This started as a comment on Marjorie's blog, Brown Bunny Tanning, but it was getting long so I figured I'd flesh it out over here.
The Queen was a good movie, we saw it back in Oct or so (sneak peak), and Helen Mirren made me fall in love with the Queen. I was completely entranced I am not an Anglophile (I do love British soccer and the pub culture), I never understood the Diana thing, but this was such a well-written and well-acted movie I am smitten with Helen Mirren.
We (Marjorie And I) are on the same tip with Dreamgirls. This was a schlocky Hollywood bombast of a perfectly good (from what I hear) Brdwy production. The problem I had (other than hating musicals) is that the off-stage characters (except Jamie Foxx) had no story. I didn't care about any of them, I just wanted to get to the next on-stage scene, which they ALL did great jobs with. After Jamie Foxx, J-Hu's character and Eddie Murphy's character had the most depth but they had so little it's not worth talking about. There was potential but it was unfulfilled.
Pursuit of Happyness is all about the story, the story of Christopher Gardner. Will Smith was good, not great, but this is an incredible story. Will brought his Will-ness to the role. He is nominated b/c you can't help but root for Will Smith and he cried and struggled.
Volver kicked ass. Pedro Almodóvar has created a(nother) masterpiece. Ms. Cruz and her cleavage are wonderful to watch. The story is warped but so well written and acted and directed that you don't even notice that this is the story of women surviving abuse, incest, and death.
I saw several other really good films but these were the few Majorie mentioned that I remembered to comment on.