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SAG Awards give 'True Grit' stars some love: A look at Oscar implications

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The 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Award nominees have been announced. The King’s Speech and The Fighter each earned four nods, including Best Ensemble Cast. Here are the nominees in the feature film categories:

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST

Black Swan

The Fighter

The Kids Are All Right

The King’s Speech

The Social Network

Fighter, Kids, King’s Speech, and Social Network were the sure things here. I thought the fifth slot could go to The Town or Inception, but instead SAG voters went with Black Swan, which scored an impressive three nominations overall. Inception, meanwhile, was shut out of the nominations. But since that film is largely an achievement of directing, writing, and production, it doesn’t hurt its overall chances at several major Oscar nods.

BEST ACTOR

Jeff Bridges, True Grit

Robert Duvall, Get Low

Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network

Colin Firth, The King’s Speech

James Franco, 127 Hours

The five front-runners were named in this category, meaning upstart contenders like Blue Valentine‘s Ryan Gosling, The Fighter‘s Mark Wahlberg, and Biutiful‘s Javier Bardem were simply squeezed out. It’s a nice rebound for Bridges and Duvall after getting skunked by the Golden Globes.

BEST ACTRESS

Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right

Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole

Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone

Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Hilary Swank, Conviction

The big surprise here, clearly, is Swank, who was left off the Broadcast Film Critics and Golden Globes lists. She managed to score a slot over Blue Valentine‘s Michelle Williams, The Kids Are All Right‘s Julianne Moore, and Another Year‘s Lesley Manville. I’d say it’s now a race between Williams, Manville, and Swank for the only open spot at the Oscars.

BEST 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

I’ve been wondering if The Social Network‘s three supporting actor contenders (Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer, and Justin Timberlake) would split the vote with one group or another. For the first time it appears that they have. Expected Oscar nominee Garfield was replaced by Winter’s Bone uncle John Hawkes, who was nominated along with his costar Jennifer Lawrence.

BEST 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 continues her amazing run, edging out critical favorite Jacki Weaver from Animal Kingdom. It’ll be tight between the two of them for an Oscar nod. I think one of the Fighter gals should take this prize home.

Follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for awards-season news and updates.