DiCaprio, Mirren make it to SAG list

LOS ANGELES: Oscars contenders Leonardo DiCaprio and Helen Mirren on January 4 were named among the nominees for the Screen Actors Guild awards, a key indicator ahead of next month’s Academy Awards.

DiCaprio was nominated in the best leading actor category for his performance in Blood Diamond, joining fellow nominees Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson), Peter O’Toole (Venus), Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness) and Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland).

DiCaprio also picked up a best supporting actor nomination for his performance in Martin Scorsese’s bloody crime drama The Departed. DiCaprio has already received a double nomination for the Golden Globes on January 15 and is being tipped as a strong challenger for best actor Oscar, along with O’Toole and Whitaker.

Other nominees in the best supporting actor category Alan Arkin for Little Miss Sunshine, Jackie Earle Haley for Little Children and Djimon Hounsou for Blood Diamond.

In the best leading actress category, Mirren was nominated for her performance as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen. Mirren is widely seen as the front-runner in the race for the best actress Oscar. Other nominees included Penelope Cruz (Volver), Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal), Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada) and Kate Winslet (Little Children).

The best supporting actress nominees were Adriana Barraza for Babel, Cate Blanchett (Notes on a Scandal), Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine), Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) and Rinko Kikuchi (Babel).

The SAG Award winners will be named on January 28, and the Academy Awards will be handed out in Hollywood on February 25.