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COMPLETE COVERAGE:

Eastwood, DiCaprio play doubles

List of nominees

TV nominees react

Risky Business: Anne Thompson's take


Grove: Votes impact Oscar coin

A late night of partying morphed into an early morning of celebration for "Babel" director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. "It's funny," he said. "I was at a party with Penelope Cruz, and it was 5:30 (a.m.) when I arrived at my house. Someone was watching TV, and I asked, 'What's going on here?' It was my wife watching, and I heard my name on the TV, and I heard a shout. And she started jumping all over me. I didn't understand what was going on." The couple had plenty of reasons to revel as the multiarc drama scored the most Globe nominations with seven, including one for the Mexican-born helmer. "That was the one that surprised me the most," said Inarritu, whose "Amores Perros" vied for best foreign film at the 2001 Globes. That year, Inarritu lost to Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." As for his chances this year, the director said he doesn't want to jinx himself. "I will never prepare a speech," he said. "That's bad luck. If I'm in those circumstances one day, which I doubt, I will just speak from my heart." Meanwhile, "Babel" producer Steve Golin said he was "pleasantly surprised" at the film's showing yet can understand why the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. is so enamored of the globetrotting film, which shot in locales including Morocco and Japan. "It truly is an international picture," Golin said. "And I think that helped the film a lot with these voters."

*****

Penelope Cruz backed up Gonzalez Inarritu's story, saying she was "very tired" and hadn't slept, though it's hard to conjure up much sympathy for her. After designers Dolce & Gabbana threw a party in her honor late Wednesday night, she decided to stay awake for the nominations, eating pancakes in her Chateau Marmont hotel room with friends including Prince and Gael Garcia Bernal. When her best actress drama nomination for "Volver" came in, "it was beautiful to see my friends' reactions," Cruz said as her dogs Vino and Leon fought in the background. Director Pedro Almodovar was the first person to call from overseas, leaving her a "screaming message." After mixed success with U.S. productions, getting recognized for work in her native language with one of her first directors felt good to Cruz. "I've done 35 or 37 movies, and this one feels like it's all about the work and has nothing to do with your ego," she said. "Pedro's given me the opportunity to do this. He's given me that trust."

*****

Kate Winslet was dropping off her toddler at school when news came of her best actress nom for "Little Children." "It's difficult to contain your excitement when you're standing in a room of 3-year-olds," she said with a laugh. "Even now, I'm jumping up and down. I'm really, really fucking happy!" One might think more than a decade of nominations (starting with "Sense and Sensibility") would have dampened her enthusiasm a bit, but no. "To be nominated alongside two Dames (Helen Mirren and Judi Dench) is incredible. I'm speechless. Usually I'm not as aware of the whole awards thing, but I've been on the press treadmill a lot recently, and it's made it a bit more nerve-wracking, to be quite honest." After "screaming on the telephone" to husband Sam Mendes, who is in New York with Winslet while directing "The Vertical Hour" on Broadway, she called her friend and fellow nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal. "I said this is so significant for small films like ours to get seen," Winslet said.

*****

Leonardo DiCaprio slept soundly in his Los Angeles home and woke up at 8 a.m. when his manager Rick Yorn phoned in the news that he had earned not one but two lead actor noms. Although DiCaprio is a Globes veteran, having already grabbed three best actor nominations (and a win for "The Aviator"), he was still "blown away," he admitted. "It's a great feeling. I'm really proud of both of these movies. I give all the credit to the filmmakers I got to work with. I'm very happy for Marty (Scorsese, director of 'The Departed'). This is hopefully his year." While DiCaprio was "very surprised" to be nominated for both "Departed" and "Blood Diamond," the roles were equally daunting, he said. "Certainly with 'Blood Diamond,' it was challenging taking on a character so unlike me in every way, from halfway around the world, with military experience, dealing with the black-market diamond industry, an African white man in the post-apartheid era," he said. "Going to Africa for that long, being away from home, was very difficult." "Departed" brought different challenges, mostly because of the actors' schedules. "A lot of the actors had to leave to do other projects," he said. "They were all doing separate movies, so I was going into character for two weeks, then letting go and coming back for a day here and a day there. It was hard to maintain focus on that movie." But DiCaprio did enjoy working with fellow nominee Jack Nicholson: "He elevates everyone. Jack is a force of nature; he definitely has his own unique approach. There has only been one Jack in the rich history of cinema."

