LOS ANGELES: Kenneth Lonergan’s tender family drama Manchester by the Sea scored the most nominations on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) for the Screen Actors Guild Awards, seen as a major bellwether for the Oscars.
The movie received nods in four categories—best ensemble cast, best lead actor (Casey Affleck), and best supporting actor (Lucas Hedges) and actress (Michelle Williams).
Joining Manchester in the running for best cast—the SAG’s top award—are coming-of-age drama Moonlight, comedies Hidden Figures and Captain Fantastic and race relations story Fences.
On the television side, five series were tied at the top with three nominations each—Netflix’s The Crown and Stranger Things, HBO’s Game of Thrones and Westworld, and FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
The SAG nominations are the second major announcement in Tinseltown’s glittering awards season, which climaxes with the Academy Awards in February.
Damien Chazelle’s musical romance La La Land, set in modern-day Los Angeles, topped nominations for the Golden Globes on Monday.
Although less high-profile than the Globes, the SAG awards are seen as more of an indicator of Oscars glory, since members represent some 1,200 of the roughly 6,000 voters for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The awards were being closely watched this year as they follow controversy over the lack of diversity in last year’s list of Oscar nominees.
Only one black actor, Denzel Washington, featured among the 10 nominees for best lead role in a movie, although there were four nominees from ethnic minority backgrounds in the supporting categories.
Sterling K Brown, Courtney B Vance, Riz Ahmed, Rami Malek, Thandie Newton, Audra McDonald and Kerry Washington were all nominated for individual TV acting awards.