"Lincoln," "Les Miserables," "Playbook" lead acting nominations
By Jill Serjeant
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood's actors cast their net wide on Wednesday, nominating performers from big awards contenders "Lincoln" and musical "Les Miserables" for Screen Actors Guild honors while also singling out the likes of Denzel Washington and Javier Bardem.
"Lincoln," "Les Miserables" and comedy "Silver Linings Playbook" led the nominations for the SAG awards with four apiece, including the top prize of best movie ensemble cast.
Joining them with two nominations each were the cast of Iranian hostage drama "Argo" and, in a surprise choice, British comedy "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."
The awards from the Screen Actors Guild are among the most-watched honors during Hollywood film awards season leading up to the Academy Awards because actors make up the largest voting group when the Oscars come around in February.
SAG voters focus on performances rather than directing and writing, meaning that action and effects-heavy films like "The Hobbit" are usually sidelined.
Consequently, SAG largely shunned the expected Oscar contender "Zero Dark Thirty" about the U.S. hunt for Osama bin Laden, giving it just one nomination for Jessica Chastain's performance as a CIA agent.
But the latest James Bond blockbuster "Skyfall" made it onto SAG's list, with nominations for its stunt ensemble and Spanish actor Bardem's supporting turn as blond-haired villain Silva.
Other perceived Oscar-worthy movies, including slavery era Western "Django Unchained," went unmentioned, while cult drama "The Master" had just one nomination - for actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Continued...