Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

Academy Award Nominees Announced: Heath Ledger for 'Dark Knight,' Richard Jenkins a Surprise for Best Actor, 'Benjamin Button' Big Winner

LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

In the wee hours of the morning today phones were ringing off the hook all over Hollywood. At 5:30 a.m. the nominees were announced for the 81st Academy Awards. Academy President Sid Ganis and Actor Forest Whitaker made the announcement at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. LAist was there.

Heath Ledger predictably received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In fact, most of the nominations were as predicted although there were a few underdog surprises such as Richard Jenkins as leading actor in "The Visitor." Robert Downey Jr. was an unusual choice, but many critics predicted the nomination. Maybe it was a "sorry about Charlie Chaplin" gesture.

Some attendees were disappointed that "WALL-E" and "In Bruges" did not make it to the Best Picture list, but both films received a nod for Best Original Screenplay. "Slumdog Millionaire" dominated the Original Song category, but the big winner today was "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," which garnered 13 nominations. Check out Dave McCoy's interesting reactions.

The Academy Awards will air on Feb. 22. Here are the nominees:

Support for LAist comes from

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 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)