Highest power

'Doubt' leads way in SAG Award noms

The Screen Actors Guild embraced "Doubt" on Thursday as the nominees for the 15th annual SAG Awards were announced.

The four principals from the Miramax film were all blessed: Meryl Streep, playing a nun convinced of her certitude, was nominated in the best actress category, while Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays the reform-minded priest she challenges, was included in the supporting actor category. Amy Adams and Viola Davis scored noms as supporting actresses. The film took home a fifth nom in the ensemble category for outstanding performance by a motion picture cast.

All four "Doubt" performers were nominated for Golden Globes last week, but the film's ensemble nom gives it a boost in its quest for a best picture Oscar nom after it was denied a slot in the Globes' best drama fold.

Runners-up were Focus' "Milk" and Paramount/Warner Bros.' "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," each with three noms.

On the TV side, the comedy series "30 Rock," the drama series "Mad Men" and "The Closer" and the miniseries "John Adams" registered with three noms apiece as well.

For male lead in a film, SAG selected longtime working actor Richard Jenkins ("The Visitor"), comeback kid Mickey Rourke ("The Wrestler"), Tony winner Frank Langella ("Frost/Nixon") and certified stars Sean Penn ("Milk") and Brad Pitt ("Button").

In addition to Streep, the best actress nominees are Anne Hathaway ("Rachel Getting Married"), Angelina Jolie ("Changeling"), Melissa Leo ("Frozen River") and Kate Winslet ("Revolutionary Road").

Among the prominent names that failed to make the two lists were Leonardo DiCaprio ("Road"), Clint Eastwood ("Gran Torino") and Cate Blanchett ("Button").

Winslet earned a second nomination as a supporting actress for "The Reader." In that contest, she will compete against Adams and Davis as well as Penelope Cruz ("Vicky Cristina Barcelona") and Taraji P. Henson ("Button").

Henson, who adopts a wizened baby in "Button," was actually the day's biggest winner; in addition to sharing in "Button's" ensemble nom, she also could claim a piece of the TV drama series ensemble nom bestowed on "Boston Legal."

Nominated for supporting actor in film along with Hoffman are Josh Brolin ("Milk"), Robert Downey Jr. ("Tropic Thunder"), the late Heath Ledger ("The Dark Knight") and Indian actor Dev Patel, who is seen as the young man on a winning streak in "Slumdog Millionaire."

Patel's surprise showing pointed to widespread industry love for sleeper hit "Slumdog": Its cast also was nominated in the film ensemble category along with "Doubt," "Frost/Nixon" and "Milk."

In TV, the SAG nominating committee gave its drama series ensemble noms to "Dexter" and "House," which each received its first ensemble nom, along with the previously nominated casts of "Boston Legal," "Mad Men" and "Closer." The comedy series ensembles cited all have been previously nominated: "30 Rock," "Desperate Housewives," "Entourage," "The Office" and "Weeds."

The individual TV noms were largely a case of rounding up the usual suspects, though a few unexpected twists occurred. Even though Fox did not air "24" last season, Kiefer Sutherland, who's won two SAG Awards for the show, squeezed into the best actor in a TV movie/miniseries category thanks to the two-hour "24: Redemption" broadcast last month.

Elizabeth Moss of "Mad Men" was the new face among the dramatic series actresses nominated.

SAG also demonstrated its abiding love for "Boston" by nominating William Shatner and James Spader for the dramedy, which aired its last episode this month.

The SAG Awards, which also will include a life achievement honor for James Earl Jones, will be broadcast live Jan. 25 on TNT and TBS from the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center.