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Last Updated: Friday, 26 January 2007, 15:22 GMT
Oscars panel: Laura Forrest
The announcement of the Oscar nominations this week didn't contain too many surprises, the main categories being filled with Academy favourites who have been up for awards many times before.

Among those hoping not to go home empty-handed must be Kate Winslet, who has lost out four times previously for acting honours, and Martin Scorsese, who will be hoping to win his long overdue first Oscar with his sixth best director nomination.

MEET THE PANEL
Laura Forrest
Name: Laura Forrest
Age: 24
Occupation: PA
Nationality: British
Lives: Ealing, west London
Favourite film: Jackie Brown

Peter O'Toole's nomination trumps them both, being his eighth best actor nod without a previous win.

He almost turned down the honorary Oscar he received in 2003, feeling that as a working actor he still had a chance to win one outright - it would be wonderful if he proved this to be true!

O'Toole stands with Alan Arkin (best supporting actor) and Clint Eastwood (best director) as nominees proving that over 65 does not mean over the hill - all in their 70s and producing some of their best work.

Another deserving nomination went to Abigail Breslin's charming and funny performance in Little Miss Sunshine, the youngest nominee at just 10 years old.

I was disappointed that Volver was not nominated for best foreign film; Penelope Cruz's nomination for best actress was thoroughly deserved, but her dazzling performance was far from the only thing that made it a standout film.

Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls
A win could secure Eddie Murphy a much-needed career revival

Spain is represented by another amazing film however, Pan's Labyrinth, which I was also pleased to see get a best cinematography nomination for its striking and extraordinary imagery.

A surprise supporting actor nominee was Mark Wahlberg for The Departed, who was chosen over veteran Jack Nicholson. Despite being a previous Oscar winner, I still felt Nicholson's performance was stronger.

Eddie Murphy's supporting actor nomination for Dreamgirls was more expected.

A win could secure him a much-needed career revival, having been in the press in recent years more for scandals in his private life than for turning in good performances.

Despite missing out on nominations for best picture and director, Dreamgirls was nominated three times for best original song!

This left me wondering if it is a case of life imitating art.

Surely this wouldn't be a way of ensuring singer Beyonce Knowles, the 'star' of Dreamgirls, gets as much exposure on Oscar night as her nominated co-star Jennifer Hudson?

Sounds like a familiar plot line!



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