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Brad Pitt as Benjamin Button
The 2009 top Academy Awards nominated film is "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" starring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Taraji P. Henson with 13 Oscar nominations including Best Picture.
The 13 Oscar nominations falls one short of the record of fourteen nominations held by two films, "All about Eve" (1950) and "Titanic" (1997). David Fincher's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is only the 5th film to ever garner that many Academy Award Oscar Nominations.
Other highly Oscar nominated films include Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire (10 Oscar Nominations), Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight (8 Oscar Nominations) and Gus Van Sant's Milk (8 Oscar Nominations).
With her sixth nomination for Best Picture for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Kathleen Kennedy has tied the record for nominations for individual producers in the category.
Since 1951, when individual producers rather than companies were first cited in the Best Picture nominations, only two other producers, Stanley Kramer and Steven Spielberg, have received six nominations. Kramer never won the award; Spielberg won in 1993 for Schindler's List. Kennedy has yet to win. Only two other women have more than one Best Picture nomination: Julia Phillips (two nominations, including one win) and Fran Walsh (three nominations, including one win).
With her fifteenth nomination this year, Meryl Streep extends her lead as the most nominated performer. Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson are tied at twelve nominations each.
Heath Ledger, who died on January 22, 2008, is the sixth performer to receive a posthumous nomination. The others were:
- James Dean (Actor, East of Eden, 1955, and Actor, Giant, 1956)
- Spencer Tracy (Actor, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, 1967)
- Peter Finch, the only posthumous acting winner to date (Actor in a Leading Role, Network, 1976)
- Ralph Richardson (Actor in a Supporting Role, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, 1984)
- Massimo Troisi (Actor in a Leading Role, The Postman "Il Postino", 1995)
In the acting categories, nine individuals are first-time nominees. Five of the nominees -- Sean Penn, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep and Marisa Tomei -- are previous Oscar® winners.
Supporting Actor nominee Philip Seymour Hoffman is the only performer who was also nominated last year (for Charlie Wilson's War).
At 33, Kate Winslet (born October 5, 1975) is the youngest performer to receive six Oscar nominations. The previous record holder was Bette Davis, who was 34 when she received her sixth nomination in 1942, for Now, Voyager.
Frank Langella is the second actor nominated for playing former President Richard Nixon. Anthony Hopkins was nominated for his performance in Nixon (1995).
For the fifth time since 1944, when the number of nominations in each category was standardized at five, the Directing and Best Picture nominations have honored the same five pictures. This has happened in 1957, 1964, 1981 and 2005.
The two Original Song nominations for Slumdog Millionaire represent the third and fourth nominations for songs that are not in the English language. "Ave Satani," from The Omen, nominated in 1976, is entirely in Latin. The Spanish-language "Al Otro Lado Del Río," from The Motorcycle Diaries, won the Oscar in the category in 2004.
Waltz with Bashir (Israel) represents the first animated film to be nominated in the Foreign Language Film category.
2009 Best Picture Oscar Nominations
Adapted from the 1920s story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is about a man born in his eighties and ages backwards.
From New Orleans at the end of World War I in 1918, into the 21st century, on a journey as unusual as any man's life can be, the film tells the grand tale of a not so ordinary man and the people and places he discovers along the way, the loves he finds and loses, the joys of life and the sadness of death, and what lasts beyond time.
For three years after being forced from office, Richard Nixon remained silent. But, in 1977, the steely, cunning former commander in chief agreed to sit for one all-inclusive interview to confront the unanswered questions of his time in office and of the Watergate scandal that ended his presidency. Nixon surprised everyone by selecting Frost as his televised confessor, intending to easily outfox the breezy British showman and reclaim his status as a supreme statesman in the hearts and minds of Americans.
Re-creating not only the on-air interviews that captivated the nation, but weeks of around-the-world, behind-the-scenes maneuvering and negotiations between the men and their opposing camps, Frost / Nixon explores the long-untold story that led to the ultimate face-off in the court of public opinion.
Milk is a true-story tragedy about Harvey Milk the martyred San Francisco city supervisor, America's first widely acknowledged openly gay elected official. After moving to San Francisco, New Yorker Harvey Milk became a Gay Rights activist and city politician. On his third attempt, he was elected to San Francisco's Board of Supervisors in 1977, making him the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the USA.
In 1978, both Milk and San Francisco's mayor, George Moscone, were shot to death by former city supervisor, Dan White, who blamed his former colleagues for denying White's attempt to rescind his resignation from the board.
