British Oscar chances rise with nod from Screen Actors Guild
Dame Judi Dench, Emma Thompson and Chiwitel Ejiofor get nods at event seen as 'key indicator' of Oscars
IT'S too early to declare 'the British are coming!'. But our chances of success at the Oscars have risen sharply after British talent made a strong showing in nominations for the 2014 Screen Actors Guild awards (SAG).
Two of the UK's best-known female stars, Emma Thompson and Dame Judi Dench, will contest the SAG best actress award. Meanwhile Chiwitel Ejiofor and Ireland's Michael Fassbender are nominated for best actor and best supporting actor, for 12 Years A Slave.
The SAG awards, which are handed out on 18 January, are "often seen as key indicators for the Oscars", says the BBC. Sky News calls them "one of Hollywood's first major announcements on the long road to the March 2 Oscars".
Thompson is nominated for her performance as Mary Poppins brittle author PL Travers in the Disney movie, Saving Mr Banks. Dench is contesting the same category for Philomena in which she plays an elderly woman searching for the son she was forced to give up for adoption.
All eyes will be on Ejiofor and Fassbender whose film - an epic historical drama directed by Britain's Steve McQueen - has dominated the SAG nominations. According to the BBC, the movie "leads the field" with nominations in four out of five possible categories.
Another film that seems to be gaining momentum is August: Osage County. The adaptation of the Tracy Letts Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which stars Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, picked up three nominations, including outstanding performance for the cast.
There were some noticeable absences from the SAG line-up, says Sky News. Spike Jonze's futuristic computer love story Her was not nominated despite a groundbreaking performance by Scarlett Johansson as the voice of a computer operating system that some critics say is worthy of an Oscar.
Other films that didn't make the cut include Ethan and Joel Coen's dark comedy Inside Llewyn Davis, Richard Linklater's romantic Before Midnight and Martin Scorsese's stockbroker story The Wolf Of Wall Street.
You can find a full list of the SAG nominations here. ·