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Dreams of gold

hile the daze of post-9/11 racism, homosexual cowboys and sensuous geisha is still burning its nicotine, Oscar 2007 has already started dangling its forbidden fruits. 2006 has been generous to the moviegoers. And the buzz for this year's contenders has begun, as we count down the weeks to Hollywood's highest accolade. So, here are some early birds that have it high to make it to the podium…

Which film will follow the lines of Crash, Million Dollar Baby and Chicago? Who will be the next Reese Witherspoon and Philip Seymour Hoffman?


This is a silver screen remake of the Broadway musical hit about a music group, The Dreamettes. Starring Beyonce Knowles, Eddie Murphy, Jennifer Hudson and Jamie Foxx, it is sure to bag more than a few nominations. Jennifer Hudson (best supporting actress), Eddie Murphy (best supporting actor) are topping the popularity list, while there are other major nominations at bay- best film, best director, best song (“Listen”), best adapted screenplay and more.

All The Kings Men:

Hey ho and a controversy here and there certainly is not doing AKM much harm. With Oscar's pets like Sean Penn, Kathy Bates and Jack Nicholson, accompanied by Kate Wilson, and Jude Law, it is setting standards in the acting categories. It is likely to end up with nominations under most major titles.

The Departed:

A film crowded with Grade “A” potential contenders in the actor category- Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson. Again, we can smell all those nominations for the big name categories. Martin Scorsese remakes 2002's Hong Kong-settled “Infernal Affairs” by transferring the plot to Massachusetts and centering the story on the rivalry between a young police officer infiltrated in the Irish mafia and his opposite, an Irish gangster infiltrated in the police department.


Che maps the life of the stratospheric revolutionary, Che Guevara, winding from his personal life to his political involvements. While the Guevara-worship has been prominent for quite sometime, the movie boasts of the skills of Oscar winners, Steven Soderbergh (director) and Benicio Del Toro (actor). It is most certainly stealing many nomination ballots.

There are also very many noteworthy mentions when performance is concerned. Nicole Kidman is receiving her share of nods (this time without that bulbous Virginia Woolf nose!) for “Fur”. The exotic beauty- Salma Hayek- is again heating up the Oscar forum with her role in Lonely Hearts and Ask the Dusk. Other femme fighters include Kirsten Dunst (Marie-Antoinette), Cate Blanchett (Babel) and Annette Benning (Running with Scissors).

In the male section, the Departed is presenting its best. In addition, there is Benicio Del Toro (Che), Brad Pitt and Gael Garcia Bernal (both in Babel), Russell Crowe (A Good Year) and several more.

On a final note, while we sit here guessing and crossing out names, the process may seem long-drawn. Given the excitement, Oscar 2007 may be worth the wait. For the time being, we can hold onto racist police officers, “overly playful” howdies and the heart-wrenching stare of the geisha.

By Shahmuddin Ahmed Siddiky



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