The food-poisoning scene was totally worth it.
The R-rated comedy Bridesmaids was elevated to awards-season front-runner with a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination today for Outstanding Motion Picture Ensemble.
The other key nominees:
The plucky silent movie The Artist, George Clooney's The Descendants, the feel-good Civil Rights drama The Help and the Woody Allen hit Midnight in Paris will compete against Bridesmaids for the top SAG film honor—the show's equivalent of Best Picture.
Overall, The Help led all films with four nominations. The Artist nabbed three. Several films, including Bridesmaids, scored two each.
Clooney earned an individual nod for Motion Picture Male Actor Lead, as did Brad Pitt (for Moneyball, not The Tree of Life), Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar), France's Jean Dujardin (The Artist) and Mexico's Demián Bichir, nominated for the Chris Weitz character piece, A Better Life.
The Motion Picture Female Actor Lead race is made up of the already-usual suspects, led by The Iron Lady's Meryl Streep.The other nominees: The Help's Viola Davis, We Need to Talk About Kevin's Tilda Swinton, My Week With Marilyn's Michelle Williams and Glenn Close, who was arguably somewhat of a longer shot for the as-yet unreleased gender-bending drama Albert Nobbs.
Jonah Hill rebounded from The Sitter's disappointing box-office weekend with a Supporting Male Actor nomination for Moneyball. Armie Hammer, passed over last year for The Social Network, is also up in the category, as DiCaprio's constant companion in J. Edgar.
The SAG Awards are about the best blueprint there is for the Oscars. Last year, all five ensemble nominees wound up with Best Picture nods; 17 of the 20 individual acting nominees were likewise recognized at the Academy Awards.
On the TV side, 30 Rock, The Big Bang Theory, Glee, Modern Family and The Office are up for Outstanding Ensemble for a Comedy Series, much as they were up for the top honor at September's Emmys. Parks and Recreation, which was also up for the big Emmy, didn't make the cut.
Boardwalk Empire, Dexter, Game of Thrones and The Good Wife will vie for top drama honors, along with Breaking Bad, which, owing to its late premiere, wasn't eligible for the Emmy. Along the same lines, Mad Men, which earned its fourth straight Drama Series Emmy earlier this fall, was ineligble for the SAGs because it didn't air any new episodes during 2011.
Friday Night Lights, another drama series nominee at the Emmys, failed to make the SAGs' ensemble field; reigning Emmy champ Kyle Chandler, however, scored a nod for Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series.
Modern Family led all series with five total nominations. SAG favorite Betty White was a top individual nominee with two nods, including one for Outstanding Female Actor in a Comedy Series for Hot in Cleveland.
The 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards are scheduled to be presented Jan. 29.
(Originally published Dec. 14, 2011, at 6:23 a.m. PT)