*****

There have been ups and downs in Ben Affleck's career, but with his "Hollywoodland" supporting actor nom and a recent Venice Film Festival win, things are on the upswing. "I was really surprised by Venice, and this is also a surprise," Affleck said. The Focus Features/Miramax Films co-production is "sort of dark, not many people saw it, and there are a lot of good performances out there. I'm just happy to be on the train," he said. The first person to congratulate the actor Thursday morning was his baby daughter ("She's up at 4 in the morning," he said wryly), followed by wife Jennifer Garner.

*****

Best comic actor nominee Sacha Baron Cohen modestly began a prepared statement, acknowledging the two noms for "Borat." "I am extremely honored," he said. "I'm very proud as well for my fellow writers as well as our director Larry Charles and our producer Jay Roach and am very thankful for the HFPA's belief and acknowledgment of our film." But then the irrepressible comedian couldn't resist adding: "I have been trying to let Borat know this great news, but for the last four hours both of Kazakhstan's telephones have been engaged. Eventually, Premier Nazarbayev answered and said he would pass on the message as soon as Borat returned from Iran, where he is guest of honor at the Holocaust Denial Conference."

*****

Guillermo del Toro, who wrote and directed "Pan's Labyrinth," didn't get a lick of sleep in his San Francisco hotel room Wednesday night waiting to hear the Golden Globe nominations. "You're talking to a man in a dream state," he said. "They told me to go to bed, we'd know at 5:15 a.m. It's like telling a kid Santa's showing up, and watching the milk and cookies carefully overnight." Del Toro's fellow Mexico countryman Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who directed multiple-Globe nominee "Babel," woke up Del Toro's wife at 6 a.m. to report the happy news on both of their films. Both men have been on the long campaign trail since the Festival de Cannes in May, and have worked hard to support each other's films. "Other than Alejandro causing that domestic turbulence, it's the best week I've ever had," said Del Toro. "It's been a particularly crowded year. Having seen a few of (the other foreign films) and knowing they were very good, I did have nail-biting experience." Del Toro has been on a city-by-city promo tour, because, he says, "like any foreign film, the main thing is making sure it gets seen. Frankly, that's the biggest weapon of this movie, to be seen." Del Toro's violent Spanish Civil War fable relays a powerful message: "The fact that we live in a brutal world means that we are in desperate need for spirituality," he said. "The movie proves that within each of us there is a world we can access: it's as real as the world outside, and it can fill you with hope."

*****

"Bobby" producer Holly Wiersma was virtually living in the editing room, finishing up George Hickenlooper's "Factory Girl" for its Dec. 29 Oscar-qualifying run, when she got the call from the Weinstein Co. that her film nabbed a best picture (drama) nomination. "I talked to (director) Emilio (Estevez) first, who is so excited and humbled and can't believe it. He's devoted seven years of his life to it -- this whole movie is because of him." Her next call was from a member of the film's large ensemble, Christian Slater. "Christian said this has been the best experience of his life," she said. On her way to meet with proud studio head Harvey Weinstein, however, Wiersma had something more important on her mind. "I have to call my mom -- she's called four times!" she said. "She's going to kill me." Weinstein had his own theory behind "Bobby's" success: "HFPA members saw it in Venice," where the film was said to be in serious awards consideration, "so they saw it under ideal circumstances," he said.

