Oscars 2007: Best Supporting Actress Nominees

Adriana Barazza as Amelia in Babel.

This is Barazza’s first Oscar nomination.

What the critics have said:

“The acting is terrific, especially Barraza, who manages to carry the entire segment by herself.”
Eric Lurio, Greenwich Village Gazette

Cate Blanchett as Sheba Hart in Notes on a Scandal

This is Blanchett’s third Oscar nomination. She previously won in 2005 for her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator.

What the critics have said:
“A tour de force performance by Judi Dench drives the film, but Cate Blanchett and Bill Nighy also are marvelous in powerful, if more restrained, roles.” -Claudia Puig, USA Today


Abigail Breslin as Olive Hoover in Little Miss Sunshine

This is Breslin’s first Oscar nomination.

What the critics have said:

“…an absolute gem of a performance from Breslin.” –Matt Pais, Metromix.com

Jennifer Hudson as Effie White in Dreamgirls

This is Hudson’s first Oscar nomination. She is the favorite to win.

What the critics have said:

“The movie belongs to Hudson as the proud, self-destructive Effie. When she’s center stage, Dreamgirls transports you to movie musical heaven.” David Ansen, Newsweek

Rinko Kikuchi as Chieko in Babel

This is Kikuchi’s first Oscar nomination.

What the critics have said:

“The entire ensemble cast give terrific performances, particularly Kikuchi, whose heart-breaking performance is simultaneously shocking, funny and moving.” Matthew Turner, ViewLondon

Who is your pick?

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2007 Best Picture Nominees

There are 13 days until the Academy Awards (!), so for the next couple of days I will preview the nominees in some categories.

Today let’s take a look at the nominees for Best Picture.

Babel – (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)

It is the story of how one event can affect several lives. Spanning four countries, told in five languages and affecting four families, Babel is a poignant tale of family, truth, consequence, love, tragedy, and redemption.

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, written by Guillermo Arriaga, starring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Adriana Barazza, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Rinko Kikuchi.

Babel is nominated for seven Academy Awards.

What the critics have said: “This is not a fear-mongering movie, but it is unpredictable and shocking, with compassion hanging on for dear life” — Ray Bennett, Hollywood Reporter

The Departed – (dir. Martin Scorsese)

Classic good cop versus bad cop. There are undercover cops in the mafia and undercover mafia working with the police. A great thriller.

Directed by Martin Scorsese, written by William Monahan, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, and Vera Farmiga.

The Departed is nominated for five Academy Awards.

What the critics have said: A relentlessly violent, breathtakingly assured piece of mean-streets filmmaking, the film shows the legendary director dropping the bids for industry respectability that have preoccupied him over the past decade and doing what he does best. — Ty Burr, Boston Globe

Little Miss Sunshine – (dir. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris)

The dysfunctional Hoover family from Albuquerque sets out in a VW Bus to attend the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant.

Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, written by Michael Arndt, starring Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Paul Dano, Alan Arkin, and Abigail Breslin.

Little Miss Sunshine is nominated for four Academy Awards.

What the critics have said: “a scrappy human drama that takes an honest path to laughs and is twice as funny and touching for it” — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Letters from Iwo Jima (dir. Clint Eastwood)

As the companion piece to Flags of Our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima tells the story of the Battle of Iwo Jima from the perspective of the Japanese.

Directed by Clint Eastwood, written by Paul Haggis and Iris Yamashita, starring Ken Wantanabe.

Letters from Iwo Jima is nominated for four Academy Awards

What the critics have said: “Superbly acted, unblinking and unhysterical, it looks beyond politics into the hearts and minds of the men we needed to call ‘the enemy,’ and lets us see ourselves.” — David Ansen Newsweek

The Queen (dir. Stephen Frears)

Set during the week following Princess Diana’s death, The Queen paints an intimate portrait the Royal Family and the traditions that guide them.

Directed by Stephen Frears, written by Peter Morgan, starring Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen and James Cromwell.

The Queen is nominated for six Academy Awards.

What the critics have said: “As an insightful, unique take on what makes us human… it’s simply marvelous. Or, shall I say, majestic?” — Jeffrey Chen, Reeltalk Movie Reviews

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Who Will Win: The Departed.

