Hollywood's Christmas Morning is finally here, the time when eager Oscar hopefuls rise at an obscenely early hour, rush downstairs in their footie pajamas, and hope to find the previous year's good career behavior validated with lovingly wrapped awards nominations left under the Academy's gilded tree; those deemed good enough for recognition spend the day fielding phone calls from the media, who ask difficult questions about how it feels to be on the receiving end of the golden shower of adoration offered by one's peers (invariably, it feels good! And it's an honor just to be nominated!), while the snubbed quickly retreat back up the stairs to their bedrooms, where they self-medicate their soul-crushing disappointment by swallowing handfuls of prescription painkillers, sobbing through their publicist's assurances that they're still so very, very pretty, and that in this day of the YouTubes, no one watches the Oscars anyway.

This morning, the formerly frontrunning Dreamgirls crew is caught somewhere between elation and the sweet release of barbiturate overdose, as their film led the nominations with eight, but was shut out in the Best Picture, Best Director, and lead actor categories; somewhere on their Melrose lot, Paramount and DreamWorks publicists are staring at a ringing phone, wondering whether to pick it up and emphasize the positives of their eight nods and that their boss, studio emperor Brad Grey, is happy that he's been released from the uncomfortable position of having equally beloved films facing off in the big races, or to let the calls roll into voicemail as they somberly march outside and drown themselves in the nearby fountain in the ultimate act of failed For Your Consideration self-nullification.

In other notable developments: your nominees for The Big One are The Departed, Babel, Little Miss Sunshine, The Queen, and Letters from Iwo Jima; Babel received seven nominations; Martin Scorsese gets another shot at the cruelly elusive Best Director prize; our beloved, criminally overlooked Children of Men got three bids; Leonardo DiCaprio avoided another doomed Golden Globes-style showdown with himself by landing just one Best Actor nod; Borat snuck in to the Best Adapted Screenplay race; Ryan Gosling's crackhead teacher and Jackie Earle Haley's child-molester performance were recognized in the lead and supporting categories, respectively; and the producers of Best Picture nominees The Departed and Little Miss Sunshine are sweating as the Academy sorts out who will get the chance the have their acceptance speech interrupted by the orchestra as the ceremony creeps toward the four-hour mark.

Advertisement

A partial list of nominees (i.e., the categories you care about) is after the jump:

Best motion picture of the year
"Babel" (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)
"The Departed" (Warner Bros.)
"Letters from Iwo Jima" (Warner Bros.)
"Little Miss Sunshine" (Fox Searchlight)
"The Queen" (Miramax, Pathé and Granada)

Achievement in directing
"Babel" (Paramount and Paramount Vantage) Alejandro González Iñárritu
"The Departed" (Warner Bros.) Martin Scorsese
"Letters from Iwo Jima" (Warner Bros.) Clint Eastwood
"The Queen" (Miramax, Pathé and Granada) Stephen Frears
"United 93" (Universal and StudioCanal) Paul Greengrass

Performance by an actor in a leading role
Leonardo DiCaprio in "Blood Diamond" (Warner Bros.)
Ryan Gosling in "Half Nelson" (THINKFilm)
Peter O'Toole in "Venus" (Miramax, Filmfour and UK Council)
Will Smith in "The Pursuit of Happyness" (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Forest Whitaker in "The Last King of Scotland" (Fox Searchlight)

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Penélope Cruz in "Volver" (Sony Pictures Classics)
Judi Dench in "Notes on a Scandal" (Fox Searchlight)
Helen Mirren in "The Queen" (Miramax, Pathé and Granada)
Meryl Streep in "The Devil Wears Prada" (20th Century Fox)
Kate Winslet in "Little Children" (New Line)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Alan Arkin in "Little Miss Sunshine" (Fox Searchlight)
Jackie Earle Haley in "Little Children" (New Line)
Djimon Hounsou in "Blood Diamond" (Warner Bros.)
Eddie Murphy in "Dreamgirls" (DreamWorks and Paramount)
Mark Wahlberg in "The Departed" (Warner Bros.)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Adriana Barraza in "Babel" (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)
Cate Blanchett in "Notes on a Scandal" (Fox Searchlight)
Abigail Breslin in "Little Miss Sunshine" (Fox Searchlight)
Jennifer Hudson in "Dreamgirls" (DreamWorks and Paramount)
Rinko Kikuchi in "Babel" (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)

Adapted screenplay
"Borat Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" (20th Century Fox)
Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Peter Baynham & Dan Mazer
Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Peter Baynham & Anthony Hines & Todd Phillips

"Children of Men" (Universal)
Screenplay by Alfonso Cuarón & Timothy J. Sexton and David Arata and Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby

"The Departed" (Warner Bros.)
Screenplay by William Monahan

"Little Children" (New Line)
Screenplay by Todd Field & Tom Perrotta

"Notes on a Scandal" (Fox Searchlight)
Screenplay by Patrick Marber

Original screenplay
"Babel" (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)
Written by Guillermo Arriaga

"Letters from Iwo Jima" (Warner Bros.)
Screenplay by Iris Yamashita
Story by Iris Yamashita & Paul Haggis

"Little Miss Sunshine" (Fox Searchlight)
Written by Michael Arndt

"Pan's Labyrinth" (Picturehouse)
Written by Guillermo del Toro

"The Queen" (Miramax, Pathé and Granada)
Written by Peter Morgan

[Photo: Getty Images]