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Oscar nominations: 10 quick impressions

The Academy shows ”Borat” and ”Labyrinth” some love, but tells ”Dreamgirls” it’s not going…to be Best Picture. Here are five big surprises and five points we’ll be talking about until Oscar night

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Dreamgirls, Anika Noni Rose, ...
David James

Oscar nominations: 10 quick impressions

FIVE SURPRISES

Dreamgirls snubbed The star-studded musical, once considered this season’s frontrunner, was shut out of the Best Picture and Best Director races. Its only consolation: scoring more nominations — eight in all — than any other movie. But that’s largely due to the trio of nods for Best Original Song.

Leo in…for Blood Diamond Most prognosticators expected DiCaprio to be cited for his role in The Departed, but it was the less well-received Diamond that earned him his Best Actor nomination. As a result, the fantastic Mark Wahlberg turned out to be the only Departed cast member to make the cut. Speaking of which…

No love for Jack! Despite his SAG Awards omission, Nicholson was still considered a good bet for a supporting actor nomination, which would have been his 13th. Maybe voters thought his rat imitation was just too much.

Six nods for Pan’s Labyrinth The gorgeous period fantasy landed nominations not only in the foreign language and original screenplay races, but also in four craft categories (art direction, cinematography, makeup, and score). That means it’s tied with The Queen for the third-largest overall tally.

Borat is an Oscar nominee Even with its Writers Guild nod, the Borat screenplay was still something of a long shot since the film was so largely improvised. But now Sacha Baron Cohen can prep another howler of a speech.

FIVE TALKING POINTS

Babel reaches high Hot off its victory at the Golden Globes, the international drama scored the second-most nominations with seven, including picture, director, original screenplay, and two supporting-actress nods. Could this now be a race between Babel and The Departed?

Eastwood scores again I’ve previously referred to the Academy as ”the cult of Clint,” and this morning proved that true yet again. Not only was Letters From Iwo Jima nominated for Best Picture, but Eastwood himself earned his fourth Best Director nod. He’s already won two, by the way. Speaking of which…

No. 6 for Scorsese Going the stealth-campaign route may do the trick for The Departed‘s director, who has — all together now — never won the Oscar. Something tells me this year could be different.

The King and Queen continue to reign The Last King of Scotland‘s Forest Whitaker and The Queen‘s Helen Mirren add yet another honor to their already endless list. Can anyone beat them in the lead-acting races? Right now all their competitors are just pretenders to the throne.

Diversity rules Last year, only one of the 20 acting nominees was a man or woman of color (Terrence Howard). But this time, no fewer than 8 of the 20 are non-white. On Feb. 25, we’ll see if three actors of color can win for the first time ever.

(To see the full list of 2007 Oscar nominees, click here.)