Few SAG Award nods for LGBT roles

Christopher Plummer nominated for SAG Award as gay man in Beginners but sexuality of characters in J. Egdar and Albert Nobbs is less clear

Few SAG Award nods for LGBT roles
14 December 2011

Wednesday's Screen Actors Guild Award nominations bring this year's awards race into sharper focus and there is a dearth of  LGBT characters being recognized.

Christopher Plummer, who continues to solidify his status as awards season front-runner, earned a SAG nomination in the supporting actor category for his performance in Beginners as a gay man who comes out to his son late in life.

But his is arguably the only clearly indentifiable LGBT character in the bunch.

Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated in the best actor category for his performance as the widely assumed to be gay FBI director J. Edgar Hoover in the film J. Edgar.

The film implies that Hoover was gay through awkwardness with women, as well as a violent kiss and hand holding in the back of a car with right-hand man Clyde Tolson played by an also SAG-nominated Armie Hammer.

But Hoover never discusses his sexuality in the film except in an emotional talk with his mother during which he tells her he doesn't like to dance with women.

'Part of the issue is there's no real documented evidence,' Scott Feinberg, who has been writing about awards season for The Hollywood Reporter, says of Hoover's sexuality.

Glenn Close earned a SAG nomination for lead actress for her performance as a gender-bending servant in Albert Nobbs. It is not clear in the film if her character, who assumed a man's identity for practical purposes, is transgender, lesbian or neither.

'We don't see sexuality addressed,' Feinberg says. 'If you include that as an LGBT role, Glenn Close has an excellent chance for other nominations. She sees that people might nominate her and has been beating the pavement this awards season.'

Close was surprisingly not nominated for an Independent Spirit Award last month while Adepero Oduye, who plays a lesbian teenager in Pariah, was nominated. But Oduye was overlooked by SAG voters as was the rest of the acclaimed film's cast.

Nominated by SAG and for a Spirit Award was Close's Albert Nobbs co-star, Janet McTeer, who also plays a gender-bending character in the film. Her character presents herself as a man to the world but does seem to have a lesbian relationship with her wife.

'People are very excited about McTeer's performance," Feinberg says.

The Golden Globe Award nominations will be announced in Beverly Hills early Thursday. The Globes and the SAG Awards are looked to as key indicators for Academy Award nominations and winners.

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