When I was browsing rottentomatoes.com for some critics quotes, I noticed something. The Departed, The Queen, Little Miss Sunshine, and Letters from Iwo Jima all have ratings higher than 90%. Babel, on the otherhand, has a 68% rating, yet Babel is the other major frontrunner to win Best Picture. Strange how those things work out.

Then again, Little Miss Sunshine could totally pull an upset and win. Wouldn’t that be ineresting?

Golden Globes 2007: Who Will Win

Tonight at 8pm on NBC are the 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Warren Beatty will receive to Cecil B. DeMille Award and countless others will honored for their contributions to films and television in 2006.

Tim Allen, Jessica Biel, Steve Carell, Sean Combs, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Dustin Hoffman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Djimon Hounsou, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlie Sheen, Sharon Stone, Steven Spielberg, Naomi Watts, and Renee Zellweger are set to be presenters.

Here are this year’s nominees and who I believe should win and who will win.

Best Motion Picture – Drama
Babel
Bobby
The Departed
Little Children
The Queen

Should Win: I have yet to see Bobby, so I can’t really judge it but I think it’s safe to say it won’t win. The Queen and Little Children are great and wonderfully intriguing films but Babel and The Departed are the top competitors in this category. I was disappointed by Babel and blown away by The Departed. The Departed should win.
Will Win:<The Departed. But don’t be shocked if Babel pulls out a win.

Best Actress – Drama
Penelope Cruz – Volver
Judi Dench – Notes on a Scandal
Maggie Gyllenhaal – Sherrybaby
Helen Mirren – The Queen
Kate Winslet – Little Children

Who Should Win: I have only seen The Queen and Little Children (I’m planning to see Notes on a Scandal this week). Despite this small sampling, I’m convinced that Helen Mirren’s performance as The Queen deserves every accolade she has received so far.
Who Will Win: Helen Mirren

Best Actor – Drama
Leonardo DiCaprio – Blood Diamond
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Departed
Peter O’Toole – Venus
Will Smith – The Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker – The Last King of Scotland

Who Should Win: I have been watching Forest Whitaker guest star on E.R. this year as a crazy man who stalks his doctor. But when I watched The Last King of Scotland last night, to see him in a completely different role as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin is absolutely terrifying.
Who Will Win: Forest Whitaker. He has no competition.

Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
The Devil Wears Prada
Dreamgirls
Little Miss Sunshine
Thank You For Smoking

Should Win: There are three strong competitors in this category: Borat, Dreamgirls, and Little Miss Sunshine. Little Miss Sunshine deserves the win the most, but it doesn’t stand a chancce against the movies with more hype.
Will Win: Dreamgirls. How can it not?

Best Actress – Comedy or Musical
Annette Bening – Running With Scissors
Toni Collette – Little Miss Sunshine
Beyonce Knowles – Dreamgirls
Meryl Steep – The Devil Wears Prada
Renee Zellweger- Miss Potter

Should Win: Once again I have only seen three performances. Nevertheless, choosing Meryl Streep above the others is easy. Like really easy.
>Will Win: Meryl Streep. The other actresses in this category are only nominated because five slots had to be filled. Meryl Streep is the only legit nom.

Best Actor – Comedy or Musical
Sacha Baron Cohen – Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Johnny Depp – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Aaron Eckhart – Thank You for Smoking
Chiwetel Ejiofor – Kinky Boots
Will Ferrell – Stranger Than Fiction

Who Should Win: Johnny Depp has a great shot (he was passed over for the first Pirates movie) but I think his best opportunity to win in this category will be next year, when the Pirates trilogy is complete. In a perfect world, Chiwetel Ejifor will win (see Kinky Boots now if you haven’t) but he won’t because of…
Who Will Win: Sacha Baron Cohen and Borat. I don’t feel as though I need to explain this one at all.

Best Animated Feature
Cars
Happy Feet
Monster House

Should Win: Well, I only saw Happy Feet and I must have missed something because everyone else seemed to love it. I really believe another movie deserves to win.
Will Win: But who am I kidding? Happy Feet has been receiving the most awards for animated feature so far this award season.

Best Foreign Language Film
Apocalypto (USA)
Letters From Iwo Jima (USA/JAPAN)
The Lives of Others (GERMANY)
Pan’s Labyrinth (MEXICO)
Volver (SPAIN)

Should Win: I haven’t seen any but by the looks of it…
Will Win: Pan’s Labyrinth or Volver will win. Then again, everyone seems to in love with Letters from Iwo Jima right now. I honestly have no idea.

