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Satellite Awards nominate seven dramas

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Seven dramas will compete for the best motion picture, drama prize at the 11th annual Satellite Awards, which will be handed out Dec. 17 at Le Meridien Hotel in Beverly Hills.

The annual awards, voted by the International Press Academy, announced its nominations Thursday and included a full house of seven features in its line-up of dramatic picture nominees. They are: "Half Nelson," "The Departed," "Flags of Our Fathers," "The Queen," "The Last King of Scotland," "Babel" and "Little Children."

The group also nominated six films for best motion picture, comedy or musical. They are "Little Miss Sunshine," "Thank You for Smoking," "The Devil Wears Prada," "Stranger than Fiction," "Venus" and "Dreamgirls."

The exhaustive Satellite Awards cover 22 film categories, 12 TV categories, 6 DVD categories and five videogame categories. The group also named ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" as best television ensemble and Warner Bros. Pictures' "The Departed" as best motion picture ensemble. At its awards ceremony, the IPA will also honor Martin Landau with its Mary Pickford Award for outstanding Artistic Contribution to the Entertainment Industry.

Like the rival Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.'s Golden Globe Awards, the Satellites dole out best acting prizes in both for both dramas and comedy/musicals.

The nominees for best actress in a drama are: Penelope Cruz for "Volver"; Helen Mirren, "The Queen"; Judi Dench, "Notes on a Scandal"; Gretchen Mol, "The Notorious Betty Page"; Maggie Gyllenhaal, "Sherrybaby"; and Kate Winslet, "Little Children."

Nominees for best actor in a drama are: Derek Luke, "Catch a Fire"; Joshua Jackson, "Aurora Borealis"; Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland"; Ryan Gosling, "Half Nelson"; Patrick Wilson, "Little Children"; and Leonardo DiCaprio, "Blood Diamond."

Nominees for best actress in a comedy or musical are: Julie Walters, "Driving Lessons"; Annette Bening, "Running with Scissors"; Meryl Streep, "The Devil Wears Prada"; Toni Collette, "Little Miss Sunshine"; Jodie Whitaker, "Venus"; and Beyonce Knowles, "Dreamgirls."

Nominees for best actor in a comedy or musical are: Joseph Cross, "Running with Scissors"; Aaron Eckhart, "Thank You for Smoking"; Sacha Baron Cohen, "Borat"; Peter O'Toole, "Venus"; and Will Ferrell, "Stranger Than Fiction."

Dramas and comedy/musicals are combined in the supporting actor categories.

Nominees for best supporting actress are: Abigail Breslin, "Little Miss Sunshine"; Lily Tomlin, "A Prairie Home Companion"; Blythe Danner, "The Last Kiss"; Rinko Kikuchi, "Babel"; Cate Blanchett, "Notes on a Scandal"; and Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls."

Nominees for best supporting actor are: Donald Sutherland, "Aurora Borealis"; Adam Beach, "Flags of Our Fathers"; Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Departed"; Alan Arkin, "Little Miss Sunshine"; Brad Pitt, "Babel"; and Jack Nicholson, "The Departed."

Nominees for best director are: Martin Scorsese, "The Departed"; Clint Eastwood, "Flags of Our Fathers"; Pedro Almodovar, "Volver"; Stephen Frears, "The Queen"; Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, "Babel"; and Bill Condon, "Dreamgirls."