21 DECEMBER 2007

The Screen Actors Guild Awards are famously spot on in indicating who will be nominated for the Oscars, and if this year's SAG nominees are anything to go by there could be some surprises in store. While Keira Knightley vehicle Atonement and Johnny Depp's musical Sweeney Todd were snubbed despite triumphing in the Golden Globe nominations a week ago, Sean Penn's adventure drama Into The Wild – which was bypassed for the Globes – is up for four gongs.

Its young lead, 22-year-old actor Emile Hirsch – is vying for the best actor title. The hunky newcomer, who began acting at the age of eight, joins Hollywood heavyweights George Clooney and Daniel Day-Lewis in the categor, as well as Lord Of The Rings star Viggo Mortensen and Canadian actor Ryan Gosling.

Emile's co-stars in the Sean Penn-directed drama about a young man who graduates from college and perishes after walking off into the Alaskan wilderness, also earned nominations. Hal Holbrook and Catherine Keener were nominated for best supporting actor and actress, while the entire cast was nominated for best ensemble performance.

Two Brits with a look-in are Tom Wilkinson and Tilda Swinton, both nominated for their supporting roles in George Clooney's legal drama Michael Clayton.

Expectant mum Cate Blanchett has a double chance of taking home an award at the ceremony on January 27 in LA. She will be competing against Mighty Heart star Angelina Jolie in the best actress stakes for her role in Elizabeth: The Golden Age and has a second nomination as best supporting actress for her portrayal of singer Bob Dylan in I'm Not There.

As for the best film cast, No Country For Old Men starring Tommy Lee Jones is in with a chance, alongside hit musical Hairspray, crime drama American Gangster, Into The Wild and 3:10 To Yuma which features Russell Crowe and Christian Bale.

Keira Knightley, James McAvoy and Johnny Depp will all be hoping that this time round the Golden Globes is more accurate than the SAGs in predicting Oscar glory.

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Californian heart-throb Emile may walk away with a prestigious SAG award after being nominated for his lead performance in Sean Penn's Into The Wild
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He'll be going head to head with one of Hollywood's biggest stars, though. George has also been nominated for best actor for his role in Michael Clayton Photo: © Getty Images
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Previous Oscar-winner Cate has two chances of scooping a SAG, with nominations for best actress and best supporting actress
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Angelina is also vying for the best actress title for playing the wife of slain journalist Daniel Pearl in A Mighty Heart