LOS ANGELES – Steve McQueens historic saga 12 Years a Slave topped the nominations list for the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Wednesday, cementing it as a solid Academy Awards prospect with four nominations.
John Wells dysfunctional family adaptation August: Osage County, which hits theaters Dec. 25 and features an all-star cast including Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, also picked up awards-season momentum with three nominations, including outstanding performance for the cast.
The SAG nominations are one of Hollywoods first major announcements on the long road to the March 2 Oscars. Also key are the Golden Globe nominations, which will be revealed this morning.
Joining the SAG list for outstanding cast performance were Jean-Marc Vallees AIDS drama Dallas Buyers Club and the sweeping White House servant tale Lee Daniels The Butler. Both films topped the list with three nominations each.
Also nominated for cast performance was David O. Russells 1970s con-artist romp American Hustle. And the film scored an individual supporting nomination for Jennifer Lawrence.
In addition to its cast honors, 12 Years a Slave attained individual acting nominations, including male lead for Chiwetel Ejiofor as a free African-American man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery, Michael Fassbender for supporting actor as a ruthless slave owner and Lupita Nyongo for female support as a favored fieldworker.
Osage County had individual nominations for Streep for female lead as the conflicted matriarch in the adaptation of Tracy Letts Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning play, and Roberts for supporting female actor as the domineering daughter.
Additional best-actress nominees included Cate Blanchett as a fallen socialite in Woody Allens Blue Jasmine, Sandra Bullock as a brave astronaut in Alfonso Cuarons lost-in-space odyssey Gravity, Judi Dench as a woman in search of her son in Philomena and Emma Thompson as author P.L. Travers in the Disney comedy Saving Mr. Banks.
Dallas Buyers Club scored nominations for best actor for Matthew McConaughey as a HIV-positive rodeo-lover and Jared Leto for supporting actor as a transgender. Forest Whitaker received the lead actor nomination for his portrayal of a long-time White House butler in Lee Daniels The Butler.
Others bringing in lead-actor nominations included Bruce Dern for Nebraska and Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips.