Martin Scorsese’s Howard Hughes epic The Aviator nabbed eleven Academy Award nominations this morning including nods for best picture, best director (Martin Scorsese), best actor (Leonardo De Caprio) and best supporting actress (Cate Blanchett). Following close behind are Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby
with seven nominations including best picture, Finding Neverland also with seven, Ray with six, and Sideways with five. All five aforementioned films are nominees for best picture. |
With eleven nods, The Aviator becomes the odds on favourite to win best picture, particularly with the recent wins from the Producers Guild and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Through Oscar history, the film with the most nominations usually wins the big prizes.
Though there were few surprises in who was nominated, there were indeed some shocking names and films left off the list.
Nominated for best director are Scorsese, Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby, Alexander Payne for Sideways, Taylor Hackford for Ray and a surprise nominee, Mike Leigh for the British film Vera Drake. Somewhat shockingly absent are Mike Nichols for Closer, Marc Forster for Finding Neverland and Mel Gibson for The Passion of the Christ.
Best actor nominees include Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby, Jamie Foxx for Ray, De Caprio for The Aviator, Don Cheadle for Hotel Rwanda and Johnny Depp in Finding Neverland. Hugely absent is Paul Giamatti for Sideways, the heart and soul of the film, marking the second consecutive year the actor has been snubbed by the Academy. Equally shocking was the omission of Liam Neeson considered a lock for his work as Kinsey. This was however a category overflowing with potential nominees.
Best actress nominees are Hilary Swank for Million Dollar Baby, Annette Bening for Being Julia, Kate Winslet for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Catalina Sandino Moreno for Maria Full of Grace, and Imelda Staunton for Vera Drake.
Nominees for best supporting actor include Morgan Freeman for Million Dollar Baby, Clive Owen for Closer, Alan Alda for The Aviator,Thomas Haden Church for Sideways, and with his second nod of the day Jamie Foxx in Collateral.
Best supporting actress nominees are Virginia Madsen in Sideways, Cate Blanchett in The Aviator, Natalie Portman in Closer, Sophie Okonedo in Hotel Rwanda, and Laura Linney in Kinsey. Absent from that list is Meryl Streep for her work in The Manchurian Candidate.
The year’s most controversial, and among the more successful films of the year, The Passion of the Christ received jus three nominations for cinematography, make-up and music, while Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 was shut out totally.
The Incredibles earned a nod for best animated film as well as further nominations for best screenplay, best sound, and best sound editing.
The announcement of the nominations begins a month long count down to the biggest day in Hollywood. All indications say that this is the year Martin Scorsese finally wins his Oscar for best director, and that Jamie Foxx wins best actor.