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January 30, 2001

The Screen Actors Guild Awards gathered to offer their nominees for the past year. TRAFFIC was nominated for Best Ensemble Cast (which is the SAG equivalent to Best Picture). Benicio Del Toro was also nominated for Best Actor for TRAFFIC. Erin Brockovich received two nominations: Julia Roberts as Best Actress and Albert Finney as Best Supporting Actor. I've posted the whole story below.

By DAVID GERMAIN, from the Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Hollywood actors seem as divided as everyone else about the year's top movies.Five different movies, including Golden Globe winners ``Gladiator'' and ``Almost Famous,'' took three nominations apiece Tuesday for the Screen Actors Guild awards. The others were the political drama ``The Contender'' the French fairy tale ``Chocolat'' and the British dance flick ``Billy Elliot.''
Three films - the legal saga ``Erin Brockovich,'' the Marquis de Sade drama ``Quills'' and the drug-war thriller ``Traffic'' - received two nominations apiece.
The SAG nominations are the last major awards announcement before Oscar nominations Feb. 13. Unlike most years, no one film has emerged as an Oscar front-runner. A year ago, eventual Oscar champ ``American Beauty'' dominated the SAG nominations with four nods.Earlier this month, the Golden Globes, too, were spread among a variety of films.
Nominated by SAG for their overall casts this year were ``Almost Famous,'' ``Billy Elliot,'' ``Chocolat,'' ``Gladiator'' and ``Traffic.''
Picked for best female actor were: Joan Allen, ``The Contender''; Juliette Binoche, ``Chocolat''; Ellen Burstyn, ``Requiem for a Dream''; Laura Linney, ``You Can Count On Me''; and Julia Roberts, ``Erin Brockovich.''
Male actor nominees were: Jamie Bell, ``Billy Elliot''; Russell Crowe, ``Gladiator''; Benicio Del Toro, ``Traffic''; Tom Hanks, ``Cast Away''; and Geoffrey Rush, ``Quills.''
For supporting female actor, the contenders are: Judi Dench, ``Chocolat''; Kate Hudson, ``Almost Famous''; Frances McDormand, ``Almost Famous''; Julie Walters, ``Billy Elliot''; and Kate Winslet, ``Quills.''
Nominees for male supporting actor were: Jeff Bridges, ``The Contender''; Willem Dafoe, ``Shadow of the Vampire''; Albert Finney, ``Erin Brockovich''; Gary Oldman, ``The Contender''; and Joaquin Phoenix, ``Gladiator.''
SAG's awards have been fairly accurate in predicting the eventual Oscar winners for lead actor and actress. Ten of the 12 past SAG winners in top movie acting categories went on to capture Academy Awards.
The guild also picked nominees in eight television categories. Among top contenders are ``Ally McBeal'' and ``Will & Grace,'' which received four nominations each, and ``ER,'' ``The Sopranos,'' ``The West Wing'' and ``Frasier,'' with three nods apiece.
``Chocolat's'' Dench also received a nomination for female actor in a TV movie or miniseries for ``The Last of the Blonde Bombshells.''
Alec Baldwin and Brian Cox both were nominated for best male actor in a TV movie or miniseries for ``Nuremberg.'' ``Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman'' also had two TV movie or miniseries nods, Brian Dennehy for male actor and Elizabeth Franz for female actor.
SAG will present its seventh annual awards March 11 in a ceremony airing on TNT.
The show will include the guild's lifetime achievement honor, for husband-wife acting team Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.
The guild's nominations are chosen by 4,200 randomly selected members of the union. The union's full membership of 98,000 is eligible to vote.

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