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Wake me up from this 'Dreamgirls' nightmare!

January 23, 2007 | 10:09 am


Don't bother passing the Kleenex box. No, no, no, please. Just gimme a whole roll of paper towel. I will never, ever get over the cruel shock of "Dreamgirls" being snubbed in the top Oscar races for best picture, director and screenplay. I confess what you already know: I'm emotionally invested in this movie. I try not to let that happen during derby season. No good pundit should care if this-or-that pic wins. It's best to remain emotionally detached. But "Dreamgirls" cast its spell on me long ago as a Broadway show and later, when it got transferred to the screen so expertly by Bill Condon & Co., the result was a cinematic dream come true. Not just for me. Right now it's triggering roaring standing ovations at movie theaters across America. It just won the Globe for best musical/comedy picture! It just scored the most Oscar nominations! Eight! The Producers Guild of America nominated it as one of the five best-produced pix of 2006. The Directors Guild of America nommed it as one of the five best helmed. How could it NOT be nominated in the top race by the Oscars?

The reason: Let me quote what Jennifer Aniston says about that academy member Brad Pitt. Oscar voters are "missing a sensitivity chip."

Those straight ole white geezers in the academy just don't "get" the wow-pow of what's going on between all those hip black folk singing, loving, dancing, dreaming, hearts breaking up on screen. Yes, voters admire their performances, the songs, art direction, costume design, even sound mixing, but they're not doing their fundamental job as filmgoers, they're not projecting themselves into the characters on that screen, thus experiencing what they feel. Why? Because they can't break out of their white skins, that's why. From a distance they applaud Effie's roof-rattling role, sure (Jennifer Hudson), but they don't feel her pain. If they did, they would experience a whole, different cinematic experience — one of the finest of this year, any year.

Photo: "Dreamgirls" fans should throw an Effie-style diva fit today, I say!