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Another 'Barbenheimer' battle brewing at Saturday's SAG awards

By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Blockbuster movies "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" face off again on Saturday, when they compete at the Screen Actors Guild awards, a red-carpet ceremony that often presages success at the Oscars.

The films that battled in a summer box office clash dubbed "Barbenheimer" lead the SAG Awards field with four nominations each.

Both movies are vying for the night's top award of best motion picture cast. Others in the running are "The Color Purple," "Killers of the Flower Moon" and "American Fiction."

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The ceremony will stream live on Netflix for the first time starting at 8 p.m. ET (0100 GMT), part of the streaming service's efforts to expand its live programming.

Award winners will be selected by members of the SAG-AFTRA actors union. Their choices are closely watched because actors form the largest group of voters for next month's Academy Awards, the film industry's top prizes.

A win for director Christopher Nolan's historical drama "Oppenheimer" would bolster its frontrunner status for best picture at the Oscars. The movie about the race to build the first atomic bomb has picked up top prizes at the Golden Globes, the British Academy Film Awards and other ceremonies.

If feminist doll adventure "Barbie" or another competitor prevails, it would upend the race to the Oscars on March 10.

In SAG's acting contests, Emma Stone will vie for best actress for her role as a woman revived from the dead in dark comedy "Poor Things." Her competition includes "Barbie" lead actress Margot Robbie and Lily Gladstone, star of "Killers of the Flower Moon," a drama about the murders of members of the Osage community in 1920s Oklahoma.

Cillian Murphy, who played physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, is nominated for best actor against Bradley Cooper of "Maestro," "The Holdovers" star Paul Giamatti, and others.

"Succession," about a cutthroat media mogul and his warring family, leads TV categories with five nominations for its final season, including best drama series cast. "Ted Lasso," "The Bear" and "The Last of Us" each go into the ceremony with four nods.

SAG-AFTRA also will hand out a lifetime achievement honor to Barbra Streisand, the award-winning actor, producer, director, singer and writer. (Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Mary Milliken and Bill Berkrot)