GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY

Facts about this year’s Academy Awards:

Dreamgirls receives eight nominations but no Best Picture nod

Babel is nominated seven times.

Meryl Streep scores a 14th nomination for a Best Actress – a record for an actress in the film industry.

Another showdown between veteran filmmakers: Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorsese both receive a Best Director nomination.

Biggest surprise/disappointment of this year’s Oscars:

Matt Damon doesn’t receive a Supporting Actor nod for his work in The Departed

The Academy overlooks Jack Nicholson’s performance in The Departed

Leonardo DiCaprio receives a best actor nod for Blood Diamond

Pedro Almodovar’s Volver is excluded from the list of foreign film nominees.

The Pursuit of Happyness receives only one nomination.

Over the Hedge is not nominated for Best Animated Feature Film.

The countdown has begun. Everyone is talking about the big night, the glitz, the glamour, the red carpet arrivals, the stars, the fashion, the nominations and the tributes: the Oscars. Eleven days away from the famous gala, film enthusiasts are already putting their money on who will win a golden statue this year. Here are my predictions for the 2007 Academy Awards (with respect to the main categories):

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Forest Whitaker – The Last King of Scotland

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Eddie Murphy – Dreamgirls

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Helen Mirren – The Queen

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Jennifer Hudson – Dreamgirls

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

John Lasseter – Cars

ART DIRECTION

John Myhre and Nancy Haigh – Dreamgirls

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Guillermo Navarro – Pan’s Labyrinth

COSTUME DESIGN

Milena Canonero – Marie Antoinette

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Davis Guggenheim – An Inconvenient Truth

FILM EDITING

Stephen Mirrione and Douglas Crise – Babel

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Mexico – Pan’s Labyrinth

MAKEUP

David Marti and Montse Ribe – Pan’s Labyrinth

MUSIC (SCORE)

Gustavo Santaolalla – Babel

VISUAL EFFECTS

John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and Allen Hall – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

Alfonso Cuar

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