It was hardly a pleasure cruise, but Sean Penn's heartwrenching performance in Mystic River has his Tinseltown peers on board.
The Clint Eastwood adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel was a leading contender among the 10th Annual Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, announced Thursday morning.
Not only did the dramatic thriller garner a Best Actor nod for Sean Penn and a Supporting Actor nomination for Tim Robbins, the entire cast was recognized in the Best Ensemble category.
It's a major vote of confidence for Mystic, which has already reaped kudos from the Broadcast Critics and the National Board of Review. Because actors comprise the largest voting bloc of the Motion Picture Academy, the SAGs are often key predictors of Oscar glory.
But the weighty film could be given a run for its money by fellow Best Ensemble nominees, including Jim Sheridan's Irish-American family drama In America, Peter Jackson's epic trilogy topper The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, horse-race saga Seabiscuit and quirky dramedy The Station Agent.
Station Agent, from first-time director Thomas McCarthy, could provide some worthy competition. It also racked up three SAG nominations, including Best Actor and Actress nods for stars Peter Dinklage and Patricia Clarkson, who's also competing for a Best Supporting win for Pieces of April.
Notable snubs in the Ensemble category include several critical faves garnering early Oscar buzz, such as Cold Mountain, which managed to rack up a Best Supporting nom for Renée Zellweger but zilch for leading lady Nicole Kidman; Lost in Translation, which nabbed Bill Murray a Best Actor nod but nothing for costar Scarlett Johansson; Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, which was shut out of the SAG Awards entirely; and The Last Samurai, recognized only for Best Supporting Actor nominee Ken Watanabe and not star Tom Cruise.
In the race for leading man, Dinklage, Murray and Penn will compete against Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl) and Ben Kingsley (House of Sand and Fog), while Clarkson faces off against Diane Keaton (Something's Gotta Give); Charlize Theron (Monster); Naomi Watts (21 Grams); and Evan Rachel Wood (Thirteen).
Also of note among the Motion Picture category: Teens gone wild tale Thirteen received bookend noms for Best Actress nominee Wood and Best Supporting contender Holly Hunter, and Sin City love story The Cooler garnered bids for Best Supporting Actor and Actress Alec Baldwin and Maria Bello.
Rounding out the Supporting category for the fellas are Baldwin, Robbins and Watanabe, versus Chris Cooper (Seabiscuit) and Benicio Del Toro (21 Grams), while Bello, Clarkson, Hunter and Zellweger will square off against Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider).
Notable nominations (and snubs) on the boob tube side: leading powerhouse laffer Everybody Loves Raymond, which received a grand total of six nominations, including one apiece for stars Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Doris Roberts, Peter Boyle and Brad Garrett, plus a nod to the cast as a whole.
Meanwhile, HBO dominated the TV movie or miniseries category with Angels in America, which notched six nominations for stars Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson.
Left out of the TV race were most of the Friends cast, including perennial favorite Jennifer Aniston. Lisa Kudrow was the only one to make the cut. Ditto for the Sex and the City women. However, both shows were nominated for outstanding ensembles, which pits them against Raymond, Frasier and Will & Grace.
Competing on the dramatic side are CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Law & Order, Six Feet Under, The West Wing and Without a Trace.
The SAG Award nominees were chosen by 4,200 randomly selected members of the actors' union with the final awards voted on by all 98,000 members. The 10th annual awards fest, honoring both TV and film, will air from the Shrine Auditorium Feb. 22 on TNT at 8 p.m.
A complete rundown of the nominees:
Male Actor in a Leading Role: Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Peter Dinklage, The Station Agent Ben Kingsley, House of Sand and Fog Bill Murray, Lost in Translation Sean Penn, Mystic River
Female Actor in a Leading Role: Patricia Clarkson, The Station Agent Diane Keaton, Something's Gotta Give Charlize Theron, Monster Naomi Watts, 21 Grams Evan Rachel Wood, Thirteen
Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Alec Baldwin, The Cooler Chris Cooper, Seabiscuit Benicio Del Toro, 21 Grams Tim Robbins, Mystic River Ken Watanabe, The Last Samurai
Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Mario Bello, The Cooler Keisha Castle-Hughes, Whale Rider Patricia Clarkson, Pieces of April Holly Hunter, Thirteen Renée Zellweger, Cold Mountain
Ensemble: In America The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Mystic River Seabiscuit The Station Agent
Male Actor, Drama Series: Peter Krause, Six Feet Under Anthony LaPaglia, Without a Trace Martin Sheen, West Wing Kiefer Sutherland, 24 Treat Williams, Everwood
Female Actor, Drama Series: Stockard Channing, West Wing Frances Conroy, Six Feet Under Tyne Daly, Judging Amy Jennifer Garner, Alias Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Allison Janney, West Wing
Male Actor, Comedy Series: Peter Boyle, Everybody Loves Raymond Brad Garrett, Everybody Loves Raymond Sean Hayes, Will & Grace Ray Romano, Everybody Loves Raymond Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Female Actor, Comedy Series: Patricia Heaton, Everybody Loves Raymond Lisa Kudrow, Friends Debra Messing, Will & Grace Megan Mullally, Will & Grace Doris Roberts, Everybody Loves Raymond
Ensemble, Drama Series: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Law & Order Six Feet Under The West Wing Without a Trace
Ensemble, Comedy Series: Everybody Loves Raymond Frasier Friends Sex and the City Will & Grace
Male Actor, Television Movie or Miniseries: Justin Kirk, Angels in America Paul Newman, Our Town Al Pacino, Angels in America Forest Whitaker, Deacons for Defense Jeffrey Wright, Angels in America
Female Actor, Television Movie or Miniseries: Anne Bancroft, Tennessee Williams' The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone Helen Mirren, Tennessee Williams' The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone Mary-Louise Parker, Angels in America Meryl Streep, Angels in America Emma Thompson, Angels in America
Life Achievement Award: Karl Malden