Monday, January 29, 2007



might be the worst film of the year (I've seen Pulse, so that's saying a lot), on the levels of acting, visual effects , direction, writing, and editing. One word to describe all these aspects: MESSY. Putting aside the glaring, senseless omissions from the book (it is never mentioned, for example, that Arya is princess of the Elves), the film is a technical disaster, with one scene fleeting to the next with no subtlety or grace. What should have been the most exciting part of the film (the war between the King's forces and the rebels) becomes an orgy of weird shots, disastrous pacing, and forced drama. The whole film has the feel of a terribly long, extended trailer for a fantasy miniseries (of which there have been many that are much better executed than this one). Small surprise: Jeremy Irons, who contributed significantly to making the Dungeons & Dragons film unbearable, is this film's lone saving grace, acting with gravitas yet not overdoing it as he did in that other stinkfest. Grade: F


Let me begin by saying that the snub for this film in the Best Foreign Language Film category, and to a lesser extent in the Best Screenplay and Best Director races, is a travesty. Volver may not be Pedro Almodovar's best film, but it proves beyond doubt how masterful he is directing an ensemble of great actresses in a film without excesses. Vibrant, bittersweet, heartwarming, Volver is proof that small films can pack a large punch. Penelope Cruz's performance is one of the best for female actors this year , subtly strong and affecting, and costars Carmen Maura and Lola Duenas are formidable performers in supporting roles. In fact, it wouldn't be so easy or fair to label theirs as merely supporting performances. Volver is truly an ensemble piece to be treasured for generations to come. Grade: B+

The Pursu
it of Happyness

Consider yourselves warned: if you don't like films that make you cry as early as the first few sequences, then you probably won't like The Pursuit of Happyness. Then again, it is a significant strength of the film that doesn't too consciously or overbearingly try to squeeze tears out of its audience like a sponge. With a performance as rooted and as honest as Will Smith's, the film doesn't have to try too hard. It is a simple film with no flair, making it all the easier for the audience to connect with Smith's character as he traverses a life that is all too familiar to us, whether or not we have lived something like it. It's a very human, organic story, and if it makes you cry along the way, then it would have achieved part of its purpose. Grade: B+

The Good

I find it hard to comprehend why The Good Shepherd hasn't taken off among critics and Academy voters, as it is common Oscar fodder, with a big cast (headed by Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie) and having been directed by the great Robert De Niro. As far as I am concerned, its only flaw is that it is too long (at nearly three hours), and yet it isn't the type of three-hour movie where you would be tempted to quit viewing it halfway. It is an engrossing story of how the CIA became the leading intelligence agency in the world, smoothly and elegantly directed by De Niro, and adequately acted by its ensemble cast. The frames are shot beautifully, and the set pieces are admirable (it deserves its lone nomination of Best Art Direction). What went wrong? This is a film that should be cherished, if you have three hours to spare. Grade: B+

Stranger Than Fiction

What a delicious concoction of, yes, fiction, this film is. Stranger Than Fiction has a novel story (Will Ferrell's character hears in his head his life being narrated), strongly affecting performances (primarily by Ferrell and Emma Thompson, but Maggie Gyllenhaal and Dustin Hoffman also offer strong support), and adequately magical direction by Marc Forster. It is ultimately a story about controlling one's destiny and living life to the fullest until it ends, but, as a friend of mine had said, the film achieves getting this message across without being preachy about it. With all the good things going for it on all levels, Stranger Than Fiction doesn't have to try too hard to make us feel for its characters and the story. This is truly a gem of a film (one that should have easily gotten a Best Original Screenplay nod). Grade: A

Images from IMDb

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

79th Academy Award nominations

Surprise snubs for Dreamgirls (Best Picture), Volver (Best Foreign-Language Film), and Jack Nicholson (Best Supporting Actor)! Here's the list, with my score for each category.

Taken from Oscarwatch

Best motion picture of the year

The Departed
Letters from Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

4/5. What happened to Dreamgirls? Letters was my alternate (#6), but I figured that either Babel or Sunshine would fall to it. Shocking.

Achievement in directing

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

4/5. Greengrass was my alternate (#6).

Performance by an actor in a leading role

Leonardo DiCaprio in Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling in Half Nelson
Peter O’Toole in Venus
Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland

4/5. Wow, Leo gets a nom for Diamond instead of for The Departed. It was #8 on my list, but I had expected an upset by Watanabe or Baron Cohen instead.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

Alan Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine
Jackie Earle Haley in Little Children
Djimon Hounsou in Blood Diamond
Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls
Mark Wahlberg in The Departed

4/5. It's this year's sympathy category, doling out noms for a vet (Arkin) and a comebacking actor (Haley). Happy about the Wahlberg nod, shocked at the Nicholson snub. Haley was #7 in my list, below Nicholson and Michael Sheen.

