The Descendants, The Artist and The Help seem to be three of the biggest films so far in the 2012 awards season race. But the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations were announced this morning, and The Help and The Artist were leading the nods with three apiece, while the George Clooney flick picked up only two. In the hottest contest, for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, The Artist and The Descendants are up against Bridesmaids and Midnight in Paris. The actor category recognized Clooney, The Artist’s Jean Dujardin, Brad Pitt for Moneyball, Leonardo DiCaprio for J. Edgar and A Better Life star Demian Bichir. The lead actress contenders are Glenn Close for Albert Nobbs, as well as the same four ladies that have been nominated all season long already: Viola Davis for The Help, Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady, Tilda Swinton for We Need to Talk About Kevin and Michelle Williams for My Week With Marylin. The supporting actor and actress categories also closely resemble every other kudosfest so far (though, sorry, Drive fans, Albert Brooks was left out of this one).
There are plenty of familiar faces in the TV categories too — Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Dexter and The Good Wife are up against newcomer Game of Thrones. (Good thing there’s no “you win or you die” rule here.)
The most exciting nominations to us? The stunt ensembles! The Adjustment Bureau, Cowboys & Aliens, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and X-Men: First Class are the movie casts up for the prize. And the Dexter, Game of Thrones, Southland, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena and True Blood ensembles compete in the TV category. Wait, can that one be an arena battle, instead of a vote? Pretty please?
Head here for the complete SAG Awards list. The 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will air live on Sunday, January 29, on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
[Photos: Getty Images, Paramount Pictures]