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Several actors whose Oscar hopes seemed to be lost causes are also suddenly back in the race with their surprise SAG nominations. So what's good, bad, and puzzling about this year's list (including Betty White's two bids, which are good, bad, and puzzling all at once)?
After being the only adult actor from Modern Family who failed to receive an Emmy nomination, Ed O'Neil receives his first major accolade for his role on the ABC series. The Modern Family ensemble is an embarrassment of riches; it's nice that each member is getting due recognition (Ty Burrell and Sofia Vergara also won SAG noms, Eric Stonestreet received a Globe nod Tuesday, while Julie Bowen and Jesse Tyler Ferguson joined all three with Emmy nods this year as well). And considering the SAG TV acting categories combine lead and supporting performances, it was shrewd to nominate Glee's shining supporting players Chris Colfer and Jane Lynch over their more wooden leading counterparts (Matthew Morrison and Lea Michele).
MORE ON AWARDS SEASON COVERAGE:
Kevin Fallon: Golden Globe Nominations 2011: The Good, the Bad, and the Puzzling
Kevin Fallon: 13 Movies to See Before the Oscars
Lynda Obst: In Hollywood, Autumn Is Oscar Season
Following his snub by the Globes earlier in the week, Mark Ruffalo makes a welcome return to the Supporting Actor race with his nod for The Kids Are All Right, while Mila Kunis has defied pundits all over the Web by securing yet another major Supporting Actress nod for her turn in Black Swan. That both of their films made into the Ensemble race signals their support among actors—a major block of the Oscar-voting population. And after its perplexing shut-out from the Globes, True Grit redeemed its Oscar hopes with SAG bids for Jeff Bridges and the young Hailee Steinfeld.