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'Aviator' soars above the rest in Oscar nominations

Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2005 at 9:29 AM Central

by John Couture

If Howard Hughes were alive today, he would certainly be smiling with all the attention his life story is garnering. The Aviator led all movies with 11 nominations for the 77th annual Academy Awards. Million Dollar Baby, the gritty story of a determined female boxer, and Finding Neverland, a fanciful tale of Peter Pan writer J.M. Barrie's life and inspirations, tied for second place with 7 nominations each.

Looking at the list of nominations, the juiciest races seem to be in the Best Actress and Best Director categories. It's a rematch from five years ago in the Best Actress category as Annette Bening and Hilary Swank renew their 'rivalry.' In 2000, the ultimate longshot Swank took home the golden statuette for her gender-bending role in Boys Don't Cry over the heavily favored American Beauty star.

This time, the roles are reversed as Hilary is the odds-on favorite for her role in Million Dollar Baby, while Annette looks to play spoiler with her role in Being Julia. Both actresses won Golden Globes for their performances, so this battle could go either way.

On the directing front, Martin Scorsese looks to win his first Oscar for The Aviator. Of course, history isn't on his side when his chief challenger is Clint Eastwood. Scorsese has been nominated for Best Director four previous times and of those four, he lost three of them to actor/directors (Robert Redford, Kevin Costner and Roman Polanski).

ABC will carry the Oscars live on February 27th from Hollywood. Comedian Chris Rock has been tapped as the host. The complete list of nominees is below.

Best Picture The Aviator Finding Neverland Million Dollar Baby Ray Sideways

Actor In A Leading Role Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda Johnny Depp, Finding Neverland Leonardo DiCaprio, The Aviator Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby Jamie Foxx, Ray

Actress In A Leading Role Annette Bening, Being Julia Catalina Sandino Moreno, Maria Full of Grace Imelda Staunton, Vera Drake Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby Kate Winslet, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Actor In A Supporting Role Alan Alda, The Aviator Thomas Haden Church, Sideways Jamie Foxx, Collateral Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby Clive Owen, Closer

Actress In A Supporting Role Cate Blanchett, The Aviator Laura Linney, Kinsey Virginia Madsen, Sideways Sophie Okonedo, Hotel Rwanda Natalie Portman, Closer

Directing Martin Scorsese, The Aviator Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby Taylor Hackford, Ray Alexander Payne, Sideways Mike Leigh, Vera Drake

Original Screenplay The Aviator Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Hotel Rwanda Brad Bird, The Incredibles Vera Drake

Adapted Screenplay Before Sunset Finding Neverland Million Dollar Baby The Motorcycle Diaries Sideways

Animated Feature Film The Incredibles Shark Tale Shrek 2

Art Direction The Aviator Finding Neverland Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Andrew Lloyd Weber's The Phantom of the Opera A Very Long Engagement

Cinematography The Aviator House of Flying Daggers The Passion of the Christ Andrew Lloyd Weber's The Phantom of the Opera A Very Long Engagement

Costume Design The Aviator Finding Neverland Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Ray Troy

Documentary Feature Born Into Brothels The Story of the Weeping Camel Super Size Me Tupac: Resurrection Twist of Faith

Documentary Short Subject Autism is a World The Children of Leningradsky Hardwood Mighty Times: The Children's March Sister Rose's Passion

Film Editing The Aviator Collateral Finding Neverland Million Dollar Baby Ray

Foreign Language Film As It Is In Heaven The Chorus Downfall The Sea Inside Yesterday

Makeup Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events The Passion of the Christ The Sea Inside

Music (Original Score) Finding Neverland Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events The Passion of the Christ The Village

Music (Original Song) The Motorcycle Diaries Shrek 2 The Polar Express Andrew Lloyd Weber's The Phantom of the Opera The Chorus

Short Film (Animated) Birthday Boy Gopher Broke Guard Dog Lorenzo Ryan

Short Film (Live Action) Every in This Country Must Little Terrorist 7:35 in the Morning Two Cars, One Night Wasp

Sound Editing The Incredibles The Polar Express Spider-Man 2

Sound Mixing The Aviator The Incredibles The Polar Express Ray Spider-Man 2

Visual Effects Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban I, Robot Spider-Man 2