BY A CORRESPONDENT
Leonardo DiCaprio in Blood Diamond, Ryan Gosling in Half
Nelson, Peter O'Toole in Venus, Will Smith in The
Pursuit of Happyness, and Forest Whitaker in The Last
King of Scotland will vie for the best actor awards in
the 79th Annual Academy Awards. The award ceremony will
be held on February 25th in Hollywood.
And there is a high profile clash in the best actress
category with Penelope Cruz (Volver, Spain) British
actresses Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal), Kate Winslet
(Little Children) and Helen Mirren (The Queen) in
contention with Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada).
Musical drama Dreamgirls won the maximum nominations –
8. But it was not in the race for the best picture and
best director Oscars. Babel, set in the backdrop of
early 21st century, has seven nominations.
Spanish film Pan's Labyrinth and British movie The
Queen, based on the royalty’s turbulent life post
Diana’s death, won six Oscar nominations each.
Canadian film Water, directed by Deepa Mehta and set in
India, is in the final five for the best foreign
language film category. Water stars Lisa Ray and John
Abraham. It was shot in Sri Lanka.
For the best picture, the nominees are Babel, The
Departed, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine
and The Queen.
Babel’s director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu of Mexico,
Martin Scorsese who directed The Departed, Clint
Eastwood, the director of Letters from Iwo Jima, and
Britons Stephen Frears for The Queen and Paul Greengrass
for United 93 are in the race for the best director
Water is set in 1938 India and revolves around the story
of eight-year-old Chuyia , who is widowed and sent to a
home for Hindu widows.
Water is the third in Deepa Mehta’s trilogy of elements.
The earlier ones were fire and Earth.
Pan's Labyrinth, which is seen as the front runner for
the best foreign language film, in which Del Torro
stunningly captures the horrors of a little girl fleeing
the Spanish civil war by basking in a fantasy world.
Competing with Water and Pan's Labyrinth are After the
Wedding (Denmark), The Lives of Others (Germany, Florian
Henckel von Donnersmarck) and Algerian entry Days of
Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson is in the race for the
supporting cast category, both for their performances in