<p>Cameron Diaz and &quot;The Counselor&quot; have not met with the AWFJ's approval.&nbsp;</p>

Cameron Diaz and "The Counselor" have not met with the AWFJ's approval. 

Credit: 20th Century Fox

'12 Years a Slave' leads female-voted AWFJ nods, as 'The Counselor' is shamed

Sarah Polley and Lake Bell among the female filmmakers recognized

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists have revealed their long, long list of nominations. As usual, it's a mix of fairly standard picks in the conventional categories -- "12 Years a Slave" leads the way with 13 nominations -- and more distinctive choices in categories created to celebrate female filmmakers and denigrate industry sexism.

Not all of them make a lot of sense: why on earth does Melissa McCarthy "need a new agent" when "The Heat" and "Identify Thief" were so successful? And calling out the "egregious age difference" between Dermot Mulroney and Abigail Breslin seems somewhat pointless, given that the film does the same. They also made plain their disapproval of "The Counselor," though I'm not sure I'd call it sexist per se -- it's a female character, after all, who holds all the cards in it. But I guess they mean well.

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<p>Christian Bale in &quot;Out of the Furnace.&quot;</p>

Christian Bale in "Out of the Furnace."

Credit: Relativity Media

Roundup: 'Out of the Furnace' gets a mayoral endorsement

Also: 'Omar' wins at Asia Pacific Awards, and Almodovar picks 2013's best

Well received by critics but struggling to connect with audiences, Scott Cooper's "Out of the Furnace" faces a tough climb to awards recognition -- but it has at least one unique FYC plea in its arsenal. In guest piece for Variety, John Fetterman, mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania -- the town where the film is set -- acknowledges that it may seem a tough watch, but urges people to make the effort: "Understandably, many would rather not set foot into a bleak world where most of the social contracts in America are void and rusted through. If the story of a Braddock, and towns like her, is indeed worth telling, there couldn’t be a more eloquent, forceful and honest interpretation than what Mr. Cooper and his three leads have delivered in “Out of the Furnace.” [Variety

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The best ensembles of 2013

The best ensembles of 2013

From studio hits to indie darlings, a wonderful year for cast performances

Everyone had a keen eye on this morning's Screen Actors Guild nominations because, as ever, the group's Best Ensemble category can be highly indicative of where the Best Picture Oscar race might be heading. But i's also a unique opportunity for actors to spotlight their own through recognition of a movie's cast, something critics often do on the precursor circuit but the Academy hasn't taken to yet.

Unfortunately, more often than not, that merely translates to a slew of SAG notices for big, sprawling casts full of movie stars. That's doubly unfortunate in a year such as 2013, which has been an exemplary study in brilliant ensemble work, from studio productions to indie players and all points in between. So it seemed our own spotlight was in order.

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News Update: '12 Years' and 'Dallas' SAG Awards nominations winners

News Update: '12 Years' and 'Dallas' SAG Awards nominations winners

Analyzing SAG's big day

The Screen Actors Guild announced the nominees for the 2014 SAG Awards and the big winners were "12 Years A Slave," "Dallas Buyers Club" and "Lee Daniels' The Butler." 

HitFix's Daniel Fienberg and I took some time to chat about the nominations and whether they can really have an impact on this year's Oscar race. You can watch our conversation in the video embedded at the top of this post.

<p>Joaquin&nbsp;Phoenix in &quot;Her&quot;</p>

Joaquin Phoenix in "Her"

Credit: Warner Bros.

'Her' crowned best film of the year by San Diego Film Critics Society

'12 Years a Slave' shut out after leading nominations

The San Diego Film Critics Society has just announced "Her" as the year's best film. Spike Jonze's latest picked up three awards total, including Best Original Screenplay and Best Score. "12 Years a Slave" led the way with Tuesday's nominations announcement, but was ultimately shut out of the winning pool entirely. Oscar Isaac ("Inside Llewyn Davis") and Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine") won top acting honors, while Matthew McConaughey received a special prize for his body of work in 2013. Check out the full list of winners below, and as always, keep track of the season via The Circuit.

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<p>Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda in &quot;The China Syndrome.&quot;</p>

Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda in "The China Syndrome."

Credit: Sony Pictures

'China Syndrome' writer Thomas S. Cook posthumously honored by WGA

Oscar-nominated writer is awarded Morgan Cox Award for service to Guild

The late screenwriter Thomas S. Cook, who passed away in January aged 65, will be honored with the Morgan Cox Award for Guild service at the Writers' Guild Awards in February, it was announced today. Cook was best known for co-writing the 1979 issue thriller "The China Syndrome," for which he shared in an Oscar nomination and a WGA Award. (He and his co-writers lost the former to Steve Tesich for "Breaking Away.")

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SAG Awards nominee reactions: Jennifer Lawrence, Kerry Washington, Jared Leto

SAG Awards nominee reactions: Jennifer Lawrence, Kerry Washington, Jared Leto

Plus: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock and more

This year's SAG Awards nominees took out their humble card Wednesday morning to thank their peers for the recognition and we're guessing a majority of their reactions were not written by their personal publicists.  A few others? Well, judge for yourself.

To check out reactions from Jennifer Lawrence, Jared Leto, Tom Hanks and more, check out the embedded gallery below.

SAG winners and losers: 'Breaking Bad,' 'Saving Mr. Banks,' Mariah Carey

SAG winners and losers: 'Breaking Bad,' 'Saving Mr. Banks,' Mariah Carey

Who's happy and who's sad after this morning's announcement?

I've offered my take on this morning's SAG Awards announcement. Guy has given his thoughts on snubs and surprises on the movie side of things and Alan has analyzed things on the TV side. The nominations brought with them a number of winners and losers in both the worlds of film and television, so to which side of the line did your favorites fall? Click through the gallery story below to get Team HitFix's thoughts on who's happy and who's sad now that the actors have had their say.

<p>Robert Redford in &quot;All is Lost.&quot;</p>

Robert Redford in "All is Lost."

Credit: Lionsgate Films

SAG snubs and surprises: Redford sinks, 'Dallas Buyers Club' swims

Who missed out -- and who hit big -- in this morning's nominations
The name "Christoph Waltz" can provide some cold comfort to any actor left out of this morning's SAG nominations. Omitted from last year's Best Supporting Actor lineup, he rallied with an Oscar nomination and ultimately took the win. Admittedly, his SAG miss probably had much to do with scheduling, but the point stands: as Marcia Gay Harden proved before him, a SAG nomination isn't a prerequisite for Oscar glory.
 
But it certainly helps. Make no mistake: the studios and publicists behind certain films and players absent from this morning's nominations will be feeling very glum indeed, while those behind some unexpected inclusions are turning cartwheels right now. (Maybe not literally, though I'd like to see Harvey Weinstein have a go.) For better or worse, the SAG slate is a significant preview of what we can expect when the Academy announces their nominations in a little over a month's time -- three years ago, lest we forget, 19 of 20 SAG-nominated performances repeated at the Oscars.
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<p>Jennifer Garner, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto at the Toronto Film Festival premiere of 'Dallas Buyers Club&quot;</p>

Jennifer Garner, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto at the Toronto Film Festival premiere of 'Dallas Buyers Club"

Credit: AP Photo

Redford snubbed and 'Dallas' gets a boost in otherwise unsurprising SAG announcement

A few unruly races finally settled a little bit

This morning's Screen Actors Guild (SAG) nominations announcement wasn't going to have a lot of surprises. At this stage, most of the players are known. It's a dense race, however, so the only question was, who was going to get squeezed out?

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