The film version of Bernhard Schlink's 1995 novel "The Reader," opens in post-WWII Germany when teenager Michael Berg becomes ill and is helped home by Hanna Schmitz, a stranger twice his age. Michael recovers from scarlet fever and seeks out Hanna to thank her.
The tale of a 15-year-old West German boy who, in 1958, embarks on an affair with a 36-year-old trolley conductor with more on her mind, and in her past, than she admits.
Years later Michael is a Heidelberg law student. One day at a war-crimes trial of female Auschwitz guards, he hears the name of his former lover cited along with several other women. She stands before him, a shell of a woman, still laden with secrets. He cannot believe it. His predatory dream woman was a Nazi.
A penniless, eighteen year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, Jamal Malik is one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" But when the show breaks for the night, suddenly, he is arrested on suspicion of cheating.
After all, how could an uneducated street kid possibly know so much? Determined to get to the bottom of Jamal's story, the jaded Police Inspector spends the night probing Jamal's incredible past, from his riveting tales of the slums where he and his brother Salim survived by their wits to his hair-raising encounters with local gangs to his heartbreak over Latika, the unforgettable girl he loved and lost.
2009 Best Animated Feature Oscar Nominations
For super-dog BOLT, every day is filled with adventure, danger and intrigue — at least until the cameras stop rolling. When the star of a hit TV show is accidentally shipped from his Hollywood soundstage to New York City, he begins his biggest adventure yet — a cross-country journey through the real world to get back to his owner and co-star, Penny.
Armed only with the delusions that all his amazing feats and powers are real, and the help of two unlikely traveling companions—a jaded, abandoned housecat named Mittens and a TV-obsessed hamster named Rhino — Bolt discovers he doesn’t need superpowers to be a hero.
Enthusiastic, big and a little clumsy, Po is the biggest fan of kung fu around which doesn’t exactly come in handy while working every day in his family’s noodle shop. When he’s unexpectedly chosen to fulfill an ancient prophecy, Po’s dreams become reality and he joins the world of kung fu to study alongside his idols, the legendary Furious Five: Tigress, Crane, Mantis, Viper and Monkey — under the leadership of their guru, Master Shifu.
But before they know it, the vengeful and treacherous snow leopard Tai Lung is headed their way, and it’s up to Po to defend everyone from the oncoming threat. Can he turn his dreams of becoming a kung fu master into reality? Po puts his heart into the task, and the unlikely hero ultimately finds that his greatest weaknesses turn out to be his greatest strengths.
After hundreds of lonely years doing what he was built for, WALL•E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knickknacks) when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE (Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator).
EVE comes to realize that WALL•E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet’s future and races back to space to report her findings to the humans who have been eagerly waiting aboard the luxury spaceship Axiom for news that it is safe to return home. Meanwhile, WALL•E chases EVE across the galaxy.
2009 Best Lead Actress Oscar Nominations
As Kym, Anne Hathaway plays a self-absorbed recovering addict whose return home for her sister's wedding sparks a family conflict.
This is Anne Hathaway's first Oscar Academy Award nomination.
As Christine Collins, Angelina Jolie portrays the mother of a missing child who takes on the corrupt Los Angeles Police Department in her frantic search for her son.
This Angelina Jolie's second Academy Award nomination and the first in this category. Jolie won an Oscar for her supporting role in Girl, Interrupted (1999).
Melissa Leo plays Ray Eddy, an impoverished mother who becomes involved in a smuggling ring in an attempt to avoid losing her home.
This Melissa Leo's first Academy Award Oscar Nomination.
Meryl Streep plays Sister Aloysius Beauvier, the strict head of a Bronx Catholic school who suspects that a new priest may be abusing one of her students.
This is Meryl Streep 15th Academy Award® nomination and the twelfth in the Best Lead Actress Oscar category.
Streep's other leading role nominations were for The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981), Sophie's Choice (1982), for which she won the Oscar, Silkwood (1983), Out of Africa (1985), Ironweed (1987), A Cry in the Dark (1988), Postcards from the Edge (1990), The Bridges of Madison County (1995), One True Thing (1998), Music of the Heart (1999) and The Devil Wears Prada (2006).
Meryl Streep's supporting role nominations were for The Deer Hunter (1978), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), for which she took home the Oscar, and Adaptation (2002).
Kate Winslet plays Hanna Schmitz, a German woman in her thirties whose teenage lover is unaware of the dark secret in her past.
This is Kate Winslet's sixth Oscar nomination and the fourth in the Best Lead Actress Academy Award category. Her other leading role nominations were for Titanic (1997), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and Little Children (2006).
