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2009 Academy Award Nominations Announced

Posted on Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 8:44 AM. Last Updated on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 8:33 AM by Scott Jentsch


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The nominations for the 81st Academy Awards were announced this morning by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Sid Ganis and Oscar® winner Forest Whitaker. The live television broadcast announced nominations in 10 of the 24 categories, and the entire list appears below.

credit: Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.
Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker and Academy President Sid Ganis
announced the nominees for the 81st Annual Academy Awards in the
Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Leading the list of movies with the most nominations is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with 13, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, and Screenplay. Coming in a close second was Slumdog Millionaire with 10, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.

My pick for Best Score, The Dark Knight, was shut out of that category, but it did receive eight nominations, including Best Supporting Actor for the late Heath Ledger.

Many of these movies are still in theaters, or will be making a return visit as a result of being nominated, so it's not too late to see them for yourself! Click on the movie title to the right to view the information and showtimes (if available) for each movie, or you can check out our new Academy Award® Winners and Nominees page in Now Showing.

The Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Centre. It will be televised live by ABC, and the host this year will be actor Hugh Jackman.

Best motion picture of the year

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), A Kennedy/Marshall Production, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
  • Frost/Nixon” (Universal), A Universal Pictures, Imagine Entertainment and Working Title Production,Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Eric Fellner, Producers
  • Milk” (Focus Features), A Groundswell and Jinks/Cohen Company Production, Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, Producers
  • The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), A Mirage Enterprises and Neunte Babelsberg Film GmbH Production, Nominees to be determined
  • Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), A Celador Films Production,Christian Colson, Producer

Achievement in directing

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), David Fincher
  • Frost/Nixon” (Universal), Ron Howard
  • Milk” (Focus Features), Gus Van Sant
  • The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Stephen Daldry
  • Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Danny Boyle

Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • Richard Jenkins in “The Visitor” (Overture Films)
  • Frank Langella in “Frost/Nixon” (Universal)
  • Sean Penn in “Milk” (Focus Features)
  • Brad Pitt in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
  • Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler” (Fox Searchlight)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark KnightJosh Brolin in “Milk” (Focus Features)
  • Robert Downey Jr. in “Tropic Thunder” (DreamWorks, Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Doubt” (Miramax)
  • Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.)
  • Michael Shannon in “Revolutionary Road” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage)

Performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Anne Hathaway in “Rachel Getting Married” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Angelina Jolie in “Changeling” (Universal)
  • Melissa Leo in “Frozen River” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Meryl Streep in “Doubt” (Miramax)
  • Kate Winslet in “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Amy Adams in “Doubt” (Miramax)
  • Penélope Cruz in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (The Weinstein Company)
  • Viola Davis in “Doubt” (Miramax)
  • Taraji P. Henson in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
  • Marisa Tomei in “The Wrestler” (Fox Searchlight)

Best animated feature film of the year

  • Bolt” (Walt Disney), Chris Williams and Byron Howard
  • Kung Fu Panda” (DreamWorks Animation, Distributed by Paramount), John Stevenson and Mark Osborne
  • WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Andrew Stanton

Best documentary feature

  • The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)” (Cinema Guild), A Pandinlao Films Production, Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath
  • Encounters at the End of the World” (THINKFilm and Image Entertainment), A Creative Differences Production, Werner Herzog and Henry Kaiser
  • The Garden” A Black Valley Films Production, Scott Hamilton Kennedy
  • Man on Wire” (Magnolia Pictures), A Wall to Wall Production, James Marsh and Simon Chinn
  • Trouble the Water” (Zeitgeist Films), An Elsewhere Films Production, Tia Lessin and Carl Deal

Best foreign language film of the year

  • The Baader Meinhof Complex” A Constantin Film Production, Germany
  • The Class” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Haut et Court Production, France
  • Departures” (Regent Releasing), A Departures Film Partners Production, Japan
  • Revanche” (Janus Films), A Prisma Film/Fernseh Production, Austria
  • Waltz with Bashir” (Sony Pictures Classics), A Bridgit Folman Film Gang Production, Israel

Adapted screenplay

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Screenplay by Eric Roth, Screen story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord
  • Doubt” (Miramax), Written by John Patrick Shanley
  • Frost/Nixon” (Universal), Screenplay by Peter Morgan
  • The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Screenplay by David Hare
  • Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy

Original screenplay

  • Frozen River” (Sony Pictures Classics), Written by Courtney Hunt
  • Happy-Go-Lucky” (Miramax), Written by Mike Leigh
  • In Bruges” (Focus Features), Written by Martin McDonagh
  • Milk” (Focus Features), Written by Dustin Lance Black
  • WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

Click the links below to listen to samples of the music courtesy Amazon.com's MP3 Download Store.

