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Best Picture Still Wide Open Nominations for the 79th:

In an 11th hour shocker, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences shut out Bill Condon’s Dreamgirls from all of the major categories – screenplay, director and picture. But the film still managed to lead the nominations with eight total, including three song nominations.

The Directors Guild almost always predicts what will be nominated for Best Picture. Even if the film’s director is snubbed, the film itself usually is in. This year, two directors off that list were left out of the running: Bill Condon for Dreamgirls and the directing duo, Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton for Little Miss Sunshine.

The inclusion of Clint Eastwood for director instead (and Paul Greengrass for United 93), along with his Best Picture nomination for Letters From Iwo Jima, shows that the Academy “corrected” the guild shutout of Letters, and put its full weight behind Eastwood in a show of support for his grand achievement of putting out two war movies, from opposing sides, in the same year.

The acting categories were mostly as expected, with the biggest life-changing nod for Jackie Earle Haley for Little Children. The Todd Field film received three Oscar nominations, including one for Kate Winslet for Best Actress and an Adapted Screenplay nod.

Making a big splash were the three amigos: Guillermo Del Toro, whose great film Pan’s Labyrinth was nominated for a total of six Oscars, including Best Foreign Language Film (it should easily win there); Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Babel, leading the Best Picture contenders with seven nominations; and Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men, which picked up a screenplay nod, as well as one for cinematography and one for film editing, with three total. This is a record year for Latino filmmakers, but especially for Mexican directors.

Best Picture is wide open, with the strongest possibilities being Martin Scorsese’s The Departed versus Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Babel. But in truth, any film could take it and it wouldn’t be that big of a surprise. Little Miss Sunshine takes a hit without a director nod.

A sampling of nominees as follows:

Leading Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio Blood Diamond

Ryan Gosling Half Nelson

Peter O’Toole Venus

Will Smith The Pursuit of Happyness

Forest Whitaker The Last King of Scotland

Supporting Actor

Alan Arkin Little Miss Sunshine

Jackie Earle Haley Little Children

Djimon Hounsou Blood Diamond

Eddie Murphy Dreamgirls

Mark Wahlberg The Departed

Leading Actress

Penelope Cruz Volver

Judi Dench Notes on a Scandal

Helen Mirren The Queen

Meryl Streep The Devil Wears Prada

Kate Winslet Little Children

Supporting Actress

Adriana Barraza Babel

Cate Blanchett Notes on a Scandal

Abigail Breslin Little Miss Sunshine

Jennifer Hudson Dreamgirls

Rinko Kikuchi Babel


Babel Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

The Departed Martin Scorsese

Letters from Iwo Jima Clint Eastwood

The Queen Stephen Frears

United 93 Paul Greengrass

Motion Picture


The Departed

Letters from Iwo Jima

Little Miss Sunshine

The Queen

Animated Feature

Cars John Lasseter

Happy Feet George Miller

Monster House Gil Kenan

Original Screenplay


Letters from Iwo Jima

Little Miss Sunshine

Pan’s Labyrinth

The Queen

Original song

I Need to Wake Up (An Inconvenient Truth)

Listen (Dreamgirls)

Love You I Do (Dreamgirls)

Our Town (Cars)

Patience (Dreamgirls)

Visual Effects

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest


Superman Returns

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