By Indiewire | Indiewire November 17, 2006 at 2:38AM
Kowtowing to young audiences, who prefer watching stuff blow up to following nuanced stories, major studios are finding it increasingly difficult to rack up Oscar nominations. The lion's share of them may wind up going to "Babel," "The Queen," "The Last King of Scotland," "Little Children," "Little Miss Sunshine" and "The Illusionist"--all smaller films that opened in limited release and have been marketed to sophisticated filmgoers. One encouraging trend this year is the number of strong performances by women. The playing field may get really crowded next month with the openings of "Blood Diamond," "Dreamgirls," "The Good German" and "The Good Shepherd"--the big studios' best shots at garnering Academy Award recognition. Ruth Stein reports.