''Benjamin Button'' and ''Slumdog Millionaire'' lead with 13 and 10 nominations, respectively; Heath Ledger gets a Best Supporting Actor nod, but ''The Dark Knight'' snubbed in Best Picture and Best Director categories

By Chad Schlegel
Updated July 30, 2020 at 06:30 PM EDT
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Credit: Slumdog Millionaire: Ishika Mohan; Meryl Streep: Andrew Schwartz; Sean Penn: Phil Bray

With 13 nominations — including Best Picture, Best Actor (Brad Pitt), Best Supporting Actress (Taraji P. Henson), and Best Director (David Fincher) — The Curious Case of Benjamin Button leads the field of Academy Award contenders announced this morning in Los Angeles. As expected, Slumdog Millionaire scored big too, nabbing 10 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director (Danny Boyle), and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Not surprisingly, Heath Ledger was recognized for his supporting role in The Dark Knight, but a widely anticipated Best Picture nomination didn’t happen, and director Christopher Nolan came up empty as well. Other notable snubs: Clint Eastwood and Leonardo DiCaprio’s turns in Gran Torino and Revolutionary Road, respectively. (Click over to PopWatch after reading the full list of nominees below to post your nominees for most frustrating Oscar omissions.)

The Academy Awards will be handed out on Feb. 22. Below, the complete list of nominees.

BEST DIRECTOR
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
Gus Van Sant, Milk

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Frozen River, Courtney Hunt
Happy-Go-Lucky, Mike Leigh
In Bruges, Martin McDonagh
Milk, Dustin Lance Black
WALL-E, Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Pete Docter

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Eric Roth
Doubt, John Patrick Shanley
Frost/Nixon, Peter Morgan
The Reader, David Hare
Slumdog Millionaire, Simon Beaufoy

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Bolt
Kung Fu Panda
WALL-E

BEST ANIMATED SHORT
La Maison en Petits Cubes
Lavatory — Lovestory
Oktapodi
Presto
This Way Up

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
Encounters at the End of the World
The Garden
Man on Wire
Trouble the Water

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
The Conscience of Nhem En
The Final Inch
Smile Pinki
The Witness — From the Balcony of Room 306

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Baader Meinhof Complex (Germany)
The Class (France)
Departures (Japan)
Revanche (Austria)
Waltz with Bashir (Israel)

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
Auf der Strecke (On the Line)
Manon on the Asphalt
New Boy
The Pig
Spielzeugland (Toyland)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Alexandre Desplat
Defiance, James Newton Howard
Milk, Danny Elfman
Slumdog Millionaire, A.R. Rahman
WALL-E, Thomas Newman

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
”Down to Earth,” WALL-E
”Jai Ho,” Slumdog Millionaire
”O Saya,” Slumdog Millionaire

Dave Karger’s OscarWatch

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