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Category: Screen Actors Guild Awards

SAG Awards: Sleepy Michelle Williams on strenuous 'Marilyn' turn

December 14, 2011 |  9:36 am

Michelle Williams said she was too tired to be excited over her SAG Award nomination for best actress Wednesday morning
Though groggy, Michelle Williams was still excited Wednesday morning over her SAG Award nomination for outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role. She spent the previous evening working late into the night on the Detroit set of Sam Raimi's "Oz: The Great and Powerful", and woke up early to have breakfast with her daughter, Matilda.

While she'd already dropped Matilda off at school, she admitted she was still in pajamas.

"Sorry, I'm still waking up. It was a really long night. I'm so out of it. Whoa," the “My Week with Marilyn” star said, trying to shake off her fog and find the appropriate words to describe her gratitude.

Williams has been nominated for SAG Awards before -– once in 2006 for her supporting role in "Brokeback Mountain," whose ensemble scored a nod, and as part of the cast of 2003's "The Station Agent." But the 31-year-old acknowledged she has found it difficult to enjoy the honors in previous years.

"I just recently started to try to enjoy it. Before, I would have been embarrassed or not really said anything when good things happened," she said. "I don't know, I guess I don't like attention -– or I embarrass easily."

Because she spent so much time preparing to play Marilyn Monroe in director Simon Curtis' film, this nomination felt especially gratifying, Williams said.

"I guess all my roles feel at the time like the most important and strenuous thing you've done to date -– and they probably are, because they grow and feed off of each other," said the actress, who's scheduled to wrap up Sam Raimi's "Oz" on Dec. 23. "'Marilyn' has a relationship to 'Blue Valentine' -– but now, 'Marilyn' feels like the most ambitious thing I’ve ever done. I don't favor it over the others, but yeah, sure, it's another mini-relief in a long series for 'Marilyn.'"


SAG Awards: The complete list of nominees

SAG Awards: Who should win the ensemble honor? [Poll]

SAG Awards: "The Help," "Bridesmaids" among cast nominees

-- Amy Kaufman

Photo: Michelle Williams in "My Week with Marilyn" Credit: Laurence Cendrowicz / The Weinstein Company

SAG Awards: Slew of 'film actors' recognized for television work

December 14, 2011 |  8:59 am

The SAG Awards nominations find many former Oscar nominees and winners being recognized for their work on television
It's no surprise to see Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates and Maggie Smith among a list of acting nominees. What is a bit of a shock is to find them all being recognized for their work in television. This year's SAG Awards nominations feature a large group of actors well known for their film work (some of whom have won Oscars) landing nominations for their efforts in television. It reinforces the power shift that's been occurring between TV and film for the last decade, with more and more distinguished talent opting for the small screen.

Winslet received a SAG Award nomination for her work in HBO's "Mildred Pierce," while her work in Roman Polanski's film "Carnage" was ignored. Glenn Close received two nods, one for her passion-film project "Albert Nobbs" and another for her TV role as Patty Hewes in the drama series "Damages."

Diane Lane, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in 2002's "Unfaithful," landed a SAG nomination on Wednesday for her work in the TV movie "Cinema Verite," which centered on America's first reality-TV family, the Louds. Two-time Oscar winner Smith was recognized by SAG for her work in "Downton Abbey," while two-time Oscar nominee Emily Watson secured a nomination for her role in Sundance Channel's "Appropriate Adult."

HBO's "Too Big to Fail," a recent series on the crisis in the U.S. banking system, featured past Oscar nominees Paul Giamatti and James Woods; both got SAG nominations on Wednesday. (Woods, who's been nominated for Oscars twice in his career, received a SAG nomination for his role as Richard Fuld while Giamatti, who received an Oscar nomination for  "Cinderella Man," played Ben Bernanke.) Greg Kinnear, nominated for an Oscar in 1998, landed a SAG nod for his role in the controversial miniseries "The Kennedys." 

With actors being afforded such a wide swath of opportunities in television -- from playing period characters to  presidents -- it's little surprise the medium is attracting such high-caliber performers.


