Gus van Sant | Harvey Milk | Josh Brolin | News | Sean Penn

Milk a Contender as Oscar Nominations are Announced


The team who made Milk is likely celebrating this morning, as the film, which was pretty much snubbed by the Hollywood Foreign Press, just received eight Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor for Sean Penn, Best Supporting Actor for Josh Brolin, Best Screenplay and Best Director. It also received nods for Best Editing, Best Costume Design, and Best Original Score.

I have the full list up, AFTER THE JUMP...


"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
"The Reader"
"Slumdog Millionaire"

Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married"
Angelina Jolie, "Changeling"
Melissa Leo, "Frozen River"
Meryl Streep, "Doubt"
Kate Winslet, "The Reader"

Frank Langella, "Frost/Nixon"
Sean Penn, "Milk"
Brad Pitt, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Mickey Rourke, "The Wrestler"
Richard Jenkins, "The Visitor"

Amy Adams, "Doubt"
Penelope Cruz, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
Viola Davis, "Doubt"
Taraji P. Henson, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Marisa Tomei, "The Wrestler"

Josh Brolin, "Milk"
Robert Downey Jr., "Tropic Thunder"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Doubt"
Heath Ledger, "The Dark Knight"
Michael Shannon, "Revolutionary Road"

Danny Boyle, "Slumdog Millionaire"
Stephen Daldry, "The Reader"
David Fincher, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Ron Howard, "Frost/Nixon"
Gus Van Sant, "Milk"

Dustin Lance Black, "Milk"
Courtney Hunt, "Frozen River"
Mike Leigh, "Happy-Go-Lucky"
Marttin McDonagh, "In Bruges"
Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, "WALL-E"

Simon Beaufoy, "Slumdog Millionaire"
David Hare, "The Reader"
Peter Morgan, "Frost/Nixon"
John Patrick Shanley, "Doubt"
Eric Roth, Robin Swicord, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

"The Baader-Meinhof Complex" (Germany)
"The Class" (France)
"Departures" (Japan)
"Revanche" (Austria)
"Waltz with Bashir" (Israel)

"Kung Fu Panda"

"The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button"
"Dark Knight"
"The Duchess"
"Revolutionary Road"

"Changeling" Tom Stern
"Slumdog Millionaire," Anthony Dod Mantle
"The Reader," Chris Menges
"The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button," Claudio Miranda
"The Dark Knight," Wally Pfister,

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Kirk Baxter, Angus Wall
"The Dark Knight," Lee Smith
"Frost/Nixon," Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill
"Milk," Elliot Graham
"Slumdog Millionaire," Chris Dickens

"Australia," Catherine Martin
"The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button," Jacqueline West
"The Duchess," Michael O'Conner
"Milk", Danny Glicker
"Revolutionary Road," Albert Wolsky

"The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)"
"Encounters at the End of the World"
"The Garden"
"Man on Wire"
"Trouble the Water"


<"Slumdog Millionaire," "Jai Ho," A.R. Rahman
"Slumdog Millionaire," "O Saya," A.R. Rahman & M.I.A.
"Wall-E," "Down To Earth," Peter Gabriel & Thomas Newman

"The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button," Alexandre Desplat
"Defiance," James Newton Howard
"Milk," Danny Elfman
"Slumdog Millionaire," A.R. Rahman
"WALL-E," Thomas Newman

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Colleen Callaghan, Fionagh Cush
"The Dark Knight," Peter Robb-King, John Caglione Jr.
"Hellboy II: The Golden Army," Mike Elizalde, Thom Floutz

"The Dark Knight," Richard King
"Iron Man," Frank Eulner, Christopher Boyes
"Slumdog Millionaire," Tom Sayers
"Wall-E," Ben Burtt, Matthew Wood
"Wanted," Wylie Stateman

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  1. Wow, Andy, you're fast. You beat CNN, The New York Times and the other web sites I have been clicking furiously between. good job.

    Posted by: jim | Jan 22, 2009 8:57:48 AM

  2. I'm so happy for all its major nominations. James Franco should have been nominated as well, but he had stiff competition. 'Dark Knight' should have gotten a Best Picture nod instead of 'Benjamin Button,' which I found shallow & boring.

