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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 December 2007, 15:43 GMT
Penn film tipped for SAG success
Sean Penn
Penn is establishing himself as a director as well as an actor
Sean Penn's road trip movie Into the Wild leads the field for next year's Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards with a total of four nominations.

Star Emile Hirsch is up for best actor, with Hal Holbrook and Catherine Keener nominated for their supporting roles.

The film, directed by Penn, is also nominated in the best performance by an overall cast category.

The SAG awards - which will be held on 27 January 2008 - are often a good indicator ahead of the Oscars.

Alongside Into The Wild, No Country for Old Men, 3:10 To Yuma, Hairspray and American Gangster are recognised in the best cast category.

Up against Hirsch for best actor are George Clooney for Michael Clayton, Daniel Day Lewis for There Will Be Blood, Ryan Gosling for Lars and the Real Girl and Viggo Mortensen for Eastern Promises.

Strike troubles

Cate Blanchett, Julie Christie, Marion Cotillard, Angelina Jolie and Ellen Page are all nominated in the best actress category.

The awards also honour TV performances - the top prize, best cast in a TV drama, sees nominations for The Sopranos, Boston Legal, Grey's Anatomy, The Closer and Mad Men.

The nominees for best ensemble cast in a TV comedy include 30 Rock, Desperate Housewives, Entourage, The Office and Ugly Betty.

Meanwhile, another awards ceremony, the People's Choice Awards, will now be pre-recorded because of the writers' strike.

The Writers Guild of America, whose members have been on strike for seven weeks, are refusing to participate in the event, which is normally a live broadcast.

The show, which will air on 8 January in the US, will now include pre-recorded acceptance speeches by winners as well as their responses to questions sent in by fans.

The strike is not expected to affect the SAG Awards. With actors showing solidarity with the writers, SAG has reached an agreement with one of the Writers Guild members to write the script for the ceremony.

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