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‘The Help’ tops nods for Screen Actors awards

LOS ANGELES (AFP) ― “The Help,” a film about the lives of black housekeepers in the U.S. south before the civil rights era, and hit silent movie “The Artist” topped nominations at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards on Wednesday.

“The Help” scored four nods for the SAGs including best actress for Viola Davis, while “The Artist,” a black-and-white tribute to the silent movie era, was shortlisted in three categories.

On the small screen, Emmy-winning sitcom “Modern Family” won five nominations including best ensemble cast in a TV comedy, while there were nods also for British actresses Kate Winslet and Maggie Smith.

Actors George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Glenn Close are also among stars tipped for prizes from the Guild, whose nominations traditionally kick off Hollywood’s annual awards season.

For outstanding cast performance ― sometimes an indicator of best picture winner at the all-important Oscars ― Disney’s “The Help” is up against “The Descendants,” “The Artist,” “Bridesmaids” and “Midnight in Paris.”

The SAGs announcement ― winners will be announced on Jan. 29 ― came a day ahead of the nominations for the Golden Globes, also seen as a key indicator of hopes for the Oscars, the climax of Hollywood’s annual gong-fest.