Best Supporting Actress
Adriana Barraza – Babel
Cate Blanchett – Notes On A Scandal
Emily Blunt – The Devil Wears Prada
Jennifer Hudson – Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi – Babel

Who Should Win: Even though I have not seen Notes on a Scandal yet and Rinko Kikuchi has already received many awards for Babel and Adriana Barraza performance is equally good, if not better and Emily Blunt was a fabulous delight in The Devil Wears Prada…
Who Will Win: It’s going to take a lot to beat out Jennifer Hudson. But she still deserves every award, just to burst Beyonce’s bubble a little but further.

Best Supporting Actor
Ben Affleck – Hollywoodland
Eddie Murphy – Dreamgirls
Jack Nicholson – The Departed
Brad Pitt – Babel
Mark Wahlberg – The Departed

Who Should Win: I’ve seen all the performances and all are deserving of a nom, but Eddie Murphy and Jack Nicholson are the best two. Murphy should win because in Dreamgirls he delivers his best work is years.
Who Will Win: Eddie Murphy. But, then again, everyone loves Jack so just be ready for him to accept the prize.

Best Director
Clint Eastwood – Flags of Our Fathers
Clint Eastwood – Letters From Iwo Jima
Stephen Frears – The Queen
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – Babel
Martin Scorsese – The Departed

Who Should Win: It’s between Inarritu and Scorcese.
Who Will Win: Martin Scorcese. Because I said so.

Best Screenplay
Guillermo Arriga – Babel
Todd Field & Tom Perrotta – Little Children
Patrick Marber – Notes on a Scandal
William Monahan – The Departed
Peter Morgan – The Queen

Who Should Win: Peter Morgan for The Queen. It’s a great script.
Who Will Win: Peter Morgan but William Monahan has been winning a lot for The Departed. He could win too.

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There are my predictions for the Golden Globes. Remember, they begin at 8pm est on NBC!

Enjoy the show and I’ll be back either tonight or tomorrow with a full recap.

2007 SAG Award Nominations

The Screen Actors Guild Nominations were announced yesterday. Babel, Little Miss Sunshine, and Dreamgirls led the pack with three nominations each.

The SAG Awards will be presented on January 28.


Outstanding Performance by a Male 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

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor 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

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Alan Arkin – Little Miss Sunshine
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Departed
Jackie Earle Haley – Little Children
Djimon Hounsou – Blood Diamond
Eddie Murphy – Dreamgirls

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Adriana Barraza – Babel
Cate Blanchett – Notes on a Scandal
Abigail Breslin – Little Miss Sunshine
Jennifer Hudson – Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi – Babel

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Babel
Bobby
The Departed
Dreamgirls
Little Miss Sunshine

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Here is the complete list of nominees.

The SAG Awards, I feel, are more representative of the Academy Awards than the Golden Globes Awards. Mostly because the major awards are not split between the genres. The actors nominated for SAG Awards will most likely be nominated an Oscar.

It’s interesting that big names such as Beyonce (Dreamgirls), Brad Pitt (Babel) and Jack Nicholson (The Departed) were passed over for nominations. I don’t expect Beyonce or Brad Pitt to be nominated for Oscars, but I definitely think Nicholson will be.

Aside from Nicholson not being nominated, I really have no problems with any of the SAG nominations. There seem to be no other major snubs and no major surprises either.

But maybe you see things a bit differently. So feel free to let me know.

Best Picture Contenders

With only 88 days until the Academy Awards, it is time to start thinking about the possible nominees.

Here are 2007 Best Picture early contenders according to Entertainment Weekly. [SOURCE]
Definites:
Babel
Dreamgirls

Maybes:

Flags of our Fathers


The Good Shepard
Little Children
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

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And what do I think?

The Departed and Dreamgirls will without a doubt be nominated. I can’t see why not.

I’m on the fence about Babel. But as of right now, there is no other movie that can fill it’s spot.

Flags of Our Fathers is a big NO! No shot. Guarantee it.

I have yet to see Little Children so I’m not sure where I stand on that.

The Good Shepard has yet to be released (December 22).

I wouldn’t be surprised if The Queen was nominated.

Little Miss Sunshine is the one movie that is going to go far at this year’s Academy Awards and surprise everyone. I’m willing to put money on it.

My Predictions:

Little Miss Sunshine

The Departed

The Queen

Dreamgirls

Babel