George Clooney is the big favorite to land Best Actor at the Screen Actors Guild Awards after receiving a nomination for his role in indie-drama The Descendants. One of the major awards events in Hollywood since 1995, the prestigious Sag awards are voted for by over 120,000 members of the actor's union.
Clooney, 50, has received critical acclaim for his performance as a grieving land baron in Alexander Payne's latest movie and is currently the bookmaker's favorite to scoop an Oscar come February 2012. A win at the Screen Actions Guild would certainly give the actor a boost come the business end of awards season, though he faces stiff competition from Brad Pitt, whose performance in Moneyball earned rave reviews, French actor Jean Dujardin, Leonardo Dicaprio for 'J. Edgar' and Demain Bichir for 'A Better Life'. Elsewhere in the nominations announced on Wednesday (December 14, 2011), civil rights drama The Help scooped four nominations including Best Ensemble Cast while comedy Bridesmaid landed a surprise nod in the same category. Meryl Streep continued her rich vein of form with another nomination for her role as Margaret Thatcher in 'The Iron lady', though critics are suggesting Viola Davis could pip the screen veteran to Best Actress award come January. Tilda Swinton is also nominated for her intense portrayal of a struggling mother in 'We Need to Talk About Kevin', as is Michelle Williams for 'My Week with Marilyn'. In television, there were nominations for epic drama Boardwalk Empire, comedy The Big Band Theory and Modern Family.
The Sag Awards will be given out in Los Angeles on January 29, 2012 - less than a month before the Oscars.