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

Click the links below to listen to samples of the music courtesy Amazon.com's MP3 Download Store.

  • Down to Earth” from “WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, Lyric by Peter Gabriel
  • Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Music by A.R. Rahman, Lyric by Gulzar
  • O Saya” from “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Music and Lyric by A.R. Rahman and Maya Arulpragasam                  

Achievement in art direction

  • Changeling” (Universal), Art Direction: James J. Murakami, Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Art Direction: Donald Graham Burt, Set Decoration: Victor J. Zolfo
  • The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Art Direction: Nathan Crowley, Set Decoration: Peter Lando
  • The Duchess” (Paramount Vantage, Pathé and BBC Films), Art Direction: Michael Carlin, Set Decoration: Rebecca Alleway
  • Revolutionary Road” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage), Art Direction: Kristi Zea, Set Decoration: Debra Schutt

Achievement in cinematography

  • Changeling” (Universal), Tom Stern
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Claudio Miranda
  • The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Wally Pfister
  • The Reader” (The Weinstein Company), Chris Menges and Roger Deakins
  • Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Anthony Dod Mantle

Achievement in film editing

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
  • The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Lee Smith
  • Frost/Nixon” (Universal), Mike Hill and Dan Hanley
  • Milk” (Focus Features), Elliot Graham
  • Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Chris Dickens

Achievement in makeup

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Greg Cannom
  • The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), John Caglione, Jr. and Conor O’Sullivan
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army” (Universal), Mike Elizalde and Thom Floutz

Achievement in costume design

  • Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman in AustraliaAustralia” (20th Century Fox), Catherine Martin
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Jacqueline West
  • The Duchess” (Paramount Vantage, Pathé and BBC Films), Michael O’Connor
  • Milk” (Focus Features), Danny Glicker
  • Revolutionary Road”  (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage), Albert Wolsky

Achievement in sound editing

  • The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Richard King
  • Iron Man” (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment), Frank Eulner and Christopher Boyes
  • Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Tom Sayers
  • WALL-E” (Walt Disney), Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood
  • Wanted” (Universal),Wylie Stateman

Achievement in sound mixing

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Mark Weingarten
  • The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo and Ed Novick
  • Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight), Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty
  • WALL-E” (Walt Disney),Tom Myers, Michael Semanick and Ben Burtt
  • Wanted” (Universal), Chris Jenkins, Frank A. Montaño and Petr Forejt

Achievement in visual effects

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron
  • The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Tim Webber and Paul Franklin
  • Iron Man” (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment), John Nelson, Ben Snow, Dan Sudick and Shane Mahan

Best live action short film

  • Auf der Strecke (On the Line)” (Hamburg Shortfilmagency), An Academy of Media Arts Cologne Production, Reto Caffi
  • Manon on the Asphalt” (La Luna Productions), A La Luna Production, Elizabeth Marre and Olivier Pont
  • New Boy” (Network Ireland Television), A Zanzibar Films Production, Steph Green and Tamara Anghie
  • The Pig” An M & M Production, Tivi Magnusson and Dorte Høgh
  • Spielzeugland (Toyland)” A Mephisto Film Production, Jochen Alexander Freydank

Best animated short film

  • La Maison en Petits Cubes” A Robot Communications Production, Kunio Kato
  • Lavatory - Lovestory” A Melnitsa Animation Studio and CTB Film Company Production, Konstantin Bronzit
  • Oktapodi” (Talantis Films) A Gobelins, L’école de l’image Production, Emud Mokhberi and Thierry Marchand
  • Presto” (Walt Disney) A Pixar Animation Studios Production, Doug Sweetland
  • This Way Up”, A Nexus Production, Alan Smith and Adam Foulkes

Best documentary short subject

  • The Conscience of Nhem En” A Farallon Films Production, Steven Okazaki
  • The Final Inch” A Vermilion Films Production, Irene Taylor Brodsky and Tom Grant
  • Smile Pinki” A Principe Production, Megan Mylan
  • The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306” A Rock Paper Scissors Production, Adam Pertofsky and Margaret Hyde

Source: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences



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