Hollywood actors could upset awards apple cart

Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:06am EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood stars toast their own on Sunday at a Screen Actors Guild ceremony that could produce surprises in an award season dominated by "Slumdog Millionaire" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

Angelina Jolie and her partner, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Anne Hathaway and Robert Downey Jr. are among the nominees for top acting honors.

The SAG Awards, in which 120,000 actor members reward their peers, are known for placing roadblocks on the path to Oscar glory.

"SAG has the potential to throw the Oscars into turmoil," said Tom O'Neil, columnist for Web site www.TheEnvelope.com.

"The 'Slumdog Millionaire' actors are relatively unknown to American members of SAG, while 'Doubt' has all those respected A-listers who delivered really strong performances," he said.

"Doubt," a story of suspected abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, leads with five SAG nominations, including the top prize of best ensemble cast, but it did not win a best picture Oscar nomination last week.

Streep, who plays a vindictive nun, and fellow cast members Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis are all also nominated for acting awards.

"Benjamin Button" leads the Oscar field with 13 nominations but has just three chances of a SAG award.   Continued...

<p>Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie pose for photographers as they arrive for the premiere of the film "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" by director David Fincher in Paris, January 22, 2009. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes</p>