Just on the coattails of the Golden Globe Awards two weeks ago, the 2009 nominees for the Academy Awards were announced Jan. 22. Films “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and “Slumdog Millionaire” were top dogs in the nominee list.
Academy President Sid Ganis, along with Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker, announced the awards at a live news conference. “Benjamin Button” led the pack with 13 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Brad Pitt) and Best Director (David Fincher). The film, based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald story, is about a man (Pitt) who ages backwards.
“Slumdog Millionaire” wasn’t far behind “Button” with 10 nominations, also including Best Picture and Best Director (Danny Boyle). “Millionaire,” about a young Mumbai man who gets on the Indian version of “Who Wants to Be Millionaire,” won Best Picture at the Golden Globe awards on Jan. 11. It’s considered the biggest surprise hit of the year.
One of the bigger surprises was the nomination for “The Reader” for Best Picture, Best Director (Stephen Daldry) Best Actress (Kate Winslet) and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film has gotten seriously mixed reviews, and despite garnering a Golden Globe for Kate Winslet, was largely believed to be inferior to Winslet’s other film this year, “Revolutionary Road”. The latter film received a Supporting Actor nod to Michael Shannon in the acting categories.
As predicted, Heath Ledger was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “The Dark Knight.” The announcement came on the one year anniversary of Ledger’s death from an accidental overdose. Ledger received a posthumous Best Supporting Actor award at the Golden Globes.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences distributes the awards. The academy is made up of professionals in all aspects of the film industry, who judge the nominees in their respective categories. The Academy Awards themselves will take place at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC network on Feb. 22.
Complete list of nominees on the next page.