"The Help" tops list of SAG film nominees

Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:09pm EST
 
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The actors of civil rights drama "The Help" topped Screen Actors Guild Award nominations on Wednesday with four nods including best film cast, leading a list of nominees that saw many surprises in Hollywood's current awards season.

"The Help" was closely followed by silent-era drama "The Artist" with three nominations for its actors, including best cast in a film.

Joining them in that key category were the performers in critically acclaimed drama "The Descendants" and unexpected picks in director Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" and the raunchy comedy "Bridesmaids."

The Screen Actors Guild, or SAG, awards are among the most-watched honors during Hollywood's film awards season, leading up to the Oscars in February, because actors make up one of the largest voting groups for Academy Awards.

As a result, SAG nominees typically figure prominently on many ballots by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences which gives out the Oscars.

The SAG Awards will be given out in Los Angeles on January 29, and televised on cable TV networks TNT and TBS.

SAG surprises included the ensemble nod for "Bridesmaids" because dramas typically are favored over comedies during awards season. The joke-filled movie about women in a wedding party also earned Melissa McCarthy a best supporting actress nod.

While movies such as "The Artist," "The Help" and "The Descendants" have made many critics' and industry groups' lists of top movies, "Midnight in Paris" will get a big boost in this year's Academy Award race by virtue of its SAG nomination.   Continued...