Real life rules in honours list

Agence France Presse

BEVERLY HILLS, California:

In a wave of biopics that dominated the silver screen in 2004, four of five of the best actor nominees won their recognition for playing real-life characters. ‘The Aviator’ cruised ahead, snatching 11 nods, including best picture, best actor and best director for the epic story of US billionaire Howard Hughes. The film dominated the nominations for the 77th annual Academy Awards.

Vying for second place in cinema’s great race were ‘Finding Neverland’, the story of Peter Pan author JM Barrie, and Clint Eastwood’s drama ‘Million Dollar Baby’, with seven nods each. Red-hot Jamie Foxx, 37, became the early leader in the best actor competition after winning an expected nomination for his acclaimed performance as blind soul legend Ray Charles in ‘Ray’. ‘The Aviator’ snagged a best actor nod for ‘Titanic’ heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio in his role as the eccentric Hughes, best director for long-overlooked Martin Scorsese and best supporting actor nominations for Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn and for Alan Alda.

The film also picked up nods for best cinematography, costume design, art direction, film editing, sound mixing and original screenplay.

Over the last 20 years, the film that dominated the Oscar nominations has gone on to win the best picture statuette 18 times.

Following ‘Aviator’, ‘Findig Neverland’ and ‘Million Dollar Baby’ in the nomination stakes are ‘Ray’ with six nods, including best picture, best actor for Jamie Foxx and best director for Taylor Hackford; the bittersweet California road movie ‘Sideways’, with five, including best picture and best director for Alexander Payne; and Disney-Pixar’s animated ‘The Incredibles’, with four.