Benjamin Button leads Oscar nominees

The biggest awards show on television is…about movies. Yes, the Oscars are nearly upon us and it all begins with today's announcement of this year's nominees. The Curious Case of Brad Pitt's Bottom Benjamin Button leads all films with 13 nominations, including one for Best Picture.

There were no real surprises in the Best Picture category, with fan-favorite Slumdog Millionaire up for the prize against Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, The Reader, and Milk. However, it could be argued (and I would fight to the death over this) that Wall-E deserved to be in there somewhere.

Mickey Rourke continues his comeback trail with a Best Acting nod for his role as a washed-up mat jockey in The Wrestler. He'll be up against Brad Pitt (Benjamin Button), Sean Penn (Milk), Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon), and Richard Jenkins (The Visitor).

Kate Winslet looks to add to her mantle in the Best Actress category for The Reader (she won a pair of Golden Globes earlier this year for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress). She'll do battle with Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married), Angelina Jolie (Changeling), Melissa Leo (Frozen River), and Meryl Streep (Doubt).

Other highlights include Heath Ledger getting a posthumous nod for his role as The Joker in The Dark Knight, directing nominations going to the directors of all five Best Picture nominees (again…boring), Robert Downey Jr. up for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Tropic Thunder (I still don't understand this one), and the awesomely entertaining Man on Wire up for Best Documentary. One quick prediction: I'll eat my shoe if Benjamin Button doesn't win the Oscar for Best Makeup.

The 81st Academy Awards will be televised February 22 at 5PT/8ET on ABC. A partial list of nominees is below, for a full list, head over to the official Web site of The Oscars.

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
Josh 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)
Kung Fu Panda
WALL-E (Walt Disney)

Best director of the year
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

Best picture of the year
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

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