    Posted by: scar2 | Jan 22, 2009 9:02:06 AM

  3. If I counted right, Milk received 8 nominations. Apart from the five you already mentioned, it's also nominated for Best Editing, Best Costumes and Best Score.

    Posted by: Bryan C. | Jan 22, 2009 9:15:35 AM

  4. By the way, Kate Winslet got a Best Actress nod for 'The Reader' not 'Revolutionary Road.' Rightfully so. Also, 'Reader' director is gay (though married to a woman) & Penelope Cruz's character in 'Barcelona' is bisexual.

    Posted by: scar2 | Jan 22, 2009 9:27:02 AM

  5. Go MILK!

    Please do not let it walk away empty handed!!!

    Posted by: Alex | Jan 22, 2009 9:31:25 AM

  6. Sorry, u got Winslet right.

    Posted by: scar2 | Jan 22, 2009 9:38:52 AM

  7. Winslet should have been nominated for both films. If Hoffman gets to be supporting in "Doubt," Winslet could be supporting in "Reader." Though it *would* be great to see Ricky Gervais' "Extras" prediction of Winslet's first Oscar coming for a Holocaust film come true (around 3 minutes in):

    And the score nomination for "Milk" is really unmerited.

    Posted by: Michael F | Jan 22, 2009 9:46:07 AM

  8. Nice for MILK...but why doesn't anyone mention Emile Hirsch's performance..that truly surprised me more than James Franco or Brolin. The only thing MILK can win might be for Sean Penn, other than that...i don't see any other win happening.

    Posted by: MAK | Jan 22, 2009 10:23:43 AM

  9. Ugh. Fuck Benjamin Button. Completely undeserved of most of those nominations especially Actor, Director, Supporting Actress and Picture.

    Boo. Not that I'm surprised.

    Posted by: Bucky | Jan 22, 2009 10:32:22 AM

  10. Mak,

    It stands a very good chance of winning Best Screenplay, which is often a consolation prize for a film too "indie" or "daring" to win the top prizes. If Rourke wins for the Wrestler and Wall-E best Animated Film, Milk may just take home Best Screenplay.

    I'd like Best Actor and Screenplay. But I'll be happy with just one (and some anti-Prop 8 acceptance speech on national TV!)

    Posted by: Alex | Jan 22, 2009 11:04:06 AM

  11. I am disgusted that Bruce Springsteen was not nominated for Best Song for "The Wrestler", yet "Slumdog Millionaire" (which I loved) gets two! How ridiculously frustrating! I would understand if the song were lousy (which is usually the case of Oscar-nominated songs), but "The Wrestler" is a great song.
    And don't get me started on Kate Winslett - so masterful in "Revolutionary Road", which WAS a LEAD role, and astonishing in "The Reader", clearly a SUPPORTING role. Oy - either way, she should get it.
    And I've said it before, I'll be happy if either Penn or Rourke wins - both their performances were master classes in acting.

    Posted by: jeffreychrist | Jan 22, 2009 11:23:03 AM

  12. I agree about the Springsteen comment. That song should have won going away and wasn't even nominated? Odd.

    Posted by: Cyd | Jan 22, 2009 12:03:53 PM

  13. Dustin Lance Black is the frontrunner for Best Original Screenplay oscar, which is often a consolation prize for not winning the "big ones."

    Lots of openly gay nominees!

    Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks (producers of MILK)
    Gus Van Sant (director of MILK)
    Dustin Lance Black (MILK screenwriter)

    Not so sure about the actors... Robert Downey, Jr?

    Posted by: Mad Professah | Jan 22, 2009 12:16:34 PM

  14. Milk will most-likely go home empty handed. I think Slumdog Millionaire and it's feel-good vibe ( I have yet to see it so I am not disparaging it, just relating the impression I've gotten from those who have) will take the big prize and director,too. Winslet, although honestly, I found her acceptance speech for RR so annoying at the Globes, I kinda hope she doesn't. Plus, Kristen Scott Thomas was snubbed for I've Loved You So Long which is an embarrassment to the Best Actress category. She was amazing. I am kinda pissed about it actually.


