The Academy of Motion Picture and Sciences announced nominations for the 79th Academy Awards, which will be airing February 25, on ABC at 8:00pm est., with five nominations going to African Americans, 2 nominations to Hispanics, and one nomination to an Asian, all in the acting categories.
Dreamgirls was the leader in nominations receiving eight. Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson were nominated for acting in supporting roles. Three songs from the movie received three nominations under the category of Original Song, including “Listen” sang by Dreamgirls‘ own, Beyonce Knowles.
Mexican director Guillermo Del Toro won six nominations for Pan’s Labyrinth, including Achievement in Art Direction, Achievement in Makeup, Achievement in Cinematography, Best Foreign-Language Film of the year, Achievement in Music/Original Score, and Original Screen Play.
Also, Mexican director, Alexandro Gonzalez Inarritu, was nominated for Best Director for Babeland is the first Mexican to be nominated in this category. Another first in history of the Academy goes to Penelope Cruz, nominated for Best Leading Actress for the movie Volver, the first Hispanic to be nominated for a leading role and Adriana Barraza was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for the film Babel.
Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress in Babel.
Although last year the rap group Three Six Mafia was nominated and won for the Original Song “Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from the movie Hustle ‘N’ Flow, Terrence Howard was the only African American nominated of all acting categories, but last year there were more nominations for race related films such as Memoirs of a Geisha, and Crash. Terrence Howard lost the award to Phillip Seymour Hoffman for his role in Capote, but Crash won the award for Best Film another film that Howard was in.
Last year the Academy was criticized for not being more liberal, but while accepting his award for Best Supporting Actor for the film Syriana, which he also directed, George Clooney defended the Academy. “This group of people gave Hattie McDaniel an Oscar [for Best Supporting Actress] in 1939 when blacks were still sitting in the back of theaters,” he said. McDaniel of the movie “Gone with the Wind” was the first black performer to receive an Oscar.
Experts at Yahoo.com have predicted Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy as two winners and Pan’s Labyrinth for Best Foreign-Language film.
Each year brings different surprises as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences open their arms to other cultures and diversify themselves and Hollywood.