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Academy Award Nominees
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Academy Award Nominees

Academy Award Nominees

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     It appears to be a dream season for Dreamgirls. When the Academy Award (Oscar) nominations were read on Tuesday, January 23rd it didn’t really come as a surprise to anybody that Dreamgirls, a movie about a fictional Motown group that hits it big in the 1960s, garnered the most nominations. Despite its eight nominations, including ones for Eddie Murphy (Best Supporting Actor) and Jennifer Hudson (Best Supporting Actress), Dreamgirls was shunned in the Best Picture category. Nominated for Best Picture were: Babel, The Departed, Letters From Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine and The Queen. Martin Scorsese’s crime drama The Departed, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson, is expected to take the Best Picture prize when the Oscars air on February 25th. Helen Mirren, who was nominated for Best Actress, for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in Stephen Frears' The Queen is considered to be such a lock for the award that the other nominees: Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal), Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada), Penelope Cruz (Volver) and Kate Winslet (Little Children) may not as well even show up for the ceremony. The Best Actor race should prove to be a competition between Forrest Whitaker, for his portrayal of former Ugandan leader Idi Amin, in The Last King of Scotland and 74-year old veteran actor Peter O’Toole for his role in the movie Venus. The Best Actor nomination marks the eighth time that O’Toole has been nominated for the coveted award, but has never won, including his snub in 1962 for his character T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia when he was beaten out by Gregory Peck, who played Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. If O’Toole loses out on the Best Actor award for the eighth time, it would set a record for the most nominations without ever winning the award. Will Smith (In the Pursuit of Happyness), Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson) and Leonardo DiCaprio (Blood Diamond) round out the Best Actor nominees. The Supporting Actor and Actress awards are expected to go to Murphy and Hudson for their roles in Dreamgirls. Nominated in the category of Best Director are Martin Scorsese (The Departed), Stephen Frears (The Queen), Clint Eastwood (Letters From Iwo Jima), Paul Greengrass (United 93) and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu (Babel). Scorsese, the director of such classics as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas, is expected to win his first Best Director award. Other notable Oscar nominations are Happy Feet and Cars for Best Animated Feature Film, which is expected to be a heated contest, and Al Gore’s global warming documentary An Inconvient Truth was nominated for Best Documentary Feature. The Devil Wears Prada is expected to win for Best Achievement in Costume Design and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest is expected to win for Best Visual Effects. Other than Dreamgirls not being nominated for Best Picture there weren’t really any big oversights except for Jack Nicholson not being nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Departed. by Julian Spivey