Despite being the second-highest grossing film of all time, The Dark Knight was not nominated for Best Picture Thursday morning.
Overall, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button led with 13 nominations and Slumdog Millionaire was close behind with 10.
Leading up to the nominations, many predicted that Benjamin Button, Milk, Frost/Nixon and Slumdog would occupy four of the Best Picture nomination slots and while those films did make the cut, it was The Reader that snagged the fifth slot over Knight, Doubt and a handful of other serious contenders. Considering that it has won so many awards already, including the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Drama, Slumdog is the heavy favorite to walk away with the top prize.
The indie world received some positive recognition, especially in the acting categories. Richard Jenkins won a much deserved nod for his leading work in Overture’s The Visitor and Melissa Leo snuck into the Best Actress category for her performance in Frozen River from Sony Pictures Classics. Fox Searchlight also fared well thanks to the overwhelming support for Slumdog Millionaire and for Mickey Rourke’s bruising performance in The Wrestler. The race for Best Actor is very tight between Rourke and Sean Penn for Milk, which comes from indie distributor Focus.
Among the major snubs were Bruce Springsteen for his original song, “The Wrestler” as well as Clint Eastwood for Best Actor in Gran Torino.
BEST PICTURE The Curious Case of Benjamin Button ; Frost/Nixon ; Milk ; The Reader ; Slumdog Millionaire
BEST ACTRESS Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married ; Angelina Jolie, Changeling ; Melissa Leo, Frozen River ; Meryl Streep, Doubt ; Kate Winslet, The Reader
BEST ACTOR Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon ; Sean Penn, Milk ; Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button ; Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler ; Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Amy Adams, Doubt ; Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona ; Viola Davis, Doubt ; Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button ; Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR Josh Brolin, Milk ; Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder ; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt ; Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight ; Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road
BEST DIRECTOR Gus Van Sant, Milk ; Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon ; David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button ; Stephen Daldry, The Reader ; Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
click here for the full list of nominees