In perhaps the most important run up to the Oscars, the Screen Actors Guild Awards will be handed out tonight (Jan. 30) and should provide insight into likely Academy Award winners. But watch out for dark horses.
Unlike the Golden Globes, which are chosen by the always suspect Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Guild Award winners are selected by more than 120,000 working actors in film and television.
Guild members make up the majority of voters in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which picks Oscar winners.
Out of the 20 guild nominees, 17 have also earned Oscar nominations.
While some contenders are odds on favorites, such as Colin Firth, as best actor for “The King’s Speech,” and Natalie Portman as actress in “Black Swan,” others are real dark horses who could upend the favorites.
Annette Bening, Amy Adams, Nicole Kidman and Jeff Bridges are among those who odds-makers say could pull upsets in their respective categories.
The biggest horse race will be between “The Social Network,” which has eight Oscar nominations, and “The King’s Speech,” which has garnered 12 Oscar nominations.
In once such upset, Tom Hooper won the top film honor at the Directors Guild of America Awards for “The King’s Speech,” topping the favorite, “The Social Network.”
The Guild does not have a best movie category, so the two films will compete for the “best cast ensemble” award. “Black Swan,” boxing drama “The Fighter” and lesbian family movie “The Kids Are All Right” round out the category.
The guild also hands out television awards.
Among this year’s presenters will be Jason Bateman, Jon Hamm, Nicole Kidman, Jeremy Renner, Sofia Vergara and Robin Wright .
They will be joining Scott Bakula, Alec Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Tim Conway, Rosario Dawson, Josh Duhamel, Angie Harmon, Eva Longoria, Cory Monteith, Amy Poehler, Hilary Swank, Betty White and SAG President Ken Howard.
The show will air live on TNT and TBS from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST.