2008 Oscars (81st Academy Awards) Nominations

What does Richard Jenkins, Frank Langella, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, and Mickey Rourke have in common? Glad you asked! They’re all nominees for Best Performance by an actor in a leading role at the 2008 Oscars shindig, officially known as the 81st Annual Academy Awards. I could go on about how no one watches the Oscars anymore, and how most people have not seen 95% of the movies that are nominated each year, and every year the discrepancy between the nominated films and its audience seems to widen, but what’s the point, really? I just woke up, and I feel a headache coming on. So, without further delay, here are your nominees for the 2008 Oscars. Who will win? Who will lose? How many loads of laundry will you do during the live telecast on February 22nd, 2009 on ABC? So many questions, so few answers.

It looks like the Best Supporting Actor category is going to be a blast. Besides the expected posthumous nomination for Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight” (the movie’s only real big nomination, the rest being tech stuff that probably won’t even make it on the air), Robert Downey Jr. also got the nod for “Tropic Thunder”! Now that should be fun to watch.

Best 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)

Best 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)

Best 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)

Best 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

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 costume design
* “Australia” (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 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

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 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

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

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

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 music written for motion pictures (Original score)
* “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.) Alexandre Desplat
* “Defiance” (Paramount Vantage) James Newton Howard
* “Milk” (Focus Features) Danny Elfman
* “Slumdog Millionaire” (Fox Searchlight) A.R. Rahman
* “WALL-E” (Walt Disney) Thomas Newman

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
* “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

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

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 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

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 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

Best 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