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Penelope Cruz in Volver
Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal
Helen Mirren in The Queen
Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet in Little Children

5/5. Boringly predictable, and yet all of them are truly deserving.

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

Adriana Barraza in Babel
Cate Blanchett in Notes on a Scandal
Abigail Breslin in Little Miss Sunshine
Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi in Babel

5/5. No surprises here.

Adapted screenplay

Borat Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Peter Baynham & Dan Mazer
Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Peter Baynham & Anthony Hines & Todd Phillips
Children of Men
Screenplay by Alfonso Cuaron & Timothy J. Sexton and David Arata and Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby
The Departed
Screenplay by William Monahan
Little Children
Screenplay by Todd Field & Tom Perrotta
Notes on a Scandal
Screenplay by Patrick Marber

3/5. Borat and Notes take it from more expected nominees Dreamgirls and Thank You For Smoking.

Original screenplay

Written by Guillermo Arriaga
Letters from Iwo Jima
Screenplay by Iris Yamashita
Story by Iris Yamashita & Paul Haggis
Little Miss Sunshine
Written by Michael Arndt
Pan’s Labyrinth
Written by Guillermo del Toro
The Queen
Written by Peter Morgan

3/5. Pan's (the hot film of the year) and Letters displace Stranger Than Fiction and unjustly ignored Volver.

Best animated feature film of the year

Cars, John Lasseter
Happy Feet, George Miller
Monster House, Gil Kenan

3/3. No comment.

Achievement in art direction

The Good Shepherd
Pan’s Labyrinth
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
The Prestige

2/5. Got Dreamgirls and Pan's.

Achievement in cinematography

The Black Dahlia, Vilmos Zsigmond
Children of Men, Emmanuel Lubezki
The Illusionist, Dick Pope
Pan’s Labyrinth, Guillermo Navarro
The Prestige, Wally Pfister

1/5. Eew. Only got Children right.

Achievement in costume design

Curse of the Golden Flower, Yee Chung Man
The Devil Wears Prada, Patricia Field
Dreamgirls, Sharen Davis
Marie Antoinette, Milena Canonero
The Queen, Consolata Boyle

3/5. Got Curse, Dreamgirls, and Marie Antoinette. Should have expected the nod for Prada.

Best documentary feature

Deliver Us from Evil
An Inconvenient Truth
Iraq in Fragments
Jesus Camp
My Country, My Country

3/5. Missed Iraq and My Country.

Best documentary short subject

The Blood of Yingzhou District
Recycled Life
Rehearsing a Dream
Two Hands

Achievement in film editing

Babel, Stephen Mirrione and Douglas Crise
Blood Diamond, Steven Rosenblum
Children of Men, Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Cuaron
The Departed, Thelma Schoonmaker
United 93, Clare Douglas, Christopher Rouse and Richard Pearson

3/5. Got Babel, The Departed, and United 93.

Best foreign language film of the year

After the Wedding, Denmark
Days of Glory (Indigenes), Algeria
The Lives of Others, Germany
Pan’s Labyrinth, Mexico
Water, Canada

3/5. Where the heck is Volver?! Got the German, Mexican, and Canadian entries right.

Achievement in makeup

Pan’s Labyrinth

2/3. Click? Ummm...ok. I thought it would be Pirates.

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

Babel, Gustavo Santaolalla
The Good German, Thomas Newman
Notes on a Scandal, Philip Glass
Pan’s Labyrinth, Javier Navarrete
The Queen, Alexandre Desplat

4/5. Wow, some love for German. Then again, it's Thomas Newman. Missed out on him and (quite foolishly) predicted Shore instead for The Departed.

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

"I Need to Wake Up" from An Inconvenient Truth, Music and Lyric by Melissa Etheridge
"Listen" from Dreamgirls, Music by Henry Krieger and Scott Cutler, Lyric by Anne Preven
"Love You I Do" from Dreamgirls, Music by Henry Krieger, Lyric by Siedah Garrett
"Our Town" from Cars, Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
"Patience" from Dreamgirls, Music by Henry Krieger, Lyric by Willie Reale

3/5. No love for Bobby; the Academy isn't interested in seeing Aretha Franklin sing at the Oscars? Three songs from Dreamgirls, with "Patience" being unpredicted by yours truly. Also missed out on "Our Towb," figuring that the voters would choose to have fun and nom Borat's "O Kazakhstan" instead.

