In addition to ‘Manchester,’ ensemble cast nominees include ‘Moonlight,’ ‘Captain Fantastic,’ ‘Fences’ and ‘Hidden Figures.’

The grief-stricken drama Manchester by the Sea, with four nominations, led the list of film nominees for the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, announced Wednesday by the actors guild SAG-AFTRA. In addition to a nomination for its ensemble cast, it earned individual citations for lead actor Casey Affleck and supporting actress and actor Michelle Williams and Lucas Hedges.

But the actors guild really opened up this season’s developing awards race with several of its other best film cast nominations. In addition to Manchester and Moonlight, both of which received Golden Globe best drama nominations earlier this week, SAG also boosted the fortunes of three films which had been overlooked in the top categories by the Globes, giving outstanding cast nominations, the equivalent of best picture noms, to Captain Fantastic, the story of an unconventional family that has been living off-the-grid; Fences, the screen adaptation of August Wilson’s drama about a black family in ‘50s Pittsburgh; and Hidden Figures, the account of three black women mathematicians who joined the NASA space program in the ‘60s.

Moonlight, which follows a young gay black man coming of age in a tough Miami neighborhood, earned a total of three noms, with its supporting actor and actress Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris also earning nominations. And Fences collected three total noms as well, with Denzel Washington, who directed the film,  picking up a lead actor nom and Viola Davis, who plays his characters’ wife, earning a supporting actress nomination.

Although the musical La Land Land, another of this season’s critical favorites, didn’t collect an ensemble nomination since it focuses so much on just the two main players in its boy-meets-girl love story, its lead actors Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone were both recognized with outstanding lead actor and actress noms.

More to come…

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