SAG Nominations: 'Birdman' leads, Aniston takes the Cake

Birdman leads the SAG race with four nominations.
Photo: Fox Searchlight.
The actors have spoken! There are some big surprises in today's Screen Actors Guild award nominations! I thought Jennifer Aniston was out, out, out for Cake. This indie darling and largely self-promoted film from an upstart distributor had struggled to find a home in the race since its strong debut at TIFF--I assumed Aniston was a non-player when the film missed out at the Independent Spirit Awards--but here she is in that wide open fifth spot, which didn't go to Marion Cotillard after all. Other pleasant surprises include a Best Actor nomination for Jake Gyllenhaal's crazy turn Nightcrawler, an ensemble nomination for The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Naomi Watts' hilarious performance as a Russian stripper/hooker in St. Vincent. Watts also earned a nom as part of the Birdman cast, which leads the nominations overall with four. On the heels of Birdman with three noms each are Boyhood, The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything I'm very surprised by the ensemble nom for The Theory of Everything, though, since the film's really a two-hander between Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, both of whom were nominated.

Notable omissions include Laura Dern for Wild (booooooooo!) and Gone Girl for Best Ensemble, both of which were ones I was rooting for, especially Dern. Equally absent is Selma, which comes a mixed surprise since its late completion has made it difficult for people to see it and embrace it, although it has lots of support from those who've been fortunate enough to seen it. This was one race were Selma needed a boost, as did The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything and Budapest, so three of the four films are inching closer to the top. Don't forget that the Golden Globe nominations are tomorrow, though, so we might be changing our minds once again!

Oh, and yay for Meryl Streep! (Haven't seen Into the Woods yet, but we all know where I stand on her. #Streep4Oscar.)

Best Ensemble:

Best Actor:

Steve Carrell, Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch,  The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler 
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Best Actress:

Jennifer Aniston, Cake 
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Best Supporting Actor:

Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress:

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Keira Knightley,  The Imitation Game
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods
Emma Stone, Birdman
Naomi Watts, St. Vincent

Best Performance by a Stunt Ensemble:

Get on Up
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
X-Men: Days of Future Past