Oscar nods may surprise audiences

Brandon Shapiro

And the nominations are in. After months of speculation from movie fans and critics alike, the Academy of Motion Pictures and Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for its annual award ceremony during a private gathering Jan. 23. The nominees had been mostly expected except for one major controversy.

“Dreamgirls,” the favored movie-musical based on the Broadway play of the same name, was snubbed in both the Best Picture and Best Director categories. Surprised movie critics believed that “Dreamgirls,” like 2003 Best Picture winner “Chicago,” would win over the Academy with its elaborate musical numbers, story lines and costumes. Instead, it elected to honor more serious films.

The nominees for Best Picture are “Babel,” “The Departed,” “Letters from Iwo Jima,” “Little Miss Sunshine” and “The Queen.” And with all receiving accolades in the media, the winner is up in the air. The frontrunner as of right now is the independent dramedy, “Little Miss Sunshine.” It won Best Picture from the Producer’s Guild awards and Best Ensemble Cast from the Screen Actors Guild.

Acclaimed director Martin Scorsese will vie for a sixth Oscar for his film “The Departed.” He faces stiff competition, though, from two-time Best Director winner Clint Eastwood, Alejandro González I