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Oscar noms 'Dream'y, full of 'Little' surprises

Posted Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 12:15 PM Central

by John Couture

Salma Hayek got up early to help announce the nominees for the 79th Annual Academy Awards on behalf of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Dreamgirls led all movies with eight nominations, but was surprisingly snubbed in the Best Picture category.

The musical, which won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical, did secure acting nominations in Best Supporting Actor and Actress for Golden Globe winners Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson.

Babel was the second most honored movie with seven nominations including Best Picture and a pair of Supporting Actress noms for Adriana Barrazza and Rinko Kikuchi. Brad Pitt, however, did not follow his Golden Globe supporting actor nom with Oscar recognition.

The real surprises came in "Little" packages. Little Miss Sunshine scored four solid nominations including Best Picture and Supporting Actor and Actress noms for 69-year-old Alan Arkin and 10-year-old Abigail Breslin. Breslin becomes the fourth youngest Oscar nominee ever behind Tatum O'Neal, Mary Badham and Quinn Cummings.

Little Children also turned some heads with its three nominations. Kate Winslet was expected to be honored with her perennial nomination and the screenplay was nominated by the Golden Globes, but the real shocker came in the form of Jackie Earle Haley. The actor was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, but you might better remember him from his child-acting days as bad boy Kelly Leak from the Bad News Bears series of movies.

Perpetual loser Martin Scorsese gets another shot at that elusive Oscar for Best Director, but he faces stiff competition in Clint Eastwood. Unlike the Golden Globes in which Eastwood was twice nominated for his twin World War II epics, the Academy chose to only recognize Letters from Iwo Jima, which should help to consolidate his support.

The most competitive category this year looks to be Best Actress where Meryl Streep picked up her record 14th nomination. Dame Judi Dench, Helen Mirren and five time nominee Kate Winslet all lend Oscar cred to a category historically known for some interesting winners. The real wild-card here might be young Penelope Cruz who has been lauded all year for her performance in Volver.

The 79th Annual Academy Awards will be presented on February 25th. The full list of nominees are below.

Best Picture Babel The Departed Letters from Iwo Jima Little Miss Sunshine The Queen

Actor In A Leading Role Leonardo DiCaprio, Blood Diamond Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson Peter O'Toole, Venus Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland

Actress In A Leading Role Penelope Cruz, Volver Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal Helen Mirren, The Queen Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada Kate Winslet, Little Children

Actor In A Supporting Role Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls Mark Wahlberg, The Departed

Actress In A Supporting Role Adriana Barraza, Babel Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls Rinko Kikuchi, Babel

Directing Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Babel Martin Scorcese, The Departed Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima Stephen Frears, The Queen Paul Greengrass, United 93

Original Screenplay Guillermo Arriaga, Babel Iris Yamashita, Letters from Iwo Jima Michael Arndt, Little Miss Sunshine Guillermo del Toro, Pan's Labyrinth Peter Morgan, The Queen

Adapted Screenplay Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham & Dan Mazer, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America... Alfonso Cuaron, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby, Children of Men William Monahan, The Departed Todd Field & Tom Perrotta, Little Children Patrick Marber, Notes on a Scandal

Animated Feature Film Cars Happy Feet Monster House

Art Direction Dreamgirls The Good Shepherd Pan's Labyrinth Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest The Prestige

Cinematography The Black Dahlia Children of Men The Illusionist Pan's Labyrinth The Prestige

Costume Design Curse of the Golden Flower The Devil Wears Prada Dreamgirls Marie Antoinette The Queen

Documentary Feature Deliver Us From Evil An Inconvenient Truth Iraq in Fragments Jesus Camp My Country, My Country

Documentary Short Subject The Blood od Yingzhou District Recycled Life Rehearsing a Dream Two Hands

Film Editing Babel Blood Diamond Children of Men The Departed United 93

Foreign Language Film Denmark, After the Wedding Algeria, Days of Glory Germany, The Lives of Others Mexico, Pan's Labyrinth Canada, Water

Makeup Apocalypto Click Pan's Labyrinth

Music (Original Score) Gustavo Santaolalla, Babel Thomas Newman, The Good German Philip Glass, Notes on a Scandal Javier Navarrete, Pan's Labyrinth Alexandre Desplat, The Queen

Music (Original Song) 'I Need to Wake Up', An Inconvenient Truth 'Listen', Dreamgirls 'Love You I Do', Dreamgirls 'Our Town', Cars 'Patience', Dreamgirls

Short Film (Animated) The Danish Poet Lifted The Little Matchgirl Maestro No Time for Nuts

Short Film (Live Action) Binta and the Great Idea Eramos Pocos (One Too Many) Helmer & Son The Saviour West Bank Story

Sound Editing Apocalypto Blood Diamond Flags of Our Fathers Letters from Iwo Jima Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Sound Mixing Apocalypto Blood Diamond Dreamgirls Flags of Our Fathers Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Visual Effects Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Poseidon Superman Returns