Oscars: 'The Aviator' Flying High

"The Aviator," directed by Martin Scorsese, led the Oscar nominations this year with 11 nods. Among those was Leonardo DiCaprio (as Howard Hughes) in the category of performance by an actor in a leading role.
The Howard Hughes epic "The Aviator" led Academy Awards contenders with 11 nominations Tuesday, including best picture, plus acting honors for Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett and Alan Alda and a directing slot for Martin Scorsese.

This year, Howard Hughes, Ray Charles, J.M. Barrie, Alfred Kinsey and Katharine Hepburn are all in the running for Academy Awards recognition.

In addition to "The Aviator," starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Hughes and Cate Blanchett as Hepburn, best-picture nominees for the 77th annual Oscars include "Finding Neverland," with Johnny Depp as playwright Barrie, and "Ray" with Jamie Foxx as singer Ray Charles. Other nominees are "Million Dollar Baby," and "Sideways."

Foxx was nominated as best actor for his work in "Ray" and as best supporting actor for "Collateral." Other best actor nominees are Don Cheadle, "Hotel Rwanda"; Johnny Depp, "Finding Neverland"; Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Aviator"; Clint Eastwood, "Million Dollar Baby."

Best actress nominees are Annette Bening, "Being Julia"; Catalina Sandino Moreno, "Maria Full of Grace"; Imelda Staunton, "Vera Drake"; Hilary Swank, "Million Dollar Baby"; and Kate Winslet, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."

Best supporting actor nods went to Alan Alda, "The Aviator"; Thomas Haden Church, "Sideways"; Jamie Foxx, "Collateral"; Morgan Freeman, "Million Dollar Baby"; and Clive Owen, "Closer."

Nominees for best supporting actress are Cate Blanchett, "The Aviator"; Laura Linney, "Kinsey"; Virginia Madsen, "Sideways"; Sophie Okonedo, "Hotel Rwanda"; and Natalie Portman, "Closer."

Best director: Martin Scorsese, "The Aviator"; Clint Eastwood, "Million Dollar Baby"; Taylor Hackford, "Ray"; Alexander Payne, "Sideways" and "Mike Leigh, "Vera Drake."

Writing (Adapted Screenplay) nominations went to: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, "Before Sunset"; David Magee, "Finding Neverland"; Paul Haggis, "Million Dollar Baby"; Jose Rivera, "The Motorcycle Diaries"; Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, "Sideways."

And for Writing (Original Screenplay), the nominees are: John Logan, "The Aviator"; Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry and Pierre Bismuth, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"; Keir Pearson & Terry George, "Hotel Rwanda"; Brad Bird, "The Incredibles"; Mike Leigh, "Vera Drake."

Foreign films nominated are: "As It Is In Heaven," Sweden; "The Chorus (Les Choristes)," France; "Downfall," Germany; "The Sea Inside," Spain; "Yesterday," South Africa.

Nominees for animated feature films are: "The Incredibles," "Shark Tale," "Shrek 2."

Other nominees are:

  • Animated Short Film: "Birthday Boy," "Gopher Broke," "Guard Dog," "Lorenzo," "Ryan."
  • Live Action Short Film: "Everything in This Country Must," "Little Terrorist," "7:35 in the Morning (7:35 de la Manana)," "Two Cars, One Night," and "Wasp."
  • Documentary: "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."
  • 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."
  • Film Editing: "The Aviator," "Collateral," "Finding Neverland," "Million Dollar Baby," "Ray."
  • Costume Design: "The Aviator," "Finding Neverland," "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," "Ray," "Troy."
  • Makeup: "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," "The Passion of the Christ," "The Sea Inside."
  • Original 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."
  • Original Song: "Accidentally In Love" from "Shrek 2," "Al Otro Lado Del Rio" from "The Motorcycle Diaries," "Believe" from "The Polar Express," "Learn To Be Lonely" from "The Phantom of the Opera," "Look To Your Path (Vois Sur Ton Chemin)" from "The Chorus (Les Choristes)."
  • 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 Prince of Azkaban," "I, Robot," "Spider-Man 2."

Oscar winners previously announced this year:

  • Honorary Academy Award: Sidney Lumet.
  • Gordon E. Sawyer Award (technical achievement): Takuo Miyagishima.
  • Scientific and Technical Oscars: Horst Burbulla, Jean-Marie Lavalou, Alain Masseron and David Samuelson.

The announcement of the nominations by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was broadcast live on The Early Show Tuesday morning. Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody and Academy President Frank Pierson did the honors.

The best-actress race presents a rematch of the showdown in that category five years ago, when underdog Hilary Swank won for "Boys Don't Cry" over Annette Bening, who had been expected to win for "American Beauty."

This time, Swank is in the running as a doggedly determined boxer whose life turns tragic in "Million Dollar Baby," while Bening is competing with "Being Julia," in which she plays a fading 1930s actress exacting comical revenge on her husband, a lover and a young rival.

Swank won the Golden Globe as best-dramatic actress for "Million Dollar Baby," while Bening won as musical or comedy actress for "Being Julia."