"Dreamgirls," a musical drama inspired by Motown group the Supremes, scored a leading eight Oscar nominations, but was omitted from the coveted best picture and directing categories, organizers said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

"Babel," a bold examination of the woes afflicting humanity in the early 21st century, followed with seven nominations, followed by Spanish-language adult fairy tale "Pan`s Labyrinth" and the British royals drama "The Queen," with six each.

The mob thriller "The Departed" and the Africa-set drama "Blood Diamond" picked up five nominations each.

The best picture nominees were "Babel," "The Departed," "Letters from Iwo Jima," "Little Miss Sunshine" and "The Queen."

The directing nominees were Mexican filmmaker Alejandro GonzalezInarritu for "Babel,"  Martin Scorsese for "The Departed,"  Clint Eastwood for "Letters from Iwo Jima," and British directors  Stephen Frears for "The Queen" and Paul Greengrass for "United 93."

Nominated for lead actor were  Leonardo DiCaprio for "Blood Diamond,"  Ryan Gosling for "Half Nelson,"  Peter O`Toole for "Venus,"   Will Smith for "The Pursuit of Happyness," and  Forest Whitaker for "The Last King of Scotland."

The best actress nominees were Penelope Cruz of Spain for "Volver," Britons  Judi Dench for "Notes on a Scandal,"  Helen Mirren for "The Queen," and   Kate Winslet for "Little Children," and the sole American contender,  Meryl Streep , for "The Devil Wears Prada."

The highest-profile nominations for "Dreamgirls" were in the supporting acting races, where veteran comic  Eddie Murphy and newcomer Jennifer Hudson were cited.

The 79th annual  Academy Awards, the top honors in cinema, will take place on February 25 in Hollywood.