'Benjamin Button,' 'Slumdog' Top Oscars List

Brad Pitt (computer aged) as Benjamin Button i i

hide captionBrad Pitt earned a Best Actor nomination for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which took home another dozen Oscar nods besides.

Brad Pitt (computer aged) as Benjamin Button

Brad Pitt earned a Best Actor nomination for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which took home another dozen Oscar nods besides.

More Oscar Talk

Web Chat: Earlier Thursday, Bob Mondello joined the Monkey See blog community to talk about the nominations. Check out the conversation — and weigh in.

Talk Of The Nation: Neal Conan debriefed Monkey See blogger Linda Holmes about today's nominations.

NPR Critics Review The Best Picture Nominees

The Oscar nominations came out this morning, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button ended up with the most — 13 in total.

The kaleidoscopic Mumbai romance Slumdog Millionaire had 10, while the lyrical biopic Milk drew eight.

Joining those movies in the Best Picture category: Frost/Nixon and The Reader.

That last nominee was a bit unexpected; lots of people thought The Dark Knight might land in that fifth Best Picture spot.

But NPR's Bob Mondello tells Michele Norris that today's biggest — and maybe best — Oscar surprise is the nomination tally for the tiny independent picture Frozen River. It took two nominations, for Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay.

Feb. 22 is the big night; if you're not a big moviegoer, but you'd like to study up on the nominees between now and then, Mondello points out it'll be simpler to cover the waterfront this year than it was last time around.

"The academy, through its choices, has made that really easy this year," Mondello says. "You'll be comfortable in all the major categories if you see just eight movies.

"Four of them are the Best Picture nominees (excluding The Reader, which I don't think has a chance). And if in addition to that you see Doubt, Rachel Getting Married and Frozen River — for Best Actress — and The Wrestler, for Best Actor, I think you will have seen everything you need to see to win your office pool."

The one film Mondello urges NPR audiences not to miss: Slumdog Millionaire.

"I know people are coming to it late," he says, noting that the picture hasn't opened everywhere yet. "But when it does ... It is just this wonderful picture — a fantastical romance."

The 81st Academy Awards Winners and Nominees

Related NPR Stories

Slumdog Millionaire led the trophy tally at the 81st Academy Awards with eight wins, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Cinematography. Read the list of Oscar winners (in ALL CAPS) and nominees.

Best Picture: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Reader, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.

Actor: Richard Jenkins, The Visitor; Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon; SEAN PENN, MILK; Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler.

Actress: Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married; Angelina Jolie, Changeling; Melissa Leo, Frozen River; Meryl Streep, Doubt; KATE WINSLET, THE READER.

Supporting Actor: Josh Brolin, Milk; Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt; HEATH LEDGER, THE DARK KNIGHT; Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road.

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.

Director: David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon; Gus Van Sant, Milk; Stephen Daldry, The Reader; DANNY BOYLE, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.

Foreign Film: The Baader Meinhof Complex, Germany; The Class, France; DEPARTURES, JAPAN; Revanche, Austria; Waltz With Bashir, Israel.

Adapted Screenplay: Eric Roth and Robin Swicord, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; John Patrick Shanley, Doubt; Peter Morgan, Frost/Nixon; David Hare, The Reader; SIMON BEAUFOY, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.

Original Screenplay: Courtney Hunt, Frozen River; Mike Leigh, Happy-Go-Lucky; Martin McDonagh, In Bruges; DUSTIN LANCE BLACK, MILK; Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon and Pete Docter, WALL-E.

Animated Feature Film: Bolt, Kung Fu Panda, WALL-E.

Art Direction: Changeling, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, The Dark Knight, The Duchess, Revolutionary Road.

Cinematography: Changeling, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, The Reader, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.

Sound Mixing: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, WALL-E, Wanted.

Sound Editing: Iron Man, THE DARK KNIGHT, Slumdog Millionaire, WALL-E, Wanted.

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.

Original Song: "Down to Earth" from WALL-E, Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman; "JAI HO" from SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, A.R. RAHMAN and GULZAR; "O Sava" from Slumdog Millionaire, A.R. Rahman and Maya Arulpragasam.

Costume: Australia, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, THE DUCHESS, Milk, Revolutionary Road.

Documentary Feature: The Betrayal (Nerakhoon), Encounters at the End of the World, The Garden, MAN ON WIRE, Trouble the Water.

Documentary (short subject): The Conscience of Nhem En, The Final Inch, SMILE PINKI, The Witness — From the Balcony of Room 306.

Film Editing: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Frost/Nixon, Milk, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.

Makeup: THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, The Dark Knight, Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

Animated Short Film: LA MAISON EN PETITS CUBES, Lavatory — Lovestory, Oktapodi, Presto, This Way Up.

Live Action Short Film: Auf der Strecke (On the Line), Manon on the Asphalt, New Boy, The Pig, SPIELZEUGLAND (TOYLAND).

Visual Effects: The Dark Knight, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, Iron Man.

Academy Award winner previously announced this year: Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (Oscar statuette): Jerry Lewis

From The Associated Press

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