category, but still landed nods for Sally Hawkins and Richard Jenkins. Critical favorites “Call Me By Your Name” and “The Florida Project” each emerged with just a solo acting nomination. Notably passed over was “Call Me By Your Name” co-star Armie Hammer.
Instead, “The Big Sick,” an autobiographical comedy scripted by real-life couple Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, followed up its rough Globes morning with not just a best ensemble nod but a supporting actress nomination for Holly Hunter.
“Now we have to go tell our real parents that they aren’t actually nominated,” Nanjiani and Gordon said in a joint statement.
Along with McDormand and Hawkins, the best actress nominees were: Judi Dench (“Victoria & Abdul”), Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”) and Margo Robbie (“I, Tonya”). Ronan was joined by her “Lady Bird” cast mate Laurie Metcalf, who was nominated for best supporting actress.
The best actor nominees were: Timothee Chalamet (“Call Me By Your Name”), James Franco (“The Disaster Artist”), Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”), Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”) and Denzel Washington (“Roman J. Israel, Esq.”). Notably left out was Daniel Day Lewis in “Phantom Thread,” a performance the actor has said is his final one.
Along with “Stranger Things,” the nominees for best ensemble in a drama series were “The Crown,” ”Game of Thrones, “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “This Is Us.” Up for best ensemble in a comedy series are: “Black-ish,” ”Curb Your Enthusiasm,” ”Glow,” ”Orange Is the New Black” and “Veep.”
Winners will be announced during a January 21 telecast hosted by Kristen Bell. Morgan Freeman will be presented with the awards’ lifetime achievement honor.
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