Best animated short film

The Danish Poet, A Mikrofilm and National Film Board of Canada Production Torill Kove
Lifted - A Pixar Animation Studios Production, Gary Rydstrom
The Little Matchgirl - A Walt Disney Pictures Production, Roger Allers and Don Hahn
Maestro - A Kedd Production, Geza M. Toth
No Time for Nuts - A Blue Sky Studios Production, Chris Renaud and Michael Thurmeier

Best live action short film

Binta and the Great Idea (Binta Y La Gran Idea)
Eramos Pocos (One Too Many)
Helmer & Son
The Saviour
West Bank Story

Achievement in sound editing

Apocalypto, Sean McCormack and Kami Asgar
Blood Diamond, Lon Bender
Flags of Our Fathers, Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman
Letters from Iwo Jima, Alan Robert Murray
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Christopher Boyes and George Watters II

2/3(5). I only predicted three nominees instead of five, and of those only Letters and Pirates got in.

Achievement in sound mixing

Apocalypto, Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell and Fernando Camara
Blood Diamond, Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer and Ivan Sharrock
Dreamgirls, Michael Minkler, Bob Beemer and Willie Burton
Flags of Our Fathers, John Reitz, Dave Campbell, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Paul Massey, Christopher Boyes and Lee Orloff

1/5. Only got Dreamgirls. Never was good at the sound stuff. Good showing from Diamond.

Achievement in visual effects

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Superman Returns

2/3. Forgot about how the voters love sinking ships in this category. Mutants ignored for the 3rd time.

Monday, January 22, 2007

PGA winner: Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine has won the top prize from the Producers Guild of America, significantly boosting its run for a Best Picture nomination and maybe even a win.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Song of Fire and Ice TV series!!

One of the most exciting news I've read recently:

HBO will be making a TV series based on George R.R. Martin's brilliant "A Song of Fire and Ice" fantasy series! The intention is to have one whole season devoted to one book, with Martin himself writing one episode per season (the other eps will be written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss). HBO makes great series; I'm thinking that this project is going to be on the scale of "Rome."

I can't wait!

Read the full official press release here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

64th Golden Globe winners (film)

Best Picture (Drama)

Best Picture (Comedy/Musical)

Best Actor (Drama)
Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland)

Best Actor (Comedy/Musical)
Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan)

Best Actress (Drama)
Helen Mirren (The Queen)

Best Actress (Comedy/Musical)
Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada)

Best Supporting Actor
Eddie Murphy (Dreamgirls)

Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls)

Best Director
Martin Scorsese (The Departed)

Best Screenplay
Peter Morgan (The Queen)

Best Animated Feature

Best Foreign-Language Film
Letters from Iwo Jima

Best Original Score
Alexandre Desplat (The Painted Veil)

Best Song
"The Song of the Heart" (Happy Feet)

Friday, January 12, 2007

What will it take to win Kate Winslet an Oscar?

Few actors of her age are as highly regarded by critics, fellow actors, and audiences alike as Kate Winslet. This love for her work has translated into countless accolades and citations from various award-giving bodies, among them four Academy Award nominations by the ripe young age of 30 (she beat the great Marlon Brando's record for the most Oscar nods by that age). She is likely going to receive a fifth mention this year for her searing portrayal of a neglected wife looking for love in the wrong places in Todd Field's Little Children.

But despite the general affection for her in the industry, acting's top honor has remained elusive; she has never won an Oscar. In all of those four times that she has been nominated--five, if this year's likely mention is included--her performance was greatly praised, but she was never the frontrunner. A possible exception is her first nomination, for playing sensitive Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility, a role for which she won the Screen Actors Guild award for Best Supporting Actress over eventual Oscar winner Mira Sorvino (who also won the Globe). A nomination for her Rose DeWitt Bukater in the box-office and Oscar blockbuster Titanic was inevitable. But the ensemble's acting was not the strength of the film, and so Winslet was never the favored winner; that designation went to Helen Hunt (Judi Dench was perhaps a close second that year). When Oscar came calling again for her performance as the younger version of Dench's character, Iris Murdoch, in Iris, it was already a safe bet that awards neophyte Jennifer Connelly would get the award. Her latest nominated performance and perhaps the most well loved, as the unpredictable Clementine Kruczynski in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, ultimately failed to break through the two-way struggle between perennial opponents Annette Bening and eventual winner Hilary Swank. This year, a nomination for her role of Sarah Pierce is the most that she could hope for, with fellow Brit Helen Mirren poised to win her first Oscar.

