‘Lincoln,’ ‘Les Miserables,’ ‘Argo’ look for SAG boost

Updated 8:15 PM EST, Sun January 27, 2013

Story highlights

Best-pic race pits "Lincoln" vs. "Les Miserable," but "Argo threatens upset

Daniel Day-Lewis, Hugh Jackman emerged from Globes as best-actor favorites

Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence in running for best actress

SAG Awards are chosen by actors

The drama that is Hollywood’s awards season reaches its midpoint Sunday night with the 19th annual Screen Actors Guild honors – the only industry awards that solely recognize performers.

Will Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” regain its best picture front-runner status lost when Ben Affleck’s “Argo” won at the Golden Globes two weeks ago?

Who will take the best actor SAG trophy – “Lincoln” star Daniel Day-Lewis or Hugh Jackman for “Les Miserables”? Both men won best-actor Golden Globes this month.

The SAG Awards, which are decided exclusively by actors, are distinguished from the Globes, which are chosen by a group of about 80 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

The five film SAG awards traditionally set the stage for the Oscars, voted by about 8,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, to be handed out four weeks later.

The SAG ceremony at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles also includes eight primetime television categories, a followup to the Globes and last fall’s Emmys.

The live telecast aired on TNT and TBS should offer emotional moments, especially when Carl Reiner and Alec Baldwin present television legend Dick Van Dyke with the SAG 49th Life Achievement Award.

The race for best picture

A win by “Lincoln” or “Les Miserables” in SAG’s top category – officially known as “Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture” – would create important buzz for the film in the Academy Awards best-pic battle. “Les Miserables,” a big-screen adaptation of the smash Broadway musical, was given the Golden Globe for best comedy or musical movie, although “Lincoln” lost to “Argo” in the Globe’s best drama film competition. If “Argo” upsets again this weekend, it could influence Oscar voters when they cast ballots next month.

Best lead film actor

“Lincoln” and “Les Miserables” also hold center stage in the race for best lead actor after the Globes. Daniel Day-Lewis, who portrayed Abraham Lincoln, and Hugh Jackman, who acted and sang as Jean Valjean, claimed the best-actor Globes for drama and musical films, respectively. Their SAG competitors are Denzel Washington for “Flight,” Bradley Cooper for “Silver Linings Playbook” and John Hawkes for “The Sessions.”

Best lead film actress