"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," a drama in which Brad Pitt plays a man who ages backward, led the field of Oscar contenders with 13 nominations, organizers said on Thursday (January 22).
"Slumdog Millionaire," the tale of an impoverished orphan's improbable victory on an Indian television game show, followed with 10, while the Batman sequel "The Dark Knight" and the gay-rights saga "Milk" each landed eight. "Benjamin Button," "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Milk" will vie for best picture at the 81st annual Academy Awards on February 22, alongside "The Reader" and "Frost/Nixon."
The nominations for "Benjamin Button" included best actor for Pitt, best director for David Fincher, best supporting actress for Taraji P Henson and best adapted screenplay. As expected, late Australian actor Heath Ledger was nominated for his supporting role as the villainous Joker in "The Dark Knight."
Ledger died of an accidental prescription-pill overdose exactly a year ago, at the age of 28. The other nominations for "Dark Knight" were in technical categories. Meryl Streep, 59, already the all-time acting Oscar record holder with 14 nominations, landed her 15th with "Doubt," in which she plays a vindictive nun. Kate Winslet received one nomination, taking her career total to six. This time, the 33-year-old British actress was cited for her lead role as a former Nazi prison guard in "The Reader."