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Learning English - Words in the News
01 February, 2006 - Published 17:19 GMT
Oscar nominations announced
Image of Oscars
Oscar awards

The nominations have been announced for this year's movie Oscars. At an early-morning ceremony in Los Angeles, the films were announced that will be in the awards ceremony on 5th March. This report from Vincent Dowd:

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Steven Spielberg's 'Munich' and Ang Lee's 'Brokeback Mountain' are likely to be the big winners at the Oscar ceremony in five weeks' time. Spielberg's highly controversial drama about the 1972 Olympic massacre, and what happens after it, is one of the five nominations for Best Picture. Some had speculated opposition to the movie and its themes might harm its Oscar chances, but that hasn't happened. Spielberg's also nominated as Best Director.

The other Best Picture nominees are 'Capote', a dark character study of the writer Truman Capote, 'Good Night, and Good Luck', George Clooney's account of the clash between the anti-Communist US Senator Joe McCarthy and broadcaster Ed Murrow, and 'Crash', an engrossing portrait of contemporary Los Angeles life, the only one of the nominees not set primarily in recent history. The fifth and final nomination is for Ang Lee's thoughtful drama 'Brokeback Mountain', about a gay relationship between two cowboys which begins in Wyoming in the 1960s. 'Brokeback Mountain' leads the field overall with eight nominations, including Best Director, Best Actor for Heath Ledger and Best Supporting Actor for Jake Gyllenhaal.

The nominations confirm that 2005 was a good year for independent movies in Hollywood and a less good year for the big studios. The Oscar voters have shown they favour intelligent movies with well-crafted scripts on meaty topics.

Nominations for Best Foreign Language film include the Palestinian movie 'Paradise Now', about two childhood friends who volunteer to be suicide bombers, and the South African film 'Tsotsi', a tough thriller set in Johannesburg.

Vincent Dowd, BBC

Listen to the words

big winners
the films that get the most Oscars

highly controversial drama
film that is causing a lot of disagreement

films that have been chosen for the competition

set primarily in recent history
mostly about the past but not a long time ago in the past

leads the field
has the most possible Oscars

supporting actor
performer who is not the main character

independent movies
films that are made by a small company or individual

big studios
large corporations that finance movies

favour intelligent movies with well-crafted scripts on meaty topics
like well-written films on big subjects

tough thriller
exciting film often about solving a crime

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