By LINDSEY BAHR
LOS ANGELES — “Boyhood” might be the darling of the critics’ awards, but when it came down to performances alone, the dark show-business comedy “Birdman” soared with a leading four Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, including best ensemble cast.
“Birdman” lead Michael Keaton was recognized for his work as the washed-up Hollywood hero Riggan Thomson. Emma Stone, who played Thomson’s troubled daughter, and Edward Norton, as an arrogant theater star, also picked up supporting nods.
“An ensemble like this hardly ever comes around, and all of us made this very unique film work — [led] by our maestro, director Alejandro Iñárritu,” said Keaton in a statement.
Following with three nominations each were the coming-of-age tale “Boyhood,” the Alan Turing biopic “The Imitation Game,” and the Stephen Hawking story “The Theory of Everything.” All were recognized for their ensemble casts and individual performances.
Conspicuously absent from the SAG nominations were Ava DuVernay’s civil rights drama “Selma,” and Angelina Jolie’s Louis Zamperini film “Unbroken.” Neither has been released, but both have been hailed as solid Oscar contenders.
Their luck could change, though, when the Golden Globes nominations are announced Thursday.
“Boyhood” has been on a hot streak recently, winning top honors with most of the major critics’ awards, but its small cast faded opposite the star-studded “Birdman.” Still, Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke both earned nods Wednesday for their performances which spanned the groundbreaking 12-year shoot.
“The Theory of Everything,” a romance-spanning look at the lives of Stephen and Jane Hawking, had lead acting nominations for Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones.
The other true-life British genius biopic, “The Imitation Game,” landed Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley nominations for their portrayals of World War II-era British logicians Alan Turing and Joan Clarke.
Cumberbatch also was recognized for his television work in “Sherlock: His Last Vow.”
Wes Anderson’s candy-colored fable “The Grand Budapest Hotel” received a single nod for its large ensemble cast, including Norton and Adrien Brody, who also pulled a nomination for History’s “Houdini.”
Notably, Bennett Miller’s true-crime drama “Foxcatcher” was not singled out for its overall cast but recognized lead actor Steve Carell and supporting actor Mark Ruffalo. Ruffalo earned a second acknowledgement for HBO’s “The Normal Heart.”
Jake Gyllenhaal also won a lead acting nomination for his work as the sociopathic freelance reporter in the Los Angeles noir “Nightcrawler.”
Lead actress film nominees joining Felicity Jones are Julianne Moore as an Alzheimer’s patient in “Still Alice”; Reese Witherspoon in the soul-searching drama “Wild”; Rosamund Pike as the missing wife in the thriller “Gone Girl”; and a dressed-down Jennifer Aniston in “Cake.”
In the supporting category, Oscar favorite J.K. Simmons snagged a spot for playing the drill sergeant jazz instructor in “Whiplash.” But other supporting nominations were a bit of a surprise.
Robert Duvall was recognized for the middling courtroom drama “The Judge,” Meryl Streep for the adaption of musical “Into the Woods” and Naomi Watts for “St. Vincent.” Watts is also part of the “Birdman” ensemble.
The Guild Awards pave the way to the Academy Awards on Feb. 22. Oscar nominations will be announced Jan. 15.
In television, HBO led the way with 10 nominations, while Netflix, ABC and Showtime all got five.
Sitcom “Modern Family” received the most individual nominations with four.
Besides the ABC show, other ensemble comedy nominees include “The Big Bang Theory,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Orange is the New Black” and “Veep.” Ensemble drama nominees were “Downton Abbey,” “Homeland,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Game of Thrones” and “House of Cards.”
Ansel Elgort (“The Fault in Our Stars,” “Divergent”) and actress/director/producer Eva Longoria were among the official announcers for the nominations; the awards will be presented on Jan. 25, 2015.
