On the morning of January 23, 2007; the list of Academy Awards Nominees were posted throughout the world, giving the nominees a sense of joy and validation. Some of this year’s nominees have just stepped into the ring, others have nominated before, but none of that changes that they’re the best of the best in Hollywood. Everyone has put their blood, sweat and tears into their acting, directing and writing. Now; it all comes down to this. Here is the list of the nominees:
Best Picture: Babel, Letters From Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, The Queen
Best Actor: Leonardo Dicaprio (The Blood Diamond), Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson), Peter O’ Toole (Venus), Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness), Forrest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland)
Best Actress: Penelope Cruz (Volver), Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal), Helen Mirren (The Queen), Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada), Kate Winslet (Little Children)
Best Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine), Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children), Djimon Honsou (Blood Diamond), Eddie Murphy (Dreamgirls), Mark Wahlberg (The Departed)
Best Supporting Actress: Adriana Barraza (Babel), Cate Blanchett (Notes on a Scandal), Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine), Rinko Kikuchi (Babel)
Best Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel), Martin Scorsese (The Departed), Clint Eastwood (Letters From Iwo Jima), Stephen Frears (The Queen), Paul Greengrass (United 93)
Best Foreign Language Film: After The Wedding (Denmark), Days of Glory/Indigines (Algeria), The Lives of Others (Germany), Pan’s Labyrinth (Mexico), Water (Canada)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham, Dan Mazer and Todd Phillips (Borat: Cultural Leanings of America…), Alfonso Cuaron,Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Children of Men), William Monahan (The Departed), Todd Field and Tom Perotta (Little Children), Patrick Marber (Notes of a Scandal)
Best Original Screenplay: Guillermo Arriaga (Babel), Iris Yamashita and Paul Haggis (Letters From Iwo Jima), Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine), Gullermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth), Peter Morgan (The Queen)
Best Animated Feature Film: Cars, Happy Feet, Monster House
Best Art Direction: Dreamgirls, The Good Shepherd, Pan’s Labyrinth, Pirates of The Caribbean; Dead Man’s Chest, The Prestige
Best Cinematography: The Black Dahlia, Children of Men, The Illusionist, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Prestige
Best Sound Mixing: Apocalypto, Blood Diamond, Dreamgirls, Flags of Our Fathers, Pirates of The Caribbean; Dead Man’s Chest
Best Sound Editing: Apocalypto, Blood Diamond, Flags of Our Fathers, Letters From Iwo Jima, Pirates of The Caribbean; Dead Man’s Chest
Best Original Score: Babel (Gustavo Santaolalla), The Good German (Thomas Newman), Notes on a Scandal (Philip Glass), Pan’s Labyrinth (Javier Navarrete), The Queen (Alexandre Desplat)
Best Original Song: I Need to Wake Up from “An Inconvenient Truth (Melissa Etheridge), Listen from “Dreamgirls” (Henry Krieger, Scott Cutler and Anne Preven), Love You I Do from “Dreamgirls” (Henry Krieger and Siedah Garrett), Our Town from “Cars” (Randy Newman), Patience from “Dreamgirls” (Henry Krieger and Willie Reale)
Best Costume: Curse of the Golden Flower, The Devil Wears Prada, Dreamgirls, Marie Antoinette, The Queen
Best Documentary Feature: Deliver Us From Evil, An Inconvenient Truth, Iraq in Fragments, Jesus Camp, My Country; My Country
Best Documentary (Short Subject): The Blood of Yingzhou District, Recycled Life, Rehearsing a Dream, Two Hands
Best Film Editing: Babel, Blood Diamond, Children of Men, The Departed, United 93
Best Makeup: Apocalypto, Click, Pan’s Labyrinth.
Best Animated Short Film: The Danish Poet, Lifted, The Little Matchgirl, Maestro, No Time for Nuts.
Best Live Action Short Film: Binta and the Great Idea (Binta Y La Gran Idea), Eramos Pocos (One Too Many), Helmer & Son, The Saviour, West Bank Story
Best Visual Effects: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Poseidon, Superman Returns
Some of these nominations are not surprises from the reports in Hollywood, but some of them are. 10 year old Abigail Breslin resembles shades of Tatum O’Neal, who won at the age of 8 for “Paper Moon.” American Idol cast-off Jennifer Hudson has been more than validated for being nominated for a movie that had been possibly made specifically for co-star Beyonce Knowles. Paul Haggis, who is nominated with Iris Yamashita for “Letters from Iwo Jima” won the Academy Award last year for his movie “Crash,” which won Best Picture.
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who was nominated for his work in “Blood Diamond” said about his prospects of winning: “Nobody knows anything about these award ceremonies and that’s the fun everybody has watching the Academy Awards. That’s what’s exciting.”
DiCaprio also had some input about his “Departed” director, Martin Scorsese’s nod, “He’s been overlooked too long. He’s deserved it many times before. I couldn’t be more happy for this film and for Marty. I’ve been blessed to have worked with him. But I’m done trying to predict what I think he deserves. Ultimately, it’s beyond anybody’s control, I guess.”
DiCaprio and Scorsese has worked together on Scorsese’s last three movies: Gangs of New York, The Aviator and The Departed. Scorsese has been nominated five times before and has lost. If he loses again, he will be the only director with the most Oscar losses.
Clint Eastwood released “Flags of our Fathers” and “Letters from Iwo Jima” this year, and he was quite shocked that “Flags of Our Fathers” was overlooked and “Letters from Iwo Jima” was nominated.
“It was kind of strange, the whole thing. It was sort of the second-cousin film,” Eastwood said. “`Letters’ was the smaller brother, but by the same token, it was a really good script.”
Actor Eddie Murphy, who started his career on Saturday Night Live, said in a statement about his Oscar nod, “I am deeply honored and humbled that the academy has chosen to recognize my performance in `Dreamgirls.’ Without a doubt receiving this nomination will stand out as one of the highlights of my career.”
Peter O’Toole, who’s been nominated and lost seven times before, said about his nomination, “If you fail the first time, try, try, try, try, try, try, try again.”
Ryan Gosling, who is nominated for his role as a teacher with a drug addiction in the independent film, “Half Nelson,” got quite the shock when his manager called him and got into an accident while on the phone.
“I was fielding all these congratulatory phone calls and watching this guy put into an ambulance, so it was a real conflict of emotion,” Gosling said. “Then I saw on the news that he had just broken his arm. I felt like it turned out to be a pretty good day for both of us.”
There are some surprising shut-outs from the Oscar race. Jamie Foxx, who won in 2005 for “Ray,” was not on the list, nor was he nominated for a Golden Globe. Ms. Knowles was also noticeably missing. Brad Pitt was absent from the nominees for his work in “Babel”, as was his girlfriend, Angelina Jolie for her work in “The Good Shepherd”. Matt Damon, who was both in “The Departed” and in “The Good Shepherd”, was missing from the roster as well. Jennifer Connelly, who won an Academy Award for her work in “A Beautiful Mind” was absent for her work in “Blood Diamond,” as was Robert DeNiro for directing “The Good Shepherd.” “Dreamgirls” was a front-runner for best picture, but was overlooked by “Letters from Iwo Jima” The director of “Dreamgirls,” Bill Condon was also noticeably absent from the roster. Also missing was Jack Nicholson for his work in “The Departed.”
Good luck to all of the nominees and let’s hope for no more thousand dollar gift baskets for the presenters. More news on The Academy Awards should follow momentarily. The 79th Annual Academy Awards will air February 25th.