The musical drama “Dreamgirls” leads the field for American Academy Awards with eight nominations, but it surprisingly failed to make the coveted best picture and directing categories. However, there was better luck for “Babel” with seven nominations followed by the Spanish-language adult fairy tale, “Pan’s Labyrinth” and the British royal drama, “The Queen” with six each. But the mob thriller, “The Departed” has already emerged as the wild card favourite to earn an Oscar for director, Martin Scorsese. The movie, which has five nominations, is widely regarded as a return to form for Scorsese who has never won Hollywood’s top prize.
It is a big wide open race for the best foreign film award. Days of Glory is the popular choice among US critics. The Algerian film is about North African troops fighting for France during WW2. But it is facing stiff competition from Days of our Lives, the German film about a secret police operative who rebels against his communist masters.