Kate Winslet's supporting role nominations were for Sense and Sensibility (1995) and Iris (2001).
2009 Best Lead Actor Oscar Nominations
Richard Jenkins plays Walter, a lonely widower whose life undergoes a transformation when he finds two illegal immigrants occupying his New York apartment.
This is Richard Jenkins' first Academy Award Oscar nomination.
In the role of Richard Nixon, Frank Langella portrays the former president at the time of his failed attempt to resuscitate his career through a series of interviews with talk show host David Frost.
This is Frank Langella's first Academy Award Oscar nomination.
Sean Penn plays Harvey Milk, a transplanted New Yorker whose decision to campaign for a place on San Francisco's Board of Supervisors becomes a landmark event within the gay rights movement.
This is Sean Penn's 5th Oscar nomination in the Best Leading Actor Academy Award category. Sean Penn was previously nominated for Dead Man Walking (1995), Sweet and Lowdown (1999) and I Am Sam (2001), and won the Oscar in 2003 for his performance in Mystic River.
As Benjamin Button, Brad Pitt portrays a man who is born old and then grows gradually younger as his life unfolds.
This is the second Academy Award nomination and the first Oscar nomination in the Best Lead Actor category for Brad Pitt. Brad Pitt was nominated in the Academy Award Supporting Actor category for his performance in "12 Monkeys" (1995).
Mickey Rourke plays Randy, a lonely, hard-luck wrestler who resolves to change his life following a serious injury.
This is the first Academy Award Oscar nomination for Mickey Rourke.
2009 Best Supporting Actress Oscar Nominations
Amy Adams plays Sister James, an inexperienced young nun whose unwitting observations regarding a new priest spark suspicions on the part of the older Sister Aloysius.
This is Amy Adams' second Academy Award Oscar nomination. Amy Adams was nominated for her supporting role in the movie "Junebug" (2005).
Penélope Cruz portrays the fiery Maria Elena, a divorced woman still locked in a complex relationship with her ex-husband.
This is the second Academy Award Oscar nomination for Penélope Cruz. Penélope Cruz was previously nominated for her leading role in the movie "Volver" (2006).
Viola Davis plays Mrs. Miller, an African-American woman who learns that her son may be the victim of abuse by a priest at his school.
This is the first Academy Award Oscar nomination for Viola Davis.
Taraji P. Henson plays Queenie, the woman who acts as nursemaid to Benjamin Button, a man who is aging backwards and has been born with the body of an old man.
This is the first Academy Award Oscar nomination for Taraji P. Henson.
As Cassidy, Marisa Tomei portrays a middle-aged stripper entering into a tentative relationship with a down-on-his-luck professional wrestler.
This is the 3rd Academy Award Oscar nomination for Marisa Tomei. Previous nominations for Marissa Tomei were My Cousin Vinny (1992), for which she won the Oscar, and In the Bedroom (2001).
2009 Best Supporting Actor Oscar Nominations
Josh Brolin plays Dan White, the conservative former fireman who is elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors at the same time as openly gay politician Harvey Milk.
This is the first Academy Award Oscar nomination for Josh Brolin
As Kirk Lazarus, Robert Downey Jr. plays a white Australian actor who has immersed himself completely in his latest role as an African-American soldier.
This is his 2nd Academy Award nomination for Robert Downey Jr. and the first in this category. Robert Downey Jr. was Oscar nominated for his leading role in Chaplin (1992).
Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Father Brendan Flynn, a progressive priest in a 1960s Bronx school who is suspected by its head nun of improper relations with a student.
This is Philip Seymour Hoffman's third Academy Award nomination and the second in this category. Philip Seymour Hoffman won an Oscar for his leading role in Capote (2005) and was Oscar nominated last year for his supporting role in Charlie Wilson's War.
Heath Ledger portrays the Joker, a psychopathic criminal mastermind who will stop at nothing in his scheme to outwit and humiliate Batman.
This is Heath Ledger's second Academy Award nomination and the first in this category. Heath Ledger was nominated for his leading role in Brokeback Mountain (2005). This Oscar nomination is posthumous, as he died January 22, 2008.
As John Givings, Michael Shannon plays a young man confined to a mental institution whose dinner with his parents' friends unleashes his relentless propensity for telling the truth.
This is Michael Shannon's first Academy Award Oscar nomination
In much the same manner that the film captured the hearts of movie-goers, "Slumdog Millionaire" captured the hearts and votes of the Academy garnering 8 Oscars in total, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Adapted Screenplay.
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