Hollywood actors weigh in on Oscar race with SAG Awards

Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:47am EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood actors name their picks for the best performances of 2012 in film and television at the annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards on Sunday in a ceremony that will likely define some of the top Oscar races in four weeks time.

"Lincoln," about U.S. President Abraham Lincoln's battle to end slavery, French revolution musical "Les Miserables," and comedy "Silver Linings Playbook," about a bipolar man's unlikely romance, head into Sunday's show with four nominations apiece, including the top prize of best ensemble cast.

Joining them with two nominations each are the cast of Iranian hostage drama "Argo" and British comedy "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" about a group of seniors who retire to a ramshackle hotel in India and featuring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy.

The Screen Actors Guild ceremony is among the most-watched during Hollywood's awards season because actors make up the largest voting group when the Oscars come around on February 24.

Briton Daniel Day-Lewis is seen as a shoo-in for SAG's best actor prize after picking up a slew of awards already for his towering performance as Lincoln. Day-Lewis is also seen as a front-runner for a record third Oscar statuette next month.

But on Sunday, all eyes will be on the lead actress and supporting actor race, awards-watchers say. The SAG honors are chosen by some 100,000 actors working in the United States

"I am looking to SAG this weekend to give me a clearer idea of who might win Oscars. In the best actress category, it's a very, very close race between Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence," said Dave Karger, chief movie correspondent at Fandango.com.

Chastain won a Golden Globe earlier this month for her role as a feisty CIA agent credited with tracking down Osama bin Laden in thriller "Zero Dark Thirty."   Continued...