Academy Awards Explorer

A detailed guide to the nominees in Oscar's top six categories.

This year's nominees in the Best Picture category.


  • The Story: An accidental shooting has consequences for several characters in various parts of the world.

  • Directed By: Alejandro González Iñárritu

  • Starring: Cate Blanchett, Brad Pitt, Rinko Kikuchi, Adriana Barraza and Gael Garcia Bernal

  • Film Fact: "Babel" was filmed on three continents and in multiple cities, including Tokyo, San Diego, Tijuana and Casablanca.

  • Resources: Trailer | Showtimes | Review

"The Departed" (Winner)

  • The Story: Martin Scorsese's remake of "Infernal Affairs," in which a pair of moles get caught up in police-and-mafia intrigue.

  • Directed By: Martin Scorsese

  • Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg

  • Film Fact: Scorsese sent a copy of the script to Mel Gibson, who turned down an opportunity to join the cast because he was preparing to film "Apocalypto."

  • Resources: Trailer | Showtimes | Review

"Letters From Iwo Jima"

  • The Story: A look at the pivotal World War II battle from the perspective of the Japanese soliders who fought in it.

  • Directed By: Clint Eastwood

  • Starring: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara and Ryo Kase

  • Film Fact: Although the production received special permission to shoot some footage on Iwo Jima, the key combat scenes were filmed in Iceland.

  • Resources: Trailer | Showtimes | Review

"Little Miss Sunshine"

  • The Story: An unconventional family takes a cross-country road trip to enter young Olive in a beauty pageant.

  • Directed By: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris

  • Starring: Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Abigail Breslin, Steve Carell, Alan Arkin and Paul Dano

  • Film Fact: In the final version of the film, the family members travel from New Mexico to California, but the original draft of the script took them from Maryland to Florida.

  • Resources: Trailer | Showtimes | Review
    DVD Review

"The Queen"

  • The Story: A look at the royal family in the days immediately following the unexpected death of Princess Diana.

  • Directed By: Stephen Frears

  • Starring: Helen Mirren, James Cromwell, Alex Jennings and Michael Sheen

  • Film Fact: Sheen also played British Prime Minister Tony Blair in a 2003 British TV movie, coincidentally directed by Stephen Frears.

  • Resources: Trailer | Showtimes | Review

Your Vote

Which film will win the Oscar for Best Picture?
 "The Departed"
 "Letters From Iwo Jima"
 "Little Miss Sunshine"
 "The Queen"


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