*****

Best supporting actress nominee Jennifer Hudson woke up at 3 a.m. "Nerves got the best of me," she said. "They tapped me and said, 'Jennifer, wake up now.' " It's been a whirlwind four months promoting "Dreamgirls," she said. "Oh my goodness, it done wore me out." The rookie actress got a lot of help creating the role of Effie, she admitted, especially from her director, Bill Condon, who wasn't nominated. "He gave me that chance and walked me through it all," Hudson said. "He directed me. I don't know if I'd be sitting here right now as a Golden Globe nominee if he hadn't given me that great direction. He's such an amazing director. I'm going to create him an award myself." On the set, Jamie Foxx gave her acting tips, while Beyonce Knowles helped her with the dance moves. "I tried to do whatever I could to make Effie real," Hudson said. Condon saved for last Effie's signature song, "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going," which was made famous by the play's original Broadway star, Jennifer Holliday. "It was nerve-wracking," Hudson said. "(Holliday) did everything possible you could do for the song. It was the biggest hurdle for me to get over. I realized that I had to create my own Effie, the same as she created hers. 'I'm Telling You' is not a song; it is Effie's story, and it is led by emotion, not by singing notes or vocal gymnastics. I needed to separate myself from the singer in me and come in as an actress. I just hope the original Dreamgirls are pleased (by the nominations). This is a tribute to them. I'd love to meet Jennifer Holliday."

*****

For producer Marc Turtletaub, "Little Miss Sunshine" has been a series of pleasant surprises, the latest the two nominations for the little indie that could. "We received such a wonderful response at Sundance. We got such an enthusiastic distributor in Searchlight. The domestic boxoffice results was the third surprise," he said. "Who could predict that a film made for less than $8 million would have such a phenomenal boxoffice? The fourth was the international response at festivals. And of course, today marks the fifth. This movie is a combination of humor and heart that touches people." Turtletaub was holed up in Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, working on his upcoming film "Sunshine Cleaning."

*****

"I know a lot of people who were nominated. I wrote to Penelope (Cruz) and told her I was gonna kick her ass!" Maggie Gyllenhaal joked. "I don't know Judi Dench, but I'd like to." After a wrenching performance as a drug addict in "Sherrybaby," the best actress drama nominee feels that the accolade comes near the end of a long road she has taken with the film. "It's such a teeny, tiny movie, and it felt like I worked so hard to get it made, distributed and seen that it means so much," she said. Brother Jake heard the news and rushed to her home in Los Angeles, where she is staying while fiance Peter Sarsgaard is out working. The news comes at a time when Gyllenhaal has her hands full. "I have a new baby, I'm nursing, answering the phone and trying to put on makeup for TV interviews, wondering if I can nurse her before I get down the hill," she said in mock exasperation. "My brother is trying to get me to eat."

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Although scribe Guillermo Arriaga has been exploring themes of alienation and disconnection for years, he finally connected with HFPA voters with his screenplay for "Babel." "I really think it's a good movie," said the first-time nominee, who has been a frequent collaborator with "Babel" helmer Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. "It has something important to say about how people relate and communicate. We are very informed, but we can't communicate. Kids are on the computer now for five hours a day. We are more alienated than ever." Despite the film's bleak portrayals, Arriaga insisted that "Babel" is an uplifting tale. "A big chunk of passion and heart went into this, and it was a very difficult movie," the father of two teenagers said. "But the theme of this movie is hope. Love allows people to hope." In fact, all of the "Babel" accolades pale in comparison to the gratification he receives from parenthood, he said. "It's very exciting. It's a great honor," said Arriaga, who also is an accomplished author and documentarian. "But the best thing to be is a great father, rather than a great writer."

*****

Seal was on the treadmill at his local gym and didn't pick up when his publicist called to tell him he had been nominated for best original song for his contribution to "The Pursuit of Happyness." "I didn't even know they were going on," he said. But being the devoted husband that he is, when he got a call from his wife, Heidi Klum (who had received a call from her publicist), he picked up right away. The news made him breathless. The first thing on his agenda after the gym? Taking his daughter to ballet. "My No. 1 priority is to be a dad every morning," he said. The movie inspired his songwriting, he said, but "it's a song that I couldn't have written if I wasn't a parent myself. ... It gives you a kind of insight into the realities of what being a parent entails. That was a very valuable experience for me."

*****

"Being a part of 'Dreamgirls' and working with a director as wonderful as Bill Condon was an opportunity of a lifetime for me, enabling me to grow as an actress," Beyonce Knowles said. "To be nominated in two categories (original song and best performance by an actress in a musical) by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. is an honor that I graciously accept. I am so happy for the accolades being given to the movie as a whole. I was thrilled to work with Oscar winner Jamie Foxx, and I am happy to share these nominations with fellow nominees Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy."

