Today the nominations for the 79th annual Academy Awards was announced. And, as usual, there were a few surprises. Perhaps the most surprising thing for me was that Dreamgirls was nominated the most times, with eight nominations, but Best Picture was not one of them. I have to admit that with all the buzz surrounding the film and with all the speculation on its potential as a Best Picture contender, I was rather surprised that it wasn't nominated for the top prize.
Even more surprising for me was that Paul Greengrass was nominated in the Directing category for United 93. Although there was a great deal of publicity surrounding this film, there was very little in the way of Oscar buzz. I really didn't expect it to receive any nominations. Fortunately for Greengrass, I was wrong.
Another surprise for me was that Ben Affleck was not nominated for Hollywoodland. I remember when the film came out there was talk about him being a candidate for Best Supporting Actor for his role as George Reeves. It seems that ultimately the talk was exactly that, just talk.
At any rate, it seems to me that this year Martin Scorsese might actually stand a chance at Best Picture and Best Director. I rather suspect that the biggest competition for The Departed is probably Babel (the actors in the Academy seem to love ensemble pieces, which partially explains how Crash won last year) and Letters From Iwo Jima. I am thinking that Hollywood might well favour one of their own over an outsider (Alejandro Gonzalez being from Mexico), so that if The Departed does not win Best Picture, then it will be Letters From Iwo Jima.
At any rate, what I thought would not be a very interesting Oscar race this year might well turn out to be interesting after all. As much as people try to predict who will be nominated and who will win what, it seems that the Academy loves to be unpredictable.