The Screen Actors Guild announced its award nominations this morning, ass-crack early, and while there was some spread in the nods, there was also no doubt as to the biggest winner. The headlining nominations, for Outstanding Performance by an Entire Cast, are The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Doubt, Frost/Nixon, Milk and Slumdog Millionaire. In the Male Actor in a Leading Role category, the nominees are Richard Jenkins for The Visitor; Frank Langella for Frost/Nixon; Sean Penn for Milk; Brad Pitt for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; and Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler. In the Female Actor in a Leading Role category, the nominees are Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married; Angelina Jolie for Changeling; Melissa Leo for Frozen River; Meryl Streep for Doubt; and Kate Winslet for Revolutionary Road.
For the Male Actor in a Supporting Role category, the nominees are Josh Brolin for Milk; Robert Downey, Jr. for Tropic Thunder; Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt; Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy… err, sorry, Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight; and Dev Patel for Slumdog Millionaire. For the Female Actor in a Supporting Role category, the nominees are Amy Adams for Doubt; Penelope Cruz for Woody Allen’s otherwise long ago disregarded Vicky Cristina Barcelona; Viola Davis for Doubt; Taraji P. Henson for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; and Kate Winslet for The Reader.
To my mind, the only real surprise is Patel, who’s been lambasted in some reviews of Slumdog; a nominal surprise is Brolin, whose been getting plenty of critical love, but hadn’t really broken through with a top-shelf prize yet to more firmly establish himself as an Oscar contender. There was as much love for Che as for The Love Guru, it turns out — which is to say none. Which doesn’t bother me, I confess. The SAG Awards will be simulcast live on Sunday, January 25, on TBS and TNT, at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times.