Here is the complete list of nominees:
THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES
MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Steve Carell as John du Pont — “Foxcatcher” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing — “The Imitation Game” (The Weinstein Company)
Jake Gyllenhaal as Louis Bloom — “Nightcrawler” (Open Road Films)
Michael Keaton as Riggan Thomson — “Birdman” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking — “The Theory of Everything” (Focus Features)
FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Jennifer Aniston as Claire Bennett — “Cake” (Cinelou Films)
Felicity Jones as Jane Hawking — “The Theory of Everything” (Focus Features)
Julianne Moore as Alice Howland-Jones — “Still Alice” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne — “Gone Girl” (20th Century Fox)
Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl Strayed — “Wild” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Robert Duvall as Joseph Palmer — “The Judge” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Ethan Hawke as Mason, Sr. — “Boyhood” (IFC Films)
Edward Norton as Mike — “Birdman” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Mark Ruffalo as Dave Schultz — “Foxcatcher” (Sony Pictures Classics)
J.K. Simmons as Fletcher — “Whiplash” (Sony Pictures Classics)
FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Patricia Arquette as Olivia— “Boyhood” (IFC Films)
Keira Knightley as Joan Clarke— “The Imitation Game” (The Weinstein Company)
Emma Stone as Sam— “Birdman” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Meryl Streep as The Witch— “Into the Woods” (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Naomi Watts as Daka— “St. Vincent” (The Weinstein Company)
CAST IN A MOTION PICTURE
“Birdman” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
“Boyhood” (IFC Films)
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
“The Imitation Game” (The Weinstein Company)
“The Theory of Everything” (Focus Features)
MALE ACTOR in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Adrien Brody as Harry Houdini —”Houdini” (History)
Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes — “Sherlock: His Last Vow” (PBS)
Richard Jenkins as Henry Kitteridge — “Olive Kitteridge” (HBO)
Mark Ruffalo as Ned Weeks — “The Normal Heart” (HBO)
Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo — “Fargo” (FX)
FEMALE ACTOR in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Ellen Burstyn as Olivia Foxworth— “Flowers in the Attic” (Lifetime)
Maggie Gyllenhaal as Nessa Stein— “The Honorable Woman” (Sundance TV)
Frances McDormand as Olive Kitteridge— “Olive Kitteridge” (HBO)
Julia Roberts as Dr. Emma Brookner— “The Normal Heart” (HBO)
Cicely Tyson as Carrie Watts— “The Trip to Bountiful” (Lifetime)
MALE ACTOR in a Drama Series
Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson — “Boardwalk Empire” (HBO)
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister — “Game of Thrones” (HBO)
Woody Harrelson as Martin Hart — “True Detective” (HBO)
Matthew McConaughey as Rust Cohle — “True Detective” (HBO)
Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood — “HOUSE OF CARDS” (Netflix)
FEMALE ACTOR in a Drama Series
Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison — “Homeland” (Showtime)
Viola Davis as Annalise Keating — “How to Get Away With Murder” (ABC)
Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick — “The Good Wife” (CBS)
Tatiana Maslany as Sarah/Coxima/Alison/Rachel/etc. — “Orphan Black” (BBC America)
Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham — “Downton Abbey” (PBS)
Robin Wright as Claire Underwood — “House of Cards” (Netflix)
MALE ACTOR in a Comedy Series
Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy — “Modern Family ” (ABC)
Louis C.K. as Louie — “Louie” (FX)
William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher — “Shameless” (Showtime)
Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper — “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker — “Modern Family” (ABC)
FEMALE ACTOR in a Comedy Series
Uzo Aduba as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren — “Orange is the New Black” (Netflix)
Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy — “Modern Family” (ABC)
Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton — “Nurse Jackie” (Showtime)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Vice President Selina Meyer — “Veep” (HBO)
Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope — “Parks and Recreation” (NBC)
ENSEMBLE in a Drama Series
“Boardwalk Empire” (HBO)
“Downton Abbey” (PBS)
“Game of Thrones” (HBO)
“House of Cards” (Netflix)
ENSEMBLE in a Comedy Series
“The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (FOX)
“Modern Family” (ABC)
“Orange is the New Black” (Netflix)
SAG AWARDS® HONORS FOR STUNT ENSEMBLES
Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
“Fury” (Columbia Pictures)
“Get on Up” (Universal Pictures)
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
“Unbroken” (Universal Pictures)
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” (20th Century Fox)
Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series
“24: Live Another Day” (FOX)
“Boardwalk Empire” (HBO)
“Game of Thrones” (HBO)
“Sons of Anarchy” (FX)
“The Walking Dead” (AMC)
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Congrats to the cast of @Brooklyn99FOX for their #sagawards nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series!— SAG Awards® (@SAGawards) December 10, 2014
Congratulations to the cast of @OITNB on their nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series!— SAG Awards® (@SAGawards) December 10, 2014
Congratulations to “The Grand Budapest Hotel” for their #sagawards nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture!— SAG Awards® (@SAGawards) December 10, 2014