The Oscar Race is On
Hollywood's elite woke up early Tuesday for the 77th
Annual Academy Award nominations, as the Academy not
only honored this year's best but also bid farewell
to an Oscar legend. "To the man who was our voice
for so many years on the Academy Awards," Academy
president Frank Pierson observed. "Johnny Carson,
good night, and sleep well."
The Hollywood legend may have passed the torch, but
"Extra's" Jerry Penacoli met up with the new
batch of hopeful Oscar icons this morning, starting
with Jamie Foxx, who received both a Best Actor nomination
for "Ray" and a Best Supporting Actor nomination
"It'll never be like this again, man," Jamie
said. "It should be a beautiful night, and if we
were to win, I'd split that trophy a million different
So who'll be Jamie's date for the night? Oprah? Halle?
"I've always joked with Halle about how I'm going
to sweep her off her feet," Jamie revealed. "We
could do it. That would be real hot. That would be a
But Jamie admitted that both ladies will, in fact, have
to take backseat to his 10-year-old daughter: "My
daughter's going to go."
"The Aviator" flew high Tuesday morning, leading
all films with 11 nominations, including Best Picture,
a Best Actor nod for Leonardo DiCaprio, a Best Director
nod for Martin Scorsese and Best Supporting Actor and
Actress nominations for Alan Alda and Cate Blanchett.
Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby" was
pure gold with seven nominations, with Hilary Swank
receiving a Best Actress nod, a nomination for Morgan
Freeman for Best Supporting Actor and Best Director
and Best Actor nods for Eastwood.
"I just do the best I can on every project,"
Eastwood told us. "Some of them are written better,
they have that appeal, or they have that moment."
"Finding Neverland" also walked away with
seven nominations, including Best Picture and a Best
Actor nod for Johnny Depp.
And we can't forget the little film that could. "Sideways"
earned a Best Picture nomination, and Virginia Madsen
received a Best Actress nod. "There was my head
and I was like, 'Oh my God!'" Madsen recalled.
"It was so surreal, and I just started screaming
and jumping up and down."
And Virginia's son is already out crusading for his
mom. "She's going to win an Academy Award,"
he told us.
"Hotel Rwanda" earned two Oscar nominations,
Don Cheadle for Best Actor and Sophie Okonedo for Best
Also toasting Oscar were "Sideways'" Thomas
Hayden Church in the Best Supporting Actor category
and Kate Winslet, who received a Best Actress nod for
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."
But amidst all the excitement over this morning's announcements,
the nominees paused to remember Johnny. This year's
show will contain a tribute to the king of late night,
when the Academy Awards are handed out February 27th.
The Top Nominees:
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Don Cheadle - HOTEL RWANDA
Johnny Depp - FINDING NEVERLAND
Leonardo DiCaprio - THE AVIATOR
Clint Eastwood - MILLION DOLLAR BABY
Jamie Foxx - RAY
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Alan Alda - THE AVIATOR
Thomas Haden Church - SIDEWAYS
Jamie Foxx - COLLATERAL
Morgan Freeman - MILLION DOLLAR BABY
Clive Owen - CLOSER
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
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
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Cate Blanchett - THE AVIATOR
Laura Linney - KINSEY
Virginia Madsen - SIDEWAYS
Sophie Okonedo - HOTEL RWANDA
Natalie Portman - CLOSER
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
MILLION DOLLAR BABY
MILLION DOLLAR BABY