Will Kate Winslet ever win an Oscar? If Hilary Swank can do it twice, why can't she? There's no lack of love from people, and the films for which she gets awards notice are usually stalwart contenders themselves. Many film icons have gone on to be nominated several times without a single win (though Peter O'Toole and especially Martin Scorsese seem likely to break their dry spells this year), so an Oscar-less career hardly means a lack of talent. Still, this writer (and Kate Winslet fan) would like to put forward the question: What will it take to win Kate Winslet an Oscar?

I offer the following possible routes, in no particular order, that the great Kate can take in pursuit of that golden statuette:

1) Play a really famous person, an icon, in a biopic. Any decent Oscar prognosticator knows that starring in a biographical film instantly ups your chances for both a nomination and a win from the Academy. In recent years, many nominees in the acting categories (and some winners, like Jamie Foxx) played famous people on the way to citations. But starring in a biopic is not enough; Winslet has done so several times (e.g., Quills, Finding Neverland, etc.), but with the exception of Iris, she was never nominated for such work. It is undoubtedly because she was never the true star in these biopics. If she played the lead, taking the role of an icon, then the Academy would surely take notice and highly consider her for a first win. Say, for example, she played J.K. Rowling, or Elizabeth Taylor (just random possibilities). Cate Blanchett's portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator proved too irresistible for her fellow actors. The same could happen to Winslet.

2) Take a strong British role in a decently sized British movie. Two of Winslet's four nominations have been for playing distinctly British characters. While this statistic is in no way an indication that she's better at playing someone of her nationality, it is important to take note of the fact that the Academy has always shown a strong liking for British actors, especially when they sound the way they normally do. Winslet's last three British roles since Iris (in Finding Neverland, Flushed Away, and The Holiday) were not awards fodder. Now, if she played a Queen in a period piece, or a female Prime Minister ala Margaret Thatcher, that's another award-bait role right there. It need not be some fabulous costume epic; Mirren's awards vehicle The Queen is far from being one. British actors in powerful roles have always been a glorious sight (and sound) to behold.

3) Pair up with Leonardo DiCaprio again. Since their glorious cinematic time together in Titanic, Winslet and DiCaprio have each steadily gained in maturity and acclaim as actors, but without their paths crossing each other for a second time. Fresh from resounding praise for his roles in The Aviator, The Departed, and Blood Diamond, DiCaprio would be a formidable co-star for Winslet in an intense drama or biopic (a romantic comedy would be cute, but hardly Oscar-bait; and DiCaprio seems to be actively avoiding that genre). Box office draw is nearly certain for a second pairing between these two. All they need now are a good script and director.

4) Be directed by an actor's director, like Martin Scorsese or Clint Eastwood. Some directors, among them Scorsese and Eastwood, have successfully led their actors to nominations at the very least, wins at best. None of the directors with whom she has worked, with the possible exception of Ang Lee, is recognized for that same ability. Maybe if she worked again for Lee, or for either Scorsese or Eastwood, these directors' own mojo could help her secure a first win.

5) Star in a musical. Dreamgirls is bringing the musicals back to awards derbies, and with highly likely wins by Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy coming just four years after Catherine Zeta-Jones's for Chicago, the genre could be a goldmine for award-worthy performances. Winslet showed in Christmas Carol: The Movie, with the single "What If?", that she has the pipes. If it's a substantial role in a musical that can’t be dismissed, then maybe a win would be in the offing.

6) If all else fails, the usual tactics. These include but are not limited to: a) playing against type (Winslet as lesbian, or psychopath? Oh wait, she was both to some extent in Heavenly Creatures); b) having a handicap (a wheelchair-bound Winslet, or deaf-mute, or mentally challenged?); c) de-glamming (Winslet not looking beautiful? A definite stretch.); and d) going sexually provocative (she sheds her clothes in nearly every film, but she has hardly ever been overtly sensual). If these options still do not work, I don't know what can.

Of course, there are various factors that can perpetually keep the statuette an arm's length away from Winslet's grasp. For instance, no matter how good she is in a film, or how good the film itself is, if she has to go against a Dame, or a come-backing actress, or someone the Academy would want to give a career award to (doesn't Winslet herself qualify for one of those yet?), she won't win it. It is, of course, a glowing comfort to us admirers of Ms. Winslet that Oscar win or no Oscar win, we are blessed to have the opportunity to bask in her brilliance.

Image source

Final Oscar predictions...

...are coming early next week or maybe this weekend, to reflect the announcements from the Guilds (check Oscarwatch for those) and the BAFTA nominations. I won't be waiting for the Golden Globe winners, as those have no bearing on the Oscar noms this year.

