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SAG Award nominees and the strike vote debate

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Heath Ledger as the Joker gets SAG nomination.

A lot of squabbling and bickering in the Screen Actors Guild this week over the upcoming strike authorization vote. The ballots are set to go out on January 2, 2009. Yesterday, for a while the debate over that vote was put aside to announce the nominees for the 15th Annual SAG Awards.

The film about a face off between a Catholic old-school nun and a progressive priest, “Doubt” earned five nominations. “Milk” the story of San Francisco politician/gay activist Harvey Milk and the mysterious tale of a man who ages backwards, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” each received three nominations.

And two nominations each for “Frost/Nixon,” the incredible saga of a bright but poor Indian teen, “Slumdog Millionaire,” and “The Dark Knight.” Heath Ledger was nominated for his freaky over-the-top portrayal of  the Joker in “The Dark Knight.”  The late Ledger is considered a front runner in the Oscar race for supporting actor.

 On the television side, best drama cast nominees are “Boston Legal,” “Dexter,” “House,” “Mad Men,” and “The Closer.” For Best Comedy “30 Rock,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Entourage,” “The Office,” and “Weeds.” Also, actor James Earl Jones is in line to receive SAG’s Life Achievement Award.

The SAG Award winners will be announced in a live cable broadcast on January 25, 2009, two days after SAG’s strike authorization ballots are counted.

A lot of tension and tight-jaws about the prospects of a SAG strike these days. Perhaps, all the finger pointing, angry statements, and protests should be directed at the Big Studios who are still making millions while refusing to give SAG a decent deal. There isn’t going to be much production without SAG actors so why not go ahead and pay them. Then, Hollywood can once again focus on the business of creating entertainment.

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