January 23, 2007
This year's Oscar nominations were predictable and unexpected. Although "Dreamgirls" leads the pack with eight nominations, it was surprisingly shut out for best picture.
"Babel" got seven nominations including best film. Also in the mix, the bloody crime saga "The Departed", the World War II drama "Letters From Iwo Jima", the road trip comedy "Little Miss Sunshine", and the monarchy chronicle "The Queen."
Helen Mirren is an instant front runner to win best actress. She's joined by Penelope Cruz in "Volver", Judi Dench in "Notes On A Scandal", Kate Winslet in "Little Children", and receiving her 14th Oscar nomination, Meryl Streep for "The Devil Wears Prada."
A queen and a king got the royal treatment. Forest Whitaker in "The Last King Of Scotland" won him a golden globe for best actor, now he's a favorite for an Oscar too. Leonardo Dicaprio also gets a nod as does Ryan Gosling, eight time nominee Peter O'Toole and Will Smith.
The best supporting actor category includes Alan Arkin, Jackie Earle Haley, Djimon Hounsou, Mark Wahlberg, and Eddie Murphy in the most acclaimed role of his career.
His costar Jennifer Hudson received a best supporting actress nomination for "Dreamgirls", as well as "Babel's" Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi, "Notes on a Scandal's" Cate Blanchett, and little Miss sunshine herself Abigail Breslin round out that category.
And this may finally be Martin Scorcese's year. He's nominated a sixth time for best director for "The Departed" and is favored to win.
The Academy Awards air Sunday February 25th.