Dreamgirls tops 2007 Oscar nominations

by W. Andrew Powell

Surprises are always waiting just around the corner during the Oscars, and one of this year’s big ones came during today’s nomination announcement that saw the musical Dreamgirls walk away with an impressive 8 nominations, including nods for Best Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, and a whopping 3 Original Song nods. It failed however to capture a nomination for Best Picture.

Following right behind Dreamgirls, with a total of seven nominations, was Alejandro González Iñárritu’s acclaimed film Babel; Pan’s Labyrinth and The Queen with six nods each; and Martin Scorsese’s The Departed tied with Blood Diamond with a total of five nominations each.

Announced this morning by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Sid Ganis and previous Oscar nominee Salma Hayek, the nominations are likely to draw much speculation over the coming weeks as people try to pin down the eventual winners. Many critics are already calling it a big snub that Dreamgirls wasn’t nominated for Best Picture. It should even be noted that musical dramas, like Ray and Walk The Line, have done very well in previous years.

While there’s never any guarantee who will win, there is one big question on a lot of people’s minds going into this year: will Scorsese finally walk away with his Best Director Oscar? His film The Departed was widely received as one of his best, and since Scorsese has been snubbed for years (ever since Raging Bull if you ask many fans and critics), it’s entirely likely that Scorsese will win just because voters might think he deserves to finally get the hardware.

Time will tell, and until awards night speculation will certainly be running wild.

The 79th Academy Awards will be handed out on Sunday, February 25, 2007 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood and Ellen DeGeneres will serve as this year’s host.

Notable Nominations:

Performance by an actor in a leading role
Leonardo DiCaprio in “Blood Diamond” (Warner Bros.)
Ryan Gosling in “Half Nelson” (THINKFilm)
Peter O’Toole in “Venus” (Miramax, Filmfour and UK Council)
Will Smith in “The Pursuit of Happyness” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Forest Whitaker in “The Last King of Scotland” (Fox Searchlight)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Alan Arkin in “Little Miss Sunshine” (Fox Searchlight)
Jackie Earle Haley in “Little Children” (New Line)
Djimon Hounsou in “Blood Diamond” (Warner Bros.)
Eddie Murphy in “Dreamgirls” (DreamWorks and Paramount)
Mark Wahlberg in “The Departed” (Warner Bros.)

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Penélope Cruz in “Volver” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Judi Dench in “Notes on a Scandal” (Fox Searchlight)
Helen Mirren in “The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada)
Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” (20th Century Fox)
Kate Winslet in “Little Children” (New Line)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Adriana Barraza in “Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)
Cate Blanchett in “Notes on a Scandal” (Fox Searchlight)
Abigail Breslin in “Little Miss Sunshine” (Fox Searchlight)
Jennifer Hudson in “Dreamgirls” (DreamWorks and Paramount)
Rinko Kikuchi in “Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)

Best animated feature film of the year
“Cars” (Buena Vista) John Lasseter
“Happy Feet” (Warner Bros.) George Miller
“Monster House” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Gil Kenan

Achievement in directing
“Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage) Alejandro González Iñárritu
“The Departed” (Warner Bros.) Martin Scorsese
“Letters from Iwo Jima” (Warner Bros.) Clint Eastwood
“The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada) Stephen Frears
“United 93” (Universal and StudioCanal) Paul Greengrass

Best foreign language film of the year
“After the Wedding” A Zentropa Entertainments 16 Production – Denmark
“Days of Glory (Indigènes)” A Tessalit Production – Algeria
“The Lives of Others” A Wiedemann & Berg Production – Germany
“Pan’s Labyrinth” A Tequila Gang/Esperanto Filmoj/Estudios Picasso Production – Mexico
“Water” A Hamilton-Mehta Production – Canada

Best motion picture of the year
“Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)
-An Anonymous Content/Zeta Film/Central Films Production
-Alejandro González Iñárritu, Jon Kilik and Steve Golin, Producers
“The Departed” (Warner Bros.)
-A Warner Bros. Pictures Production
-Nominees to be determined
“Letters from Iwo Jima” (Warner Bros.)
-A DreamWorks Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures Production
-Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg and Robert Lorenz, Producers
“Little Miss Sunshine” (Fox Searchlight)
-A Big Beach/Bona Fide Production
-Nominees to be determined
“The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada)
-A Granada Production
-Andy Harries, Christine Langan and Tracey Seaward, Producers

Adapted screenplay
“Borat Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” (20th Century Fox)
-Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Peter Baynham & Dan Mazer
-Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Peter Baynham & Anthony Hines & Todd Phillips
“Children of Men” (Universal)
-Screenplay by Alfonso Cuarón & Timothy J. Sexton and David Arata and Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby
“The Departed” (Warner Bros.)
-Screenplay by William Monahan
“Little Children” (New Line)
-Screenplay by Todd Field & Tom Perrotta
“Notes on a Scandal” (Fox Searchlight)
-Screenplay by Patrick Marber

Original screenplay
“Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)
-Written by Guillermo Arriaga
“Letters from Iwo Jima” (Warner Bros.)
-Screenplay by Iris Yamashita
-Story by Iris Yamashita & Paul Haggis
“Little Miss Sunshine” (Fox Searchlight)
-Written by Michael Arndt
“Pan’s Labyrinth” (Picturehouse)
-Written by Guillermo del Toro
“The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada)
-Written by Peter Morgan

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