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SAG Awards: Nominations recognize the power of acting pairs, like Redmayne and Vikander

Eddie Redmayne and Lili Elbe in ‘The Danish Girl’

Eddie Redmayne, left, as Lili Elbe, and Alicia Vikander as Gerda Wegener, in Tom Hooper’s “The Danish Girl.”

(Agatha A. Nitecka / Focus Features)

It took two to make a thing go right with the nominating committee of the Screen Actors Guild on Wednesday morning, as multiple films gained recognition for acting duos. “Steve Jobs,” “The Danish Girl,” “Trumbo,” “Carol” and “Room” all received two nominations in individual acting categories.

Even “Beasts of No Nation” received a nomination for Idris Elba as supporting actor alongside a cast nomination, which listed just three actors. This seemed to recognize the intense onscreen dynamic between Elba and young actor Abraham Attah in writer-director Cary Fukunaga’s story of a West African military commander and the boy soldier who becomes his charge.

In contrast to the tight cast list for “Beasts,” the other nominated films had longer cast lists, with 11 for “The Big Short” and 10 for “Trumbo.”

SAG Awards 2016: Full coverage | PHOTOS: Top nomineesSnubs/SurprisesReactionsList of nominees

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The nominated pairings represented a broad range of relationship dynamics, from romantic to adversarial. In “Steve Jobs,” Michael Fassbender plays the tech tycoon with Kate Winslet in the role of Joanna Hoffman, a marketing executive and confidant often referred to as a “work wife.” Fassbender was nominated for lead actor, with Winslet nominated for supporting actress.

Eddie Redmayne, nominated for lead, plays Lili Elbe in in Tom Hooper’s “The Danish Girl,” the fact-based story of one of earliest recipients of sex reassignment surgery. Alicia Vikander, nominated for supporting actress, plays Gerda Wegener, the artist married to Elbe as she undergoes her transition.

Directed by Jay Roach, “Trumbo” depicts the battles of writer Dalton Trumbo against the Hollywood blacklist, including multiple skirmishes with gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. Bryan Cranston was nominated for lead actor for his portrayal of Trumbo, while Helen Mirren was nominated for supporting actress as Hopper. (Mirren was also nominated for lead actress for her role in “Woman in Gold.”)

Cate Blanchett was nominated for lead actress for her performance in the title role of “Carol,” with Rooney Mara nominated for supporting. In the film, directed by Todd Haynes and adapted from a novel by Patricia Highsmith, the pair play women in 1950s New York who initiate a romance that alters their lives.

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In “Room,” directed by Lenny Abrahamson and adapted by Emma Donoghue from her novel, Brie Larson plays a kidnapped woman with young Jacob Tremblay as the son she gives birth to while living for years as a captive. Larson was nominated for lead actress, while Tremblay, all of 7 years old when the film was shot, was nominated for supporting actor.

Ever since the film began playing on the fall festival circuit, it seemed the two stars of “Room” had a special bond not just on-screen but off-screen too.

After the nominations on Wednesday morning, Larson released a statement, “This is a HUGE honor, made even more special because I’ll get to share the evening with Jacob. Best date EVER!”

mark.olsen@latimes.com

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