SAG Award nominations announced
Steve McQueen's historic saga 12 Years A Slave has topped the nominations list for the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, cementing it as a solid Academy Awards prospect with four nominations.
John Wells' dysfunctional family adaptation August: Osage County, which 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 Hollywood's first major announcements on the long road to the March 2 Oscars.
Noticeably absent from the SAG line-up were Spike Jonze's futuristic computer love story Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Ethan and Joel Coen's folk scene-focused dark comedy Inside Llewyn Davis, Richard Linklater's Before Midnight and Martin Scorsese's The Wolf Of Wall Street, which features performances by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill.
Robert Redford, as a resourceful sailor in All Is Lost, was also snubbed, as was Ryan Coogler's numbing injustice tale Fruitvale Station and the film's lead actor, Michael B Jordan.
Joining the SAG list for outstanding cast performance were Jean-Marc Vallee's Aids drama Dallas Buyers Club and the sweeping White House servant tale Lee Daniels' The Butler. Both films had three nominations each.
Also nominated for cast performance was David O Russell's 1970s con-artist romp American Hustle, with the film scoring an individual supporting nomination for Jennifer Lawrence.
In addition to its cast honours, 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 Nyong'o for female support as a favoured fieldworker.
Osage County had individual nominations for Meryl Streep for female lead as the conflicted matriarch in the adaptation of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning play, and Julia Roberts for supporting female actor as the domineering daughter.
Additional best-actress nominees included Cate Blanchett as a fallen socialite in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, Sandra Bullock as a brave astronaut in Alfonso Curaon's lost-in-space odyssey Gravity, Dame Judi Dench as a woman in search of her son in Philomena and Emma Thompson as author PL Travers in the Disney comedy Saving Mr Banks.
June Squibb, as a spitfire in Alexander Payne's small-town comedy Nebraska, and Oprah Winfrey, as the bold Gloria Gaines in The Butler, received supporting role nominations.
Dallas Buyers Club scored nominations for best actor for Matthew McConaughey as a HIV-positive rodeo-lover and Jared Leto for supporting actor. Forest Whitaker received the lead actor nomination for his portrayal of a long-time White House butler in The Butler.
Others bringing in lead-actor nominations included Bruce Dern for his portrayal of an ageing dreamer in Nebraska and Tom Hanks, who plays the title role in Paul Greengrass' Somali pirate story Captain Phillips.
Ron Howard's Formula One tale Rush earned two nominations, including stunt ensemble and a supporting actor bid for Daniel Bruhl.
The SAG Awards will be presented on January 18, 2014 in Los Angeles.