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'Dreamgirls' Leads Way to Oscars, with a Snub

The nominations for the 79th Academy Awards were announced today. The musical Dreamgirlsgarnered eight nominations — but they didn't include the best picture or best director categories.

The film Babel netted seven nominations, followed by Pan's Labyrinth and The Queen, with six nominations each.

Even the most experienced Oscar pundits were shocked when Dreamgirls got eight nominations but was overlooked for best picture. And they were equally surprised when Eastwood's Letters from Iowa Jima was named in the category.

The little-seen World War II film in Japanese was completely overlooked in earlier awards nominations from Hollywood's influential guilds.

The nomination reflects the Academy's great regard for Eastwood, as well as respect for his achievement in making this film and Flags of Our Fathers in the same year. Other nominees in the best-picture category were Little Miss Sunshine, The Queen, The Departed, and Babel.

This has also turned out to be a strong year for African American actors, who picked up five of twenty nominations. The best-actor category includes Forest Whitaker and Will Smith; best supporting actor pits Eddie Murphy against Djimon Hounson.

And Jennifer Hudson is considered a favorite in the best supporting actress category for Dreamgirls. Another front-runner is Helen Mirren for The Queen.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Kim Masters
Kim Masters covers the business of entertainment for NPR News. Her reports can be heard on NPR's award-winning Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. She joined NPR in 2003.