A few weeks ago I received a call from my mother, just a few minutes after she walked out of my favorite movie of 2006, Dreamgirls. “You know how I have a list of my top 10 favorite movies of all time?” she quizzed. I did, in fact, remember, as she brings it up daily. “Well, Dreamgirls…. is number 1.” Well, our sincerest apologies to Mother, as well as all the millions of people who experienced the best of Broadway in their local movie houses, as Dreamgirls has been snubbed for both Best Picture and Best Director in this year’s Academy Award nominations.
Yes, the nominations are out, and while there were some exciting surprises (Abigail Breslin, aww), we just can’t help but feel that our favorite movie was robbed. While Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy were nominated for their supporting roles (and please, at least let Eddie have one little gold guy to his credit), the entire ensemble was noteworthy and deserving. Was Dreamgirls cheesy? Of course. Over the top? How could it not be. But exciting and fun and dramatic and tear-jerking? Yes. Clearly, this is some sort of Hollywood backlash against “good times.” And that’s all we’re going to say on the matter.
Moving on, an analysis of each of the top nomination categories. The entire list can be found here.
1. Best Picture: “Babel,” “The Departed,” “Letters From Iwo Jima,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” “The Queen.”
Still too pissed to talk about it. But if we had to choose our favorite of the bunch, we’d probably give it to The Departed. Little Miss Sunshine was great, and certainly had the better ending of the two films (spoiler alert: The end of The Departed can be described by a word that rhymes with the title), but overall was a better, stronger, more exciting movie.
2. Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, “Blood Diamond”; Ryan Gosling, “Half Nelson”; Peter O’Toole, “Venus”; Will Smith, “The Pursuit of Happyness”; Forest Whitaker, “The Last King of Scotland.”
It’s upsetting that DiCaprio was rewarded for his sub-par South African accent in Blood Diamonds over his raw tormented emotion in The Departed. Nevertheless, we’re hopping on the Whitaker train.
3. Actress: Penelope Cruz, “Volver”; Judi Dench, “Notes on a Scandal”; Helen Mirren, “The Queen”; Meryl Streep, “The Devil Wears Prada”; Kate Winslet, “Little Children.”
“Mirren Mirren on Pall Mall, who’s the fairest Queen of them all?” – brought to you by special correspondent to BWE, Nipsy Russell. Oh, also Helen Mirren is definitely taking this one.
4. Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin, “Little Miss Sunshine”; Jackie Earle Haley, “Little Children”; Djimon Hounsou, “Blood Diamond”; Eddie Murphy, “Dreamgirls”; Mark Wahlberg, “The Departed.”
First of all, we want to just say that even back in the early 90′s, we knew we’d live to see the day when Marky Mark was nominated for an Oscar, and deservedly so. And we loved Alan Arkin‘s role as the kinda gross but good-hearted grandpa, though we were pulling for a Steve Carell Oscar nom (could you imagine?) Still, Eddie Murphy deserves this one, if only for his vocal work as Donkey in Shrek alone.
5. Supporting Actress: Adriana Barraza, “Babel”; Cate Blanchett, “Notes on a Scandal”; Abigail Breslin, “Little Miss Sunshine”; Jennifer Hudson, “Dreamgirls”; Rinko Kikuchi, “Babel.”
A huge yay for Abigail, who is now the fourth-youngest actress to ever be nominated. Howevs, you should already know who we’re rooting for, in the biggest screen performance of the new millenium, J-Hud. Now we’d like to not talk about it again until Oscar night, for fear of jinxing the whole damn thing.
6. Directing: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “Babel”; Martin Scorsese, “The Departed”; Clint Eastwood, “Letters From Iwo Jima”; Stephen Frears, “The Queen”; Paul Greengrass, “United 93.”
We’re torn: On the one hand, Martin Scorsese is probably our favorite director of all time. On the other hand, Alejandro Inarritu is smoking hot. Though, side note, we’re glad Paul Greengrass got a nod for United 93, whose early release clearly did not effect its lasting impact.
7. Foreign Language Film: “After the Wedding,” Denmark; “Days of Glory (Indigenes),” Algeria; “The Lives of Others,” Germany; “Pan’s Labyrinth,” Mexico; “Water,” Canada.
Speaking of nightmares, Pan’s Labyrinth is the clear winner…. eeeeeeven though we haven’t seen anyoftheothernominees.
Check out the rest of the noms here (yes, Borat did get a nod!), and leave your Dreamgirls hate mail in the comments.