The road-trip comedy "Sideways" (search) led contenders Tuesday for the Screen Actors Guild Awards (search) with four nominations, including honors for lead performer Paul Giamatti (search) and the ensemble cast.
Four other films followed with three nominations: The Howard Hughes film biography "The Aviator"; "Finding Neverland," tracing the creative roots of J.M. Barrie's "Peter Pan"; "Hotel Rwanda," the real-life tale of an innkeeper sheltering refugees from genocide; and the boxing saga "Million Dollar Baby."
All five of those films earned nominations for their overall casts, the equivalent of a best-picture prize for the guild, which represents Hollywood actors. Because of a tie in voting, the guild nominated a sixth film for best cast, the Ray Charles film biography "Ray."
Besides a nomination among the "Ray" cast, star Jamie Foxx earned three other honors, selected as a lead-actor nominee for the title role in "Ray," supporting actor for the hit-man thriller "Collateral," and best actor in a TV movie or miniseries for the prison drama "Redemption."
Foxx, considered a front-runner to win the best-actor Academy Award, also has three nominations for "Ray," "Collateral" and "Redemption" at this Sunday's Golden Globes.
Besides Foxx and Giamatti, the guild's best-actor film nominees were Don Cheadle as hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina in "Hotel Rwanda"; Johnny Depp as Barrie in "Finding Neverland"; and Leonardo DiCaprio as Hughes in "The Aviator."
Nominated for best actress were Annette Bening as a 1930s London stage diva in "Being Julia"; Catalina Sandino Moreno as a Colombian woman who takes on a perilous job as a drug mule in "Maria Full of Grace"; Imelda Staunton as a housekeeper who moonlights as an abortionist in 1950s Britain in "Vera Drake"; Hilary Swank as a boxer whose life turns tragic in "Million Dollar Baby"; and Kate Winslet as a woman who has erased memories of her ex-boyfriend in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."
Awards will be presented Feb. 5 in a ceremony televised on TNT. SAG nominations are chosen by 4,200 randomly chosen members of the union. The guild's full membership of 98,000 is eligible to vote for winners.