81st Annual Academy Awards Nominations Announced

The nominees for the upcoming Academy Awards were announced this morning. On the first anniversary of his death, Heath Ledger received a huge tribute: The late actor is an Oscar nominee for best supporting actor for his role as The Joker in “The Dark Knight.”

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” notched the most nominations with 13, including best picture, best director for David Fincher, best actor for Brad Pitt and a best supporting actress nod for Taraji Phenson. The other best picture nominees were “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The Reader,” “Milk” and “Frost/Nixon”.

Sean Penn’s turn in “Milk” is shaping up as the a front runner in the best actor race. The Academy also acknowledged Mickey Rourke’s return from a decade-long career in “The Wrestler.” The other nominees are Richard Jenkins in “The Visitor” and Frank Langella “Frost/Nixon.”

In the best actress category, there is plenty of star power among the nominees, including Anne Hathaway for “Rachel Getting Married”, Angelina Jolie for “Changeling”, Meryl Streep in “Doubt” and Kate Winslet for “Revolutionary Road”. Please God don’t let Anne and Mery TIE like they did at the Golden Globes, or we may get another cracked-out speech from Ann! Melissa Leo was a surprise nominee for her performance in the Sundance Film Festival winner, “Frozen River.”

“Doubt” produced two best supporting actress nominees for Amy Adams and Viola Davis. Penelope Cruz “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” is considered one of the early favorites in the category, which also includes Marisa Tomei in “The Wrestler”.

Robert Downey Jr.
continued his year-long comeback with a supporting actor nomination for his role in the comedy, “Tropic Thunder.” Other nominees include: Josh Brolin in “Milk”, Philip Seymour Hoffman for “Doubt” and Michael Shannon for “Revolutionary Road”.

Heath Ledger
, however, is the sentimental favorite among critics.
His performance as The Joker, however, didn’t carry over to the “The Dark Knight,” despite it’s $500-million haul at the box office. The picture was shut out of the best picture and best director categories.

The 81st-annual Oscars will be hosted by Hugh Jackman. The ceremony will be televised on Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

source: NY Daily News