Screen Actors Guild (SAG) President Ken Howard speaks at a news conference to announce the nominations for the 16th annual Screen Actors Guild awards in West Hollywood, California December 17, 2009. The awards will be given out in Los Angeles on January 23, 2010. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

Three films, Inglorious Basterds, Precious and Up in the Air, earned three nominations apiece from the Screen Actors Guild on Thursday, giving them a boost in the race for Oscars.

World War Two fantasy Basterds and urban drama Precious: Based On the Novel Push by Sapphire both landed on the nominee list for best performances by a film cast from the Screen Actors Guild, which represents movie and television actors.

Joining them among nominees for top movie cast were the stars of the musical Nine, including Penelope Cruz and Daniel Day-Lewis, as well as the actors in Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker and An Education.

Up in the Air, starring George Clooney as a man who fires people in corporate downsizings, earned its three nominations for Clooney as best actor and Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick for best supporting actress.

Along with Clooney on the list for best acting in a film were Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart, Colin Firth in A Single Man, Morgan Freeman for Invictus and Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker.

The five nominees for best actress in a film were Sandra Bullock for the football movie The Blind Side, Helen Mirren in The Last Station, Carey Mulligan for An Education, newcomer Gabourey Sidibe in Precious and veteran Meryl Streep for the culinary comedy Julie & Julia.

The Screen Actors Guild Awards are closely followed for their impact on the Oscars, the world's top film awards given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in March. SAG awards will be given out on January 23 in Los Angeles.