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SAG nominations: The good, the bad and the shockeroos [Update]

SAG Awards 1The SAG Awards pulled off a cowboy-styled rescue of "True Grit" two days after it got skunked at the Golden Globes. The guild kudos added another big surprise in the film races too. Hello, Hilary Swank!

More thoughts on the nominations:

ENSEMBLE CAST
"Black Swan"
"The Fighter"
"The Kids Are All Right"
"The King's Speech"
"The Social Network"

"The Fighter," "The Kids Are All Right," "The King's Speech" and "The Social Network" were locks, but some pundits thought the fifth slot would go to "Inception" or "The Town." Turns out "Black Swan" swooped down here, probably because it has special appeal to the actors casting these ballots. It's about show business. It's a thrillingly creepy update of "All About Eve" in tutus.

ACTOR
Jeff Bridges, "True Grit"
Robert Duvall, "Get Low"
Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network"
Colin Firth, "The King’s Speech"
James Franco, "127 Hours"

Maybe Javier Bardem ("Biutiful"), Mark Wahlberg ("The Fighter") and Ryan Gosling ("Blue Valentine") never had a prayer of getting in. Firth and Franco were destined to nab spots, being the front-runners, and Eisenberg had to be included because he's the hot new Thing. Room had to be made for Duvall because he's the revered veteran and for Bridges because he's last year's champ returning in a Coen brothers' flick. Oh, yeah, it helps that Bridges appears in a classic Oscar-winning role pioneered by John Wayne in 1969.

ACTRESS
Annette Bening, "The Kids Are All Right"
Nicole Kidman, "Rabbit Hole"
Jennifer Lawrence, "Winter's Bone"
Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"
Hilary Swank, "Conviction"

Swank bumped such formidable foes as Michelle Williams ("Blue Valentine"), Halle Berry ("Frankie and Alice"), Julianne Moore ("The Kids Are All Right"), Sally Hawkins ("Made in Dagenham") and National Board of Review champ Lesley Manville ("Another Year"). SAG was the one place where Moore and Manville could've heeded cries across the blogosphere for them to drop into supporting and thrive there. At SAG, actors decide what categories to enter. At the Golden Globes, there's an eligibility committee that decides these matters. HFPA put both Moore and Manville in lead – and then snubbed Manville.  [For the record, 12:30 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the HFPA snubbed Moore as well. Moore was nominated for a Golden Globe in the lead actress category].

 SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale, "The Fighter"
John Hawkes, "Winter's Bone"
Jeremy Renner, "The Town"
Mark Ruffalo, "The Kids Are All Right"
Geoffrey Rush, "The King’s Speech"

Wow. "Social Network" boys Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake aren't on SAG voters' friends list! Other snubs: Matt Damon ("True Grit") and Bill Murray ("Get Low"). Expect this lineup to change at the Oscars where Michael Douglas ("Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps") is a serious contender, maybe even the spoiler to win.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, "The Fighter"
Helena Bonham Carter, "The King's Speech"
Mila Kunis, "Black Swan"
Melissa Leo, "The Fighter"
Hailee Steinfeld, "True Grit"

Kunis now firmly establishes her kudos supremacy over "Black Swan" costar Barbara Hershey. Where's Jacki Weaver ("Animal Kingdom")? She won the L.A. film critics' trophy and got nommed at the Globes, but is absent here. Does Steinfeld's bid mean she can pull off an Oscar miracle? Her predecessor in the role of "True Grit's" sassy tomboy avenger, Kim Darby, got snubbed by the academy in 1969.

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Screen Actors Guild

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