The best actress category went largely as expected when the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations were announced Wednesday. The category is heavy on veterans, with a mix of prior nominees and winners, and looks to include the names likely to be mentioned most during the rest of this awards season.
Making the cut were Cate Blanchett for "Blue Jasmine," Sandra Bullock for "Gravity," Meryl Streep for "August: Osage County," Emma Thompson for "Saving Mr. Banks" and Judi Dench for "Philomena." With Blanchett the youngest among them at 44, the five nominees have eight SAG awards and eight Oscars between them.
Blanchett was recognized for her role as an emotionally unstable fallen socialite in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine." She previously won an individual SAG Award for her role in "The Aviator," and another as part of the cast of "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King." She has one Oscar.
Bullock's role in "Gravity" finds her largely on-screen all by herself, as an astronaut stranded in space by an accident. She has two SAG Awards, one for her performance in "The Blind Side" and another as part of the cast of "Crash." Bullock also won an Oscar for "The Blind Side."
Dench was nominated for her part in "Philomena," the real-life story of Philomena Lee, a woman who went searching for the son she had not seen in 50 years. Dench has previously won an individual SAG Award for "Chocolat," and another as part of the cast of "Shakespeare in Love." She too has one Oscar.
Streep was nominated for her role as the hardened matriarch at an embattled family reunion in the adaptation of Tracy Letts' play "August: Osage County." Streep has two SAG Awards, for "Doubt" and the television production of "Angels in America." She has three Oscars.
Thompson was nominated for her role as P.L. Travers, author of "Mary Poppins," in "Saving Mr. Banks." Thompson is a four-time Screen Actors Guild Award nominee but has never won. She has two Oscars, one for her screenplay of "Sense and Sensibility" and another for acting in "Howard's End."
On the outside looking in were presumably competitive performances from actresses such as Amy Adams in "American Hustle," Julia Louis-Dreyfus in "Enough Said," Julie Delpy in "Before Midnight," the plucky indie outsider Brie Larson with "Short Term 12," and long-shot ingenue Adele Exarchopoulos for the French-language "Blue Is the Warmest Color."
The SAG Awards and the Oscars don't usually line up exactly, and all hopefuls will get another grab at the brass ring Thursday with the Golden Globes nominations.
The Screen Actors Guild Awards will be given out on Jan. 18, 2014.