But musical shut out of best-picture nomination



“I’m in shock right now. I can’t believe it. Thirty minutes is not enough time to absorb something like this.”



“ I can’t believe it. I was sound asleep. My agent called and was screaming. I thought the house was on fire or something.”

The musical Dreamgirls led Academy Awards contenders with eight nominations yesterday, but surprisingly was shut out for best picture, positioning the ensemble drama Babel or the mob saga The Departed as potential front-runners.

Babel was close behind with seven nominations, including best picture and acting honours for two newcomers to U.S. audiences, Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi. The Departed had five nominations, among them best picture, a directing slot for Martin Scorsese and a supporting-actor honour for Mark Wahlberg.

It was a banner day for Canadians as the nominees were read out during a news conference in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Paul Haggis, who received screenwriting nominations in 2005 and 2006 (he won last year for Crash), notched a third nod for Letters From Iwo Jima. Haggis, who was recognized along with co-writer Iris Yamashita, was raised in London, Ont. Also hailing from London is Ryan Gosling, who received best actor honours for his dark portrayal of a drug-addicted teacher in Half Nelson. Water, from Toronto director Deepa Mehta, is in the running for best foreign-language film.

The Danish Poet, co-produced by the National Film Board, was nominated for best animated short film.

The Academy Awards will be handed out in a ceremony to air Feb. 25.

highlights of nominees for the 79th Academy Awards

  • Best Picture: Babel, The Departed, Letters From Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, The Queen.

  • Actor: 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: Penelope Cruz, Volver; Judi Dench, Notes On A Scandal; Helen Mirren, The Queen; Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada; Kate Winslet, Little Children.

  • Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine; Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children; Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond; Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls; Mark Wahlberg, The Departed.

  • Supporting Actress: 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 Scorsese, The Departed; Clint Eastwood, Letters From Iwo Jima; Stephen Frears, The Queen; Paul Greengrass, United 93.

  • Foreign Language Film: After The Wedding, Denmark; Days Of Glory (Indigenes), Algeria; The Lives Of Others, Germany; Pan’s Labyrinth, Mexico; Water, Canada.

  • Adapted Screenplay: Sacha Baron Cohen and Anthony Hines and Peter Baynham and Dan Mazer and Todd Phillips, Borat Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan; Alfonso Cuaron and Timothy J. Sexton and David Arata and Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, Children Of Men; William Monahan, The Departed; Todd Field and Tom Perrotta, Little Children; Patrick Marber, Notes On A Scandal.

  • Original Screenplay: Guillermo Arriaga, Babel; Iris Yamashita and Paul Haggis, Letters From Iwo Jima; Michael Arndt, Little Miss Sunshine; Guillermo del Toro, Pan’s Labyrinth; Peter Morgan, The Queen.

  • For a full list of nominees, go to www.oscars.com.