2009 Oscar Nominees Announced
Check out the winners, losers and surprises
It’s a good morning to wake up in the Pitt-Jolie household. (Come to think of it, when it is not a good morning to wake up in the Pitt-Jolie household?) The prolific pair both received Oscar nominations early today - Angelina for Best Actress in The Changeling, and Pitt for Best Actor in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which was also nominated in the Best Picture category.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, with 13 nominations, will face off against other Best Picture nominees Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Reader and Slumdog Millionaire (10 nods). So it appears we’ll have a race between an old man turning young, an old president turning bitter, a gay politician turning minds, an older woman turning guilty and a sweet young Mumbai slumdog turning millionaire. (Guess which one’s been winning the sentimental vote this Oscar campaign?)
As expected, Heath Ledger was nominated posthumously for his dark turn in The Dark Knight, although the film itself wasn’t able to edge its way into the Best Picture category. Ledger died a year ago at the age of 28.
There was a slight surprise in the Best Actress category, with Kate Winslet nominated for The Reader instead of Revolutionary Road. Kate and the film’s producers had been campaigning for Best Supporting Actress for The Reader and Best Actress for Revolutionary Road, but it looks like Academy members agreed with the Golden Globes and audiences on which film was more deserving, and could possibly grace Kate with her first (well-deserved and well-longed-for) Oscar. Only one little wrinkle in the Winslet household – her husband, Sam Mendez, directed Revolutionary Road. Awkward! (Let’s hope he gets over it fast and gets on with celebrating his talented wife.)
Completing the Best Actress category are Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married (and who, like Kate Winslet, was criticized for her effusive Golden Globes acceptance speech – although apparently that mean press didn’t hurt either of their Oscar chances), Melissa Leo for Frozen River and Meryl Streep for Doubt.
Brad Pitt is joined in the Best Actor category by Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon, Sean Penn, Milk, Mickey Rourke, in a surprise comeback for The Wrestler, and Richard Jenkins for The Visitor.
In the Best Supporting Actor category, Josh Brolin, Milk, Michael Shannon Revolutionary Road, Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt, are all in the uncomfortable position of facing off against a beloved Ledger.
Best Supporting Actress nominees are Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Amy Adams, Doubt, Viola Davis, Doubt, Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler, and Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
The nominees for Best Director of the year reflect identically the Best Picture nominations: Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire, Stephen Daldry for The Reader, David Fincher for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Ron Howard for Frost/Nixon and Gus Van Sant for Milk.
In the Best Animated Feature category, we have the precious WALL-E, Kung Fu Panda and Bolt. As much as I loved WALL-E, I’m glad this film stayed in the animated rather than Best Picture category, where it has a much better chance for survival.
For a full list of nominees, click here.
The 81st annual Oscars will be announced Feb. 22.