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<i>Aviator, Million Dollar Baby</i> lead the field in Oscar nominations (14915)

14915Entertainment News2005-01-26

Aviator, Million Dollar Baby lead the field in Oscar nominations

Condon, Almodovar, Giamatti snubbed by Oscar

The Aviator, with a script by out writer John Logan, leads the Academy pack with 11 Oscar nominations, but surprise exclusions include out writer-directors Bill Condon (Kinsey) and Pedro Almodovar (Bad Education).

The Aviator, Martin Scorsese's epic film biography of Howard Hughes, received 11 Oscar nominations on Tuesday, beating out Clint Eastwood's boxing saga Million Dollar Baby and the drama Finding Neverland, which received seven each. All three films were nominated for best picture for the 77th annual Academy Awards, along with the Ray Charles biography Ray and the comedy Sideways. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Frank Pierson called it the Academy's first "horse race" in several years. "It's wide-open," Pierson said.

Sideways received five nominations, including one for best supporting actor for Thomas Haden Church and best supporting actress for Virginia Madsen. But Paul Giamatti, the star of the movie, was not nominated for best actor--a major surprise. Also missing from the Oscar pack this year are openly gay previous winners Bill Condon, whose film Kinsey's sole nod went to Laura Linney as Best Supporting Actress, and Pedro Almodovar (Bad Education).

Films from two openly gay directors--Alejandro Amenabar's The Sea Inside and Joel Schumacher's The Phantom of the Opera--are in the running in several categories: the former for foreign film and makeup and the latter for art direction, cinematography, and original song. Neither director was nominated, however.

Scorsese, the 63-year-old veteran who has never won an Oscar in six previous nominations, was nominated as best director for The Aviator. He is vying against the 74-year-old Eastwood, who was nominated both as best director and as best actor. Eastwood, the archetypal screen tough guy, has won an Oscar for directing but never as an actor. Ray received six nominations, including one for Jamie Foxx, who played soul legend Charles, as best actor. In a rare twist, Foxx was also nominated for his supporting role in crime drama Collateral opposite Tom Cruise. No actor has won both accolades in the same year, but Foxx has received rave reviews for both performances.

The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson's religious drama, picked up three nominations outside the major award categories for cinematography, makeup, and original score. Michael Moore's anti-Bush documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, which the director had positioned as a best-picture contender, did not receive any Oscar nominations. The other nominees for best actor were Don Cheadle in Hotel Rwanda, Johnny Depp in Finding Neverland, and Leonardo DiCaprio in The Aviator. Best actress nominations went to Annette Bening in Being Julia, Catalina Sandino Moreno in Maria Full of Grace, Imelda Staunton in Vera Drake, Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby, and Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Besides Scorsese and Eastwood, other best director nominees were Taylor Hackford for Ray, Alexander Payne for Sideways, and British director Mike Leigh for the abortion drama Vera Drake. The nominees for best foreign-language film were Sweden's As It Is in Heaven, France's The Chorus, Germany's Downfall, The Sea Inside from Spain, and South Africa's Yesterday. It was the first nomination for a South African film. China's highly praised House of Flying Daggers did not make the foreign film list although it was nominated for best cinematography.

The Oscar nominations were announced by Pierson and Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody, who sprayed his breath before speaking in a joking reminder of the long kiss he gave presenter Halle Berry when he won his Oscar for The Pianist. The Academy Awards will be presented on February 27 in a red-carpet ceremony in Los Angeles and broadcast live by ABC.

Here is a complete list of the nominees for the 77th annual Academy Awards:

Best Picture: The Aviator, Finding Neverland, Million Dollar Baby, Ray, Sideways

Actor: Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda; Johnny Depp, Finding Neverland; Leonardo DiCaprio, The Aviator; Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby; Jamie Foxx, Ray

Actress: Annette Bening, Being Julia; Catalina Sandino Moreno, Maria Full of Grace; Imelda Staunton, Vera Drake; Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby; Kate Winslet, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Supporting Actor: Alan Alda, The Aviator; Thomas Haden Church, Sideways; Jamie Foxx, Collateral; Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby; Clive Owen, Closer

Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, The Aviator; Laura Linney, Kinsey; Virginia Madsen, Sideways; Sophie Okonedo, Hotel Rwanda; Natalie Portman, Closer

Animated Feature: The Incredibles, Shark Tale, Shrek 2

Director: Martin Scorsese, The Aviator; Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby; Taylor Hackford, Ray; Alexander Payne, Sideways; Mike Leigh, Vera Drake

Adapted Screenplay: Before Sunset, screenplay by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, story by Richard Linklater, Kim Krizan; Finding Neverland, David Magee; Million Dollar Baby, Paul Haggis; The Motorcycle Diaries, Jose Rivera; Sideways, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor

Original Screenplay: The Aviator, John Logan; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Charlie Kaufman; Hotel Rwanda, Keir Pearson and Terry George; The Incredibles, Brad Bird; Vera Drake, Mike Leigh

Art Direction: The Aviator, Finding Neverland, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Phantom of the Opera, A Very Long Engagement

Cinematography: The Aviator, House of Flying Daggers, The Passion of the Christ, The Phantom of the Opera, A Very Long Engagement

Costume Design: The Aviator, Finding Neverland, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Ray, Troy

Documentary Feature: Born Into Brothels, The Story of the Weeping Camel, Super Size Me, Tupac: Resurrection, Twist of Faith

Documentary Short Subject: Autism Is a World, The Children of Leningradsky, Hardwood, Mighty Times: The Children's March, Sister Rose's Passion

Editing: The Aviator, Collateral, Finding Neverland, Million Dollar Baby, Ray

Foreign Language Film: As It Is in Heaven, The Chorus, Downfall, The Sea Inside, Yesterday

Makeup: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Passion of the Christ, The Sea Inside

Music (Score): Finding Neverland, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Passion of the Christ, The Village

Song: "Accidentally in Love," Shrek 2; "Al Otro Lado Del Rio," The Motorcycle Diaries; "Believe," The Polar Express; "Learn to Be Lonely," The Phantom of the Opera; "Look to Your Path (Vois Sur Ton Chemin)," The Chorus

Animated Short: Birthday Boy, Gopher Broke, Guard Dog, Lorenzo, Ryan

Live-Action Short: Everything in This Country Must; Little Terrorist; 7:35 in the Morning; Two Cars, One Night; Wasp

Sound Editing: The Incredibles, The Polar Express, Spider-Man 2

Sound Mixing: The Aviator, The Incredibles, The Polar Express, Ray, Spider-Man 2

Visual Effects: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; I, Robot; Spider-Man 2

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