*****

All Aaron Eckhart had to do was smile and he earned himself a nomination as best comedy actor. According to the first-time nominee, selected for his role as Nick Naylor in Jason Reitman's comedy "Thank You for Smoking," the director hired the actor for his smile. "What this character does for a living is dubious, his morals are dubious and his relationship with his wife and kid is in trouble," Eckhart said. "But if you smile through all of that, there is a certain excitement that creates. Jason had a great handle on how he wanted to present the humor in the character, and it all came down to the smile." Eckhart enjoys playing what he calls the "likable despicable." "It's fun for audiences to watch the villain be delicious," he said. And where was the busy actor -- who completed three films this year -- when he heard the news? "I have two pillows. I was on the left one," he said.

*****

For "Borat" producer Jay Roach and director Larry Charles, their nomination for motion picture comedy marks a first nom for Roach and a first film nom for Charles. But the duo wasn't completely surprised by the recognition. "Both Jay and I have witnessed these amazing audience reactions to the movie, and we felt like we had something very special. This seems like a very organic byproduct of that," Charles said. Added Roach, "It's pretty rare for a comedy where people are laughing that hard to not get noticed." Neither of Sacha Baron Cohen's partners believes the lawsuits swirling around the film brought on by its unwitting stars have hampered the film's success. "I think the lawsuits are actually fueling the success," Charles said. "They are silly and absurd and part of the comedy of the film." Roach added, "Sacha is doing something so unusual. He's a truth-finder, and he's out there doing this in a way that's controversial. We're not entirely surprised. He's been doing it for 10 years, so it's kind of part of the territory."

*****

Director Todd Field was a proud papa Thursday as actress Kate Winslet won a nomination for "Little Children." "I'm pleased that everybody responded; I'm proud of my actors and thrilled to see Kate's performance recognized, because she's done remarkable work." With the Globes recognition, Field now hopes that his film, which has been platformed on 30 screens for 10 weeks, will go into wider release. "Hopefully this will allow more people to be able to see the film," said the director, who has been on the road with his actors, adding, "I haven't unpacked my bags for months." Also nominated as co-writer with "Little Children" novelist Tom Perrotta, Field said the screenplay took about two months to write. "It was a fairly fast process because Tom and I are both fairly deadline-oriented individuals. We didn't have to poke or prod each other. We rolled up our sleeves and went to work at the Elliot Hotel in Boston."

*****

Broadway songwriter Henry Krieger is having a ball with his first movie experience, he admitted, but his Globe-nominated song, "Listen," was by far the "most difficult" of the four new songs he wrote "in a heavenly collaboration" with writer-director Bill Condon for "Dreamgirls." "The song took us a long time. It's Deena's emancipation proclamation, with vigor. We had to write it in such a way that it built more and more." Beyonce Knowles delivers the song, and Krieger added, "This is the best role she's been given to show what she can do," he said. "There are parallels to her life situation, not only with leaving the group and becoming a star, but her parents are instrumental in her success. I think she's growing like (her character) Deena. She could tap emotionally into the song because of her own life."

*****

Sheryl Crow had forgotten all about the Globes. She hopped a flight from Nashville to New York, and when she landed at 6 a.m., her BlackBerry was flashing with the news that she had been nominated for the original song "Try Not to Remember" from "Home of the Brave." "My parents are very excited in Missouri," she said, making calls from her Manhattan pied-a-terre. Asked how she got involved with the Iraq-themed film, she said she ran into producer-director Irwin Winkler, who had worked with her on "De-Lovely," at a dinner party, and he asked her to write the closing song. "The movie is so immediate about the war," she said. "It was not a lot of fun, but it was one of my most inspired writing sessions. I had just seen the film and went to the piano and wrote the song, inspired by moving and alarming images."

*****

For Val Faris and Jonathan Dayton -- a married couple who co-directed best motion picture (musical or comedy) nominee "Little Miss Sunshine" -- the noms had to be juggled with the never-ending demands of parenthood, including caring for a sick kid at home. Dayton, though, couldn't sleep and woke up at 5:30 a.m. to watch the nominations live. "It's our first film, so we're just riding every little wave that comes with it," he said. The two have been on such an odyssey, spending four years trying to get the film made, one year making it and one year releasing. "There hasn't been any disappointments," Faris said. "It's been one nice bit of news after another. We actually worry that it will never be like this again." The pair are about to try again; they're in final negotiations to direct Tom Perrotta's soon-to-be-released novel "The Abstinence Teacher" for Warner Independent Pictures. "We think 'The Abstinence Teacher' will be a film where you can leave the theater feeling hopeful, and that's one of the things we want in our filmmaking," Dayton said. "I don't need to spend $10 to remind me how bad the world is out there. I can get that for free."

