Guillermo Arriaga’s “Babel” is too similar to last year’s “Crash” to win for best original screenplay, and the Academy rarely grants foreign films this award, so adult fairy tale “Pan’s Labyrinth” is unfortunately out. You may really want “Little Miss Sunshine” to win, but don’t get your hopes up (some are grumbling about an upset, though). “Letters From Iwo Jima” and “The Queen” are both stronger candidates. In the end, “The Queen” will win because of its masterful restraint in dramatizing a more recent event and its ability to influence perception of British monarchy still very much alive today.

VERDICT

NOMINEES

Adriana Barraza, “Babel”
Cate Blanchett, “Notes on a Scandal”
Abigail Breslin, “Little Miss Sunshine”
Jennifer Hudson, “Dreamgirls”
Rinko Kikuchi, “Babel”

Will win: Peter Morgan for “The Queen”

Should win: Iris Yamashita for “Letters From Iwo Jima

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