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Giamatti Out, Eastwood in at Oscars
Some surprises among the Oscar nominations Tuesday:
* LAST CALL: Paul Giamatti was snubbed in the best-actor category for "Sideways," in which he gives a funny, touching performance as a borderline-alcoholic wine snob. He was considered a shoo-in after being nominated for a Golden Globe Award and receiving universal praise, including honors from critics groups in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.
* THE ONE-TWO PUNCH: Clint Eastwood earned a best-actor nomination for playing a veteran boxing manager in "Million Dollar Baby," on top of the nomination he was expected to receive for directing the film. He previously was nominated in both categories for his revisionist Western "Unforgiven" (1992), which until now had been considered his masterpiece. He won in the directing category; he has never won an acting Oscar.
* HAWKEYE ON THE PRIZE: Alan Alda came up with a surprise supporting-actor nomination for his role as a scheming U.S. senator in the Howard Hughes drama "The Aviator." Best known for his acting and directing work on TV's "M-A-S-H," the 68-year-old Alda has never before been nominated for an Academy Award.
* NO SECRETS OR LIES: Just Oscar nominations for Mike Leigh for directing and writing "Vera Drake," about a kindly woman who secretly performs abortions in 1950s England. His inclusion in the directing category means Marc Forster, director of best-picture nominee "Finding Neverland," was left out. Leigh previously received Oscar nominations for directing and writing "Secrets & Lies" (1996) and for writing "Topsy-Turvy" (1999).
* TURNING DOWN THE HEAT: Michael Moore purposely did not submit "Fahrenheit 9/11," his indictment of the Bush administration's handling of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, in the documentary category in hopes of being considered for best picture. But his film was shut out completely.
* WHERE'S "THE PASSION"?: One of the highest-grossing films of the year with $370 million, "The Passion of the Christ" became a nationwide phenomenon -- and caused a stir with its violent content -- but received no nominations for best picture, director Mel Gibson or actor Jim Caviezel, who starred as Jesus Christ. It was acknowledged, however, for its cinematography, makeup and score.
* A ONE ON THE SCALE: "Kinsey," the story of sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, received just one nomination: Laura Linney for best supporting actress. The well-acted, handsomely photographed biopic had been considered a likely nominee in several categories, including best picture, best actor (Liam Neeson) and best supporting actor (Peter Sarsgaard).
* THE CRUELEST CUT: "House of Flying Daggers," a critical favorite and Golden Globe nominee from Chinese director Zhang Yimou, was snubbed in the foreign-language film category. The visually dazzling martial arts epic was nominated, however, for cinematography.
* UNKNOWN, FOR NOW: Catalina Sandino Moreno, appearing in her first film, was nominated for best actress for playing a teenage Colombian drug mule in the Spanish-language film "Maria Full of Grace." And Sophie Okonedo, an English actress who'd done mostly television work, was nominated in the supporting-actress category for "Hotel Rwanda," in which she plays a wife and mother struggling to keep her family alive in genocide-ravaged Africa.