So, What Does it All Mean?

Well I said I hoped that Oscar provided us with some surprises - and they really came through this time. There weren't that many, but the ones that did were HUGE.

First off, the obvious snub for Golden Globe champ Dreamgirls in the Best Picture and Best Director categories, while still managing to garner the most nominations (thanks it's 3 Best Song noms). I had a feeling Letters from Iwo Jima would sneak in, but I was expecting it to knocl Little Miss Sunshine out of the race instead of the pre-ordained frontrunner since before the nomination race began.

Then, Pedro Almodovar's Volver failed to make the Best Foreign Language Film cut, the nod insead going Denmark's After the Wedding or Canada's Water, depending on which you were predicting (I went with Water).

In another shocker, Leonardo DiCaprio got nominated for Best Actor for Blood Diamond (which got 5 nominations) instead of The Departed, while Jack Nicholson got passed over for a nod in lieu of co-star Mark Wahlberg.

As it stands, the nomination counts for Best Picture looks like this:

Babel - 7
The Queen - 6
The Departed - 5
Letters from Iwo Jima - 4
Little Miss Sunshine - 4

I was hoping that todays nominations would shed some light on who may end up taking home the gold on February 25. But no, it's only helped to muddy the waters. This is literally anybody's race, the most wide-open in years. They clearly love Babel, but Sunshine got two acting nods, indicating support but not enough to get a Best Director nod. The Departed got snubbed in two major categories (although in Supporting Actor it was made up for by a surprise showing of Wahlberg). And the unexpected (by some) success of Letters indicates that has more support than we thought.

Things may become more clear as awards night approaches. But right now, welcome to the most unprecitable Oscar race in recent memory (but Helen Mirren is still going to win for The Queen).


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