Review: Blood Diamond

Edward Zwick's Blood Diamond doesn't quite know what it wants to be. An action flick (there are a lot of gunfire and explosions in virtually every sequence, and lead Leonardo DiCaprio gets to play action hero)? A morality play (it's about how involved we are in the atrocities in Africa over 'blood diamonds,' and puts forward the question of whether humans are inherently good or evil)? An intense drama (we all know Djimon Hounsou shouts a lot in this one)? It's a messy ride, but that isn't saying that it's not a fun one.

Much has been said about Hounsou's hysterics here, and this writer does not really know what to make of it. On the one hand, he simply screams too much, to the point where his every loud utterance is cringe-worthy. On the other hand, there is no denying that his performance is intense and riveting, and that much of that cringing could probably be attributed to how the power in his voice and expression can shake you inside. That's probably why he's getting a lot of citations, most notably from fellow actors, who we suppose know it best.

DiCaprio is, as ever, amazing in this one. The accent is spot-on; it makes you think, for the whole 143-minute runtime, that he is truly an actor from Africa. People should not be surprised that he's getting nominations left and right for this performance and for that in The Departed. While this writer prefers that he get a lead Oscar nod for the latter (easily his best perf to date), each is special in its own way and solidifies DiCaprio's status as one of the best actors of his generation, if not the best.

Aside from the performances (Jennifer Connelly is just OK), a major bright spot in this otherwise flawed film is the fact that the images of chaotic Sierra Leone, while repetitive and sometimes forced, drive into the audience with undeniable strength. For those incendiary sequences alone, Blood Diamond is easily one of the scariest films released this year, and this viewer does not mean that in a bad way at all. Grade: B

Image from IMDb

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Great C/Kates

I just love this pic of two of the greatest and most beautiful living actresses (and my favorites) together, taken at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala. Both of them are likely going to be Oscar nominees again this year, though not in the same category.

DGA nominations

The Directors Guild of America nominees for 2006 are:

Bill Condon (Dreamgirls)
Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine)
Stephen Frears (The Queen)
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel)
Martin Scorsese (The Departed)

Friday, January 05, 2007

SAG Nominations

The Screen Actors Guild nominees for 2006 are (with my prediction scores):


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)

4/5. Predicted Baron Cohen instead of Gosling. Nice boost here for the indie favorite. Watanabe still missing despite acclaim for the film and his performance.


Penelope Cruz (Volver)
Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal)
Helen Mirren (The Queen)
Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada)
Kate Winslet (Little Children)

5/5. Shaping up to be the most boringly predictable category this year.


Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Departed)
Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children)
Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond)
Eddie Murphy (Dreamgirls)

2/5. Left out Arkin, Haley, and Hounsou for Nicholson (where is he?!), Pitt, and Sheen. This category is the most confusing. I personally liked neither Arkin's nor Haley's performances, but apparently the actors do. I hope category confusion with his role in The Departed doesn't hurt DiCaprio's chances for an Oscar nom.


Adriana Barraza (Babel)
Cate Blanchett (Notes on a Scandal)
Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine)
Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls)
Rinko Kikuchi (Babel)

4/5. They sure love the Babel girls. I predicted O'Hara instead of Barraza, though of course the latter deserves all the attention. Boost for generally ignored Breslin, though Dakota Fanning was also nominated before for I Am Sam but didn't make the Oscar cut.


The Departed
Little Miss Sunshine

3/5. Silly me, left out
Little Miss Sunshine at the last minute for Letters from Iwo Jima, and disregarded the uber actor-movie Bobby for Notes on a Scandal. Still, this lineup will hardly translate into the Oscar noms for Best Picture.

The full official list, including TV nominations, is here.

PGA Nominations

The Producers Guild of America nominees for this year are:

The Departed
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

Thursday, January 04, 2007

SAG Awards Predictions

*Revisions made on account of recent developments as reported by Kris Tapley and Tom O'Neil.

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) will be announcing its nominees for film and television on 4 January. Here are my predictions for the film side of things:


Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan)
Leonardo DiCaprio (Blood Diamond)
Peter O'Toole (Venus)
Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness)
Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland)


Penelope Cruz (Volver)
Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal)
Helen Mirren (The Queen)
Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada)
Kate Winslet (Little Children)


Leonardo DiCaprio (The Departed)
Eddie Murphy (Dreamgirls)
Jack Nicholson (The Departed)
Brad Pitt (Babel)
Michael Sheen (The Queen)


Cate Blanchett (Notes on a Scandal)
Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine)
Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls)
Rinko Kikuchi (Babel)
Catherine O'Hara (For Your Consideration)


The Departed
Letters from Iwo Jima
Notes on a Scandal