“Mystic River” and “The Station Agent” collected three Screen Actors Guild nominations Thursday, including best ensemble cast.
Patricia Clarkson picked up bids for both supporting actress for playing an angry cancer patient in “Pieces of April” and lead actress in “The Station Agent” for her portrayal of a lonesome artist.
Peter Dinklage, the diminutive star of “The Station Agent” (who was more widely seen last year as the bitter storybook author in “Elf”), received a lead actor bid. He played a misanthropic dwarf who makes friends despite trying to isolate himself at an old train yard.
Besides best ensemble — the guild’s equivalent to a best picture category — “Mystic River” was recognized for Tim Robbins’ supporting turn as the survivor of childhood sexual abuse who finds himself the suspect of murder and Sean Penn received a lead actor nomination for playing an ex-con.
Other ensemble contenders: “In America,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” and “Seabiscuit.”
Johnny Depp, a surprise Golden Globe nominee last month for playing a wobbly swashbuckler in “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” picked up another bid for that role from SAG — a significant boost for his Oscar chances.
Other big-name stars — Tom Cruise from “The Last Samurai,” Russell Crowe from “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World” and Nicole Kidman from “Cold Mountain” — were among those snubbed by the actors guild.
Besides Depp, Dinklage and Penn, the lead actor contenders were Bill Murray for “Lost in Translation” and Ben Kingsley for “House of Sand and Fog.”
The lead actress contenders besides Clarkson were Diane Keaton for “Something’s Gotta Give,” Naomi Watts for “21 Grams,” Charlize Theron for her unglamorous portrayal of a serial killer in “Monster” and 16-year-old Evan Rachel Wood for “thirteen.”
Chris Cooper, who won an Oscar last year for his supporting turn as a wild flower poacher in “Adaptation,” was nominated for a SAG award in the supporting category for playing a plainspoken horse trainer in “Seabiscuit.”
His competition besides Robbins: Alec Baldwin for “The Cooler,” Benicio Del Toro for “21 Grams” and Ken Watanabe for “The Last Samurai.”
Clarkson’s supporting actress rivals were Keisha Castle-Hughes, the 13-year-old star of “Whale Rider,” Maria Bello of “The Cooler,” Holly Hunter from “thirteen” and Renee Zellweger for “Cold Mountain.”
The 10th annual ceremony will take place Feb. 22 in Los Angeles. The guild’s nominations are the last major awards nominations announcement before the Academy Awards nominations Jan. 27.
In the TV categories, HBO’s six-hour adaptation of playwright Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America” collected six nominations in the TV-movie performer categories for Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Jeffrey Wright, Mary-Louise Parker, Justin Kirk and Emma Thompson. Helen Mirren and Anne Bancroft were both nominated in the TV-movie actress category for the Showtime film “Tennessee Williams’ The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone.”
CBS’ “Everybody Loves Raymond” collected six nominations — one for each of its stars Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Peter Boyle, Brad Garrett and Doris Roberts, along with a best comedy ensemble bid.
Other TV comedy show contenders: NBC’s “Will & Grace” and the soon-to-be-defunct shows “Friends,” “Frasier” (both NBC) and HBO’s “Sex and the City.”
The TV drama class was dominated by for nominations for NBC’s “The West Wing,” including individual acting mentions for Martin Sheen, Stockard Channing and Allison Janney and a best drama cast nomination.
Other ensemble drama series nominees were CBS’ “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” NBC’s “Law & Order,” HBO’s “Six Feet Under,” and CBS’ “Without a Trace.”
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.