January 24, 2009

Random Musing/In the News: The Academy Award Nominees '09

On Thursday morning, Sid Ganis stepped onto a stage in Beverly Hills, California to say some of the most important words some people will hear all year. Who is Sid Ganis? He is the President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and along with actor Forest Whitaker, he announced the nominees for this year's prestigious Academy Awards. The nominees are...

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)

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 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

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
So we see that, as I expected a few weeks ago, most of the actor nominations remain the same, except that the Academy has done the curious thing of foregrounding Kate Winslet's nomination for "The Reader" from other awards ceremonies' Best Supporting Actress status, making her a Best Actress nominee instead. Thus, her work in "Revolutionary Road" is forgotten, although co-star Michael Shannon now (deservedly) joins the nominees in the Best Supporting Actor category. Otherwise, most of the expected nominees remain the same.

...So who will win? We will find out Sunday, February 22nd.

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