*****

First-time helmer Gil Kenan is the new kid on the block in the world of animated cinema. But his film "Monster House," nominated in the best animated feature category, puts the 30-year-old in illustrious company. "I'm kind of floored by this whole thing," said Kenan, who was roused from a deep slumber by a Sony publicist with the good news. "To be nominated with people like John Lasseter and George Miller is just amazing. They have really pushed the boundaries of the family film." Kenan said Lasseter ("Cars") and Miller ("Happy Feet") have long served as inspirations. "Come on, 'Mad Max.' That movie was pivotal in my (decision to be) a filmmaker," he said. But Kenan also hopes that his spooky motion-capture flick is forging new territory, too. "We were able to make a movie that still spoke to kids but also pushed the boundaries a little bit," he said. As for any pre-Globe jitters, the director said he remains calm. "It took three years to make this movie," he said, "so I think that process took away any anxiety I might have."

*****

Mark Wahlberg was sleeping comfortably in New York when his agent called. "He said, 'I think you got nominated.' And I said, Well, if I did get nominated, call me back. If not, don't call me at all. He is slowly trying to become Ari from 'Entourage.' " Wahlberg called the nomination a "wonderful surprise." "I had never been nominated before, so I certainly wouldn't expect it. But I never got to play a part quite like this, either," he said. And just as he was surprised at his own nom, his eyebrows were equally raised that co-star Matt Damon didn't receive one. "I think Matt did a great job," he said. "I don't think Matt is all too disappointed. He certainly has a lot to be proud of and be happy about." Wahlberg also enjoys seeing "Entourage," the show he exec produces, receive some love in the comedy series race. "We've been nominated three times, and we're hoping that this is the lucky year. I'm the show's biggest fan. Everything about the guys, the world they are living in, the stakes, it's all fascinating to me."

*****

"It's my first proper movie, so I guess it'll be all downhill from here," "The Queen" producer Andy Harries said. "(Writer) Peter Morgan and I come largely from TV origins, so for this to have the impact it has is amazing." (Morgan also scripted the fact-based "The Last King of Scotland.") "I had a strong sense that something about the royal family would do well if we did it right," said Harries, who produced the Miramax feature with Christine Langan and Tracey Seaward. "The themes in the film are universal." In any event, Harries will be glad to attend the ceremony. "It'll be a great place to be in January instead of cold, rainy England."

*****

Meanwhile, director Stephen Frears was pretty low-key about his best director nomination for "The Queen" -- "If it gets more people to see the film, that's good," he sighed -- until he learned about the competition. That includes Martin Scorsese -- "He's terrible," Frears said, laughing -- and double nominee Clint Eastwood. "I'd better get down my rifle. I'm sure I can draw faster than him," said Frears, who was on a roll. "I'd better go down to the armory and buy a Magnum. I might withdraw the nomination -- it's going to be a shootout!"

*****

"I've been rewarded by this project in so many ways," said Forest Whitaker, nominated for his portrayal of Idi Amin in Fox Searchlight's "The Last King of Scotland." "This really is an independent film. It was made for $8 million, and when you do something like this you never know how it will be recognized. I gave myself over to it completely. I never could have predicted this response. I hope it gets more people to go to the theaters to see it."

*****

"I bumped into Harvey Weinstein, and he went, 'Bryan Adams, I have a project for you,' " the singer-songwriter recalled while shopping for Christmas presents in London. "Within 48 hours I had a film and a script on my desk." The Globe-nominated song he co-wrote with Eliot Kennedy and Andrea Remanda -- "Never Gonna Break My Faith," from "Bobby" -- was inspired by Robert Kennedy's speech on the meaninglessness of violence and a trip Adams took to the Caribbean. "I spent some time at these little churches where people were singing, and they were so devout," he recalled. "When I sang the demo, I imagined Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige singing it, and Harvey made it happen."