SAG Awards: The complete list of nominees

SAG Awards: Who should win the ensemble honor? [Poll]

SAG Awards: "The Help," "Bridesmaids" among cast nominees

-- Nicole Sperling

Photo: Kate Winslet in "Mildred Pierce." Credit: HBO

SAG Awards: 'Midnight in Paris' nom 'validates Woody Allen'

December 14, 2011 |  8:08 am

Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” has been a film of “many great mornings,” says Sony Pictures Classics Co-president Michael Barker.  And today is no exception: Allen’s highest grossing film to date received a SAG Award nomination for performance by a cast in a motion picture.

“We’re very happy this morning. We were hoping this would happen,” Barker said, while on a train into New York City from his home in Connecticut. “Woody Allen, over the years, has been known for the incredible ensembles he’s directed, from picture to picture. And in this one, there were so many characters fully realized. We’re just really happy for him and the cast.”

"Midnight in Paris" stars Owen Wilson as a successful Hollywood screenwriter who visits Paris with his fiancée and finds himself transported through time to the ‘20s, where he encounters various cultural luminaries of the period. Barker said that today’s acknowledgment for the film is, in a way, validation for the director, who’s known for working with ensemble casts.

Photos: SAG Awards top nominees

“It just validates Woody Allen –- here he is, he’s at the peak of his form after all this time,” Barker said. “It also validates how actors adore working with him and always want to work with him.”

Barker hadn’t yet connected with Allen on this “very happy morning,” but he’s sure that the director is particularly pleased with the SAG nom, as it’s a peer-to-peer award.  “It always pleases him and he’s really gratified. But the fact that other actors are acknowledging this cast and Woody Allen’s continued ability over a long period of time -- not only to show respect to his actors, but to pull off these movies –- it just means a lot that it comes from the actors’ peers.”

"Midnight In Paris" opened on May 20 and it’s playing still in theaters, said Barker –- which signals that the film “has real staying power with the public,” he said. “And acknowledgments like this one [the SAG nomination] continue to give the movie a [great] profile.”

--Deborah Vankin


Film surprises and snubs

SAG Awards: The full nominations list

SAG Awards: 'The Help,' 'Bridesmaids' among outstanding cast nominees

Photo: Marion Cotillard and Owen Wilson in the Woody Allen film "Midnight in Paris." Credit: Roger Arpajou/Sony Pictures Classics

SAG Awards: Who should win the ensemble honor? [Poll]

December 14, 2011 |  7:45 am

Midnight in Paris
The SAG Awards nominations are out, and the race for its ensemble acting award is often looked to as a harbinger of the Academy Award shortlist. While the Screen Actors Guild limits its ensemble selections to five films, Oscar voters can nominate as many as 10. And even though the SAG ensemble winner often repeats as best picture, it's no guarantee. Who will win SAG's top prize? Mark your vote below.


SAG Awards: The full nominations list

SAG Awards: TV nominations are announced

SAG Awards: 'The Help,' 'Bridesmaids' among outstanding cast nominees

-- John Horn

Photo: Owen Wilson and Marion Cotillard in Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris." Credit: Roger Arpajou

SAG Awards: Does 'Bridesmaids' love up comedy's Oscar chances?

December 14, 2011 |  7:15 am

"Bridesmaids" producer Judd Apatow started banging the drum for an Oscar comedy category months ago, hoping the film could get some recognition beyond the populist love for it and its impressive box office gross. Perhaps with Wednesday's nomination of the film in SAG's best ensemble category, he can stop pushing so hard.

While the winner of the SAG ensemble has always coincided with an Oscar nomination for best picture, with the exception of "The Birdcage" in 1996, the nominations don't always line up as neatly. Still, Wednesday's nomination bodes well for this summer's R-rated comedy hit. (The nod to actress Melissa McCarthy in the best female supporting category doesn't hurt either.)

