The road to the Oscars kicks off this week

An Oscar statuette is on display during the opening of an exhibition of Oscar statuettes at Grand Central Station in New York, February 23, 2011. The free exhibition features the actual Oscar statuettes that will be presented to this year EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

An Oscar statuette is on display during the opening of an exhibition of Oscar statuettes at Grand Central Station in New York, Feb. 23, 2011.
Getty Images
(CBS) It may be cold outside, but the awards season is definitely starting to heat up. The highly-anticipated Oscar nominations don't come out until Jan. 24, but contenders for other major award shows trickle out this week.

Special section: Awards season
Pictures: Holiday films 2011

First up? The Screen Actors Guild Award nominees, which will be announced Wednesday at 9 a.m. ET.

The awards, which debuted in 1995, honor acting in film and television. They focus on both individual and ensemble performances in drama series and comedy series, as well as feature films. Winners will be announced live on TNT and TBS on Jan. 29.

And on Thursday, the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards nominations will be unveiled at 8 a.m. ET. The categories are split into film and TV as well, with a focus on drama and musical or comedy. In the past, the Globes have honored many well-known A-list actors, but awards season can also be unpredictable. The 2012 Golden Globe Awards will air on Jan. 15.

By no means are the Golden Globes and SAG Awards a direct indicator of Oscar nominations, but it definitely builds Academy Awards buzz and can provide insight into some of the best films of the year.

We already have an inkling as to which films the critics have favored. The Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the Boston Film Critics and the American Film Institute are among the organizations that have already announced their 2011 film picks.

So far, there's a lot of critical excitement surrounding "The Artist," "My Week with Marilyn," "Moneyball," "The Descendents," "Hugo," "Bridesmaids," "Midnight in Paris" and "Tree of Life," just to name a few.

The 84th annual Academy Awards will take place on Feb. 26.

Tell us: Which films do you expect to get nominated for SAG Awards and Golden Globes?


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