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Racial drama 'Crash' leads Image Award nominations

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 8:26:48 PM ET

By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Racial drama "Crash," already shaping up as a major contender for the Oscars, led the films nominated on Tuesday by the nation's largest civil rights group, the NAACP, for its annual Image Awards.

"Crash" and members of its multiracial ensemble cast garnered six nominations in all, including one for best film.

Four of the NAACP's five nominations for best supporting actor went to "Crash" co-stars Don Cheadle, Terrence Howard, Larenz Tate and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges. Thandie Newton landed a nod for best supporting actress in the film.

Hip-hop drama "Hustle & Flow," about a pimp's efforts to break into the music business, was the second-most nominated film, garnering nods for best film and four more for its cast members, including Howard as best actor.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the nation's oldest civil rights organization, has presented its Image Awards since 1962 to honor positive portrayals of blacks and other minorities in the media.

While not seen as a bellwether for Oscar competition, the Image Awards help raise the profile of films they recognize during Hollywood's movie-award season.

"Crash," which explores ethnic and racial tensions that ripple through American society, marks the directorial feature debut of Paul Haggis, the screenwriter behind last year's big Oscar winner, boxing film "Million Dollar Baby." "Crash," a low-budget film, debuted in May of 2005 and grossed a modest $53 million at the North American box office.

After being mostly overlooked in this year's Oscar race, "Crash" has gained some unexpected steam in the recent flurry of film critics awards and film industry honors leading up to the January 31 nominations for the Academy Awards.

The film earned Critics Choice Awards on Monday night for its screenplay, co-written by Haggis, and for its ensemble cast. Last week, Haggis picked up a prestigious Directors Guild of America nomination for his work on the film, as well as a Writers Guild of America nomination for the screenplay.

The film also garnered three nominations from the Screen Actors Guild and a nod for best picture from the Producers Guild of America.

The sudden surge in recognition has led some to predict that "Crash," will emerge as a major rival of critical darling "Brokeback Mountain" in the battle for a best picture Oscar.

Other films nominated for best picture by the NAACP were high school basketball saga "Coach Carter," romantic comedy "Hitch" and "Diary of a Mad Black Woman." All three, like "Hustle & Flow," also scored acting nods for their male leads -- Will Smith for "Hitch," Samuel L. Jackson for "Coach Carter" and Shemar Moore for "Diary."

In addition, the filmmaker behind "Coach Carter," Thomas Carter, was nominated for best movie director, along with John Singleton for "Four Brothers," Malcolm Lee for "Roll Bounce" and Tim Story for "Fantastic Four."

The 37th annual Image Awards will be presented in Los Angeles on February 25 in a ceremony that airs March 3 on Fox.

source via google: http://www.metronews.ca/reuters_entertainment.asp?id=121232

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I hope Will and Jada both win..I was looking at the nominees that they have listed. Jada gets a nod 4 her childrens book "Girls Hold Up the World".

It would be great if both of them won.


Edited by Angel Amor
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I figured she'd get a nod, but I didn't get a look @ all the noms, she'll probably get it for the book though, it sold really well, and it's pretty cool...congrats to both of them, i hope Will wins but Hitch is up against a couple tough dramas so i see people leaning towards Hustle and Flow, but i'm proud of the Smiths work just the same

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