Photos: SAG Awards top nominees

The 2,100 actors who make up SAG's nominating committee have often been spot-on with their picks reflecting the Academy's best picture choices. Last year, the actors picked "The Social Network," "The King's Speech," "Black Swan," "The Kids are All Right" and "The Fighter" -- five films that made it into the 10-picture Academy race. Back in 2008, it chose "Slumdog Millionaire," "Benjamin Button," "Doubt," "Frost/Nixon," and "Milk" as its top five -- all Oscar nominees in the top race.

Other years there's been less overlap in the nominees, with SAG nominating films for its awards that didn't land Academy nominations for best picture, such as  "Nine" in 2009, "Hairspray" in 2007 and "Bobby" in 2006.

What may differentiate "Bridesmaids" from the outliers of the previous years, though, is the Kristen Wiig-starrer resonated with both critics and audiences and was regarded as a game-changer for   women in the industry, demonstrating that women can be as funny as men and lure a big audience. Whether that's enough to get the Academy's attention remains to be seen. But getting the support of the actors' branch -- which makes up the largest voting bloc of the Academy -- is a significant start.


SAG Awards: The full nominations list

'Bridesmaids': Judd Apatow wants an Oscar comedy category

SAG Awards: 'The Help,' 'Bridesmaids' among outstanding cast nominees

-- Nicole Sperling

Photo: Kirsten Wiig in "Bridesmaids." Credit: Universal Pictures

SAG Awards: Demián Bichir, Armie Hammer among surprise nominees

December 14, 2011 |  6:55 am

Demian Bichir was suprisingly nominated for a best actor award at the SAGs
Demián Bichir, a 48-year-old Mexican actor little-known to American moviegoers, scored a surprise best actor nomination at the SAG Awards on Wednesday morning.

Bichir, who plays an illegal immigrant pursuing the American dream in "A Better Life," beat out a couple of projected favorites in the category, including "Shame's" Michael Fassbender and Gary Oldman from "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy." Directed by Chris Weitz, "A Better Life" has only grossed $1.8 million at the U.S. box office.

The foreign star was only one of a handful of actors to receive a nomination who had not graced the lists of awards prognosticators. In the lead actress category, nearly all of the nominees were considered shoo-ins, namely Meryl Streep for "The Iron Lady" and Michelle Williams from "My Week with Marilyn," though it was slightly unexpected that Glenn Close earned a nod for her cross-dressing turn in "Albert Nobbs."

Photos: SAG Awards top nominees

In the supporting actor group, 25-year-old Armie Hammer garnered a nomination for his role as J. Edgar Hoover's rumored lover Clyde Tolson in "J. Edgar. His co-star Leonardo DiCaprio had been widely considered a front-runner for a best actor nod, but Hammer had not been mentioned as frequently. Meanwhile, 27-year-old Jonah Hill was also nominated in the category for his first serious part in "Moneyball." Nick Nolte, who plays an alcoholic father to two mixed martial arts fighters in "Warrior," also earned a unforseen nomination. The three actors beat out favorites like "Drive's" Albert Brooks, who picked up a slew of critics' awards over the last week, as well as Sir Ben Kingsley from "Hugo."

The supporting actress category did not have as many unexpected turns, as Shailene Woodley -- the 20-year-old who plays the daughter of George Clooney's character in "The Descendants" -- was the only performer to be snubbed. Instead, Jessica Chastain -- who starred in a half-dozen movies this year -- was nominated for playing a ditzy Southern woman in "The Help."


The complete list of nominees

Movie Review: 'A Better Life'

Demián Bichir is feeling playful

'A Better Life's' Demian Bichir: Time for his moment in Oscar spotlight

--Amy Kaufman


Photo: Demián Bichir stars in "A Better Life." Credit: Summit Entertainment

SAG Awards: Crowd-pleasing films 'The Help,' 'Bridesmaids' score big

December 14, 2011 |  6:45 am

The Help

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 SAG 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.

The 18th Screen Actors Guild Awards honor performances during the 2011 calendar year in theatrical motion pictures as well as prime-time television and cable programs. The winners will be named on Jan. 29 at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles in a gala that will be aired on TBS and TNT.

Photos: SAG Awards top nominees

The complete list of film nominations follows:

Continue reading »


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