*****

Composer Gustavo Santaolalla said he was aiming for a "National Geographic sound" with the music in "Babel." "I found it in this instrument called the oud," said Santaolalla, who last year was nominated for "Brokeback Mountain's" score and won in the original song category for "A Love That Will Never Grow Old." "But it was the first time I ever played the oud in my life." Nevertheless, he enjoyed beginner's luck with the instrument, which originated in the Arab world and is an ancestor of the lute and guitar. "I could draw from this instrument what the characters were feeling," the Argentinean musician said. And because the oud harkens Mexican and Japanese musical sounds, "it helped to bridge the film's different story lines."

*****

Producer Graham King embraced an embarrassment of riches as both of his films, "The Departed" and "Blood Diamond," were nominated. Director Martin Scorsese, who won a Globe for King's "Gangs of New York," grabbed his seventh Globe nomination, while Leonardo DiCaprio grabbed best actor noms for both films. "It's an incredible feat when you see all the films of the year and pick five actors for that category and he's two out of the five," King said of DiCaprio. Going in, King wasn't expecting both films to come out during the same season. "Ed Zwick just made 'Blood Diamond' and got through postproduction, and the timing and schedule was perfect for a fall release." As for "Diamond's" weak opening numbers, King is sanguine that the movie will pick up steam through the holidays: "We feel it has legs; I'm hoping that the studio stays strong behind it," he said.

*****

Two-time Globe winner Hans Zimmer said there was nothing divine about his inspiration for "The Da Vinci Code." Instead, the German composer immersed himself in literature from medieval times forward, including Umberto Eco's "Foucault's Pendulum." "That was the fun part. For a whole year I got to go on some sort of medieval journey," he said. Although Zimmer admits that he read Dan Brown's best-selling novel on which the movie was based, he said, "The reading I was doing (for inspiration) was on a level a little bit more sophisticated than that." Also serving as Zimmer's muse was the I.M. Pei-designed Louvre pyramid, which plays a key role in the story's plot. "I think it's absolutely a masterpiece," said Zimmer, who previously nabbed Globes for his scores for "Gladiator" and "The Lion King." "It combines traditional Europe with something that's forward-thinking."

*****

"I think people don't like to be told what to do, and that's what my movie is all about," first-time feature director Jason Reitman said of "Thank You for Smoking," which was nominated for two Globes. "I'm most excited about Aaron (Eckhart's) nomination. The success of the film is in large part due to his talent. This film was going to live or die on the main character's performance, and Aaron hit it out of the park."

*****

"I am very pleased and honored to be nominated, and I would like to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press very much for thinking of me," best dramatic film actor nominee Peter O'Toole ("Venus") said as he racked up his 10th Globes nom. (He has won for "Lawrence of Arabia," "Becket" and "Goodbye, Mr. Chips.") "I would also like to thank everyone who worked on 'Venus' as they share this honor with me."

*****

Brad Pitt had many reasons to celebrate this year's Golden Globe noms. The actor received a mention for his supporting turn as a grieving father and beleaguered husband in the drama "Babel," and as a producer of "Running With Scissors" and "The Departed," he could share in the glory of those films' nominations. "I am so pleased this morning to be nominated along with my fellow actors in 'Babel' for a Golden Globe," he said. "I am very proud of this film, and I congratulate Alejandro (Gonzalez Inarritu), Rinko (Kikuchi), Adriana (Barraza) and Cate (Blanchett) as well. As a producer with Plan B, I'd also like to congratulate ('Running's') Annette Bening and all the nominees from 'The Departed.' "

*****

"I am extremely grateful to the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. for acknowledging 'The Departed' -- especially the great work of the actors and screenwriter, Bill Monahan," director Martin Scorsese said. "And then, to have the added pleasure of a nomination for myself -- it made waking up early well worthwhile."

*****

"It's exciting and flattering that the Hollywood Foreign Press has acknowledged all the hard work that went in to 'Dreamgirls.' I am happily humbled and honored," Eddie Murphy said upon receiving his fifth Globes nomination -- for best supporting actor in "Dreamgirls."
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