“12 Years a Slave” and “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” earned a total of seven nominations Wednesday for the 20th Screen Actors Guild Awards, solidifying their status as front-runners as the road to Oscar gold begins in earnest.
The films are hallmarks of an extraordinary year for black cinema, rich with critical acclaim and box-office success, and Wednesday’s nominations could signal more accolades to come – and perhaps even Academy Award recognition.
The SAG Awards, one of the leading Oscar bellwethers, honored “12 Years a Slave” with four nominations – more than any other film. The unflinching portrayal of slavery in early America earned a nod for best ensemble cast – the SAG Awards equivalent of best picture. There were nominations as well for male actor in a leading role for Chiwetel Ejiofor and supporting nods for Michael Fassbender and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o.
“The Butler” earned three SAG nominations including best ensemble cast, male actor in a leading role for Forest Whitaker and a supporting nod for Oprah Winfrey.
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