    Posted by: Marco | Jan 22, 2009 12:25:13 PM

  15. Agreed, Marco. Either Kristen Scott Thomas or Sally Hawkins ("Happy-Go-Lucky") should be swapped with Jolie—who was very good, but the performance (and character) are not of the same caliber as the other women in this field.

    I think "Milk"'s best shot at a win is for Penn.

    Posted by: Michael F | Jan 22, 2009 12:55:26 PM

  16. i'm rooting for Melissa Leo to win. She's always been a solid actress & in this particular role was completely compelling and authentic. I also think Danny Boyle should get the nod for director. His work has always been varied & entertaining & i hope he gets the recognition for Slumdog.
    Can't believe Clint Eastwood & Gran Torino got nothing major...didn't Henry Fonda win for On Golden Pond doing nearly the exact same role? LOL. As for Benjamin Button: Meh.

    Posted by: Daniel | Jan 22, 2009 1:26:24 PM

  17. Well...i think the nominees are really good choices. MILK obviously, after seeing it in the first few weeks...i was shocked how many str8 couples were in the maitenee showing of this film. Slumdog I have wanted to see and have heard nothing but great things about. Plus, I just love the main actor who is from one of my favorite British series, SKINS. Benjamin Button...okay, great...Brad Pitt is great, but I am actually kind of tired of hearing the name all over the place. Yes, he is huge supporter of gay rights...but really now, what is with that damn "stach" it has got to go...u hear me GO!! her!! anyhow, BATMAN was a good movie, but the movies it is up against are some really powerful movies with low budgets!! So...We didn't Brokeback in 2004, we need MILK 2009!!

    Posted by: Paul | Jan 22, 2009 1:54:30 PM

  18. One of the many reasons Milk needs to win in the major categories [picture/actors...Mr. & Mrs. Schmo care about nothing else] is this:

    According to, after two months in release, its domestic box office total is only $20,591,008. [Box office figures outside the US are not all in yet, but so far it's at a little over a million.]

    Production cost: $20 million.

    By contrast, after two months in release, "Brokeback Mountain" had brought in $52.5 million on a $14 million budget.

    Worldwide BBM box office total: at least $178 million, with DVD sales in the US of at least $31 million.

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Jan 22, 2009 2:08:35 PM

  19. Why is a Bollywood film up for so many Oscars? Shouldn't it be considered Foreign?
    I vote Milk for editing, and I loved the directing with the vintage footage. The Dutchess for costumes.

    Posted by: ty | Jan 22, 2009 2:09:23 PM

  20. I love that the Academy got it right about Kate Winslet -- she played a leading role in 'The Reader' and the attempts to market her as a 'Best Supporting Actress' were clearly an effort to get her nominated in two categories. She was wonderful in 'Revolutionary Road,' but she did play two leading roles this year. I'm hoping that she wins; it's about damn time, and she was beyond amazing this year.

    Posted by: Red Seven | Jan 22, 2009 2:09:47 PM

  21. Ty: the category is FOREIGN LANGUAGE film. 'Slumdog Millionaire' is clearly in English. Also, there's no rule barring non-English movies from being nominated for Best Picture. Finally 'Slumdog' was absolutely one of the finest films released in 2008, and completely deserving of the nomination (and, if I were to place a bet, of the win).

    Posted by: Red Seven | Jan 22, 2009 2:12:24 PM

  22. Slumdog Millionaire all the way, baby!

    Posted by: sugarrhill | Jan 22, 2009 2:13:36 PM

  23. These are probably the most "alternative" nominations I've ever seen. In the first six major categories, only Dark Knight and Tropic Thunder were seen by a lot of people (unless I'm mistaken and Benjamin Button received a wide audience, but it seemed to come and go pretty quickly). The rest are all critcs' favorites (again, with the exception of Button, which got mixed reviews). So I wouldn't necessarily assume that Milk doesn't have a half-decent chance of winning a few awards.

    Sean Penn would probably have a better chance if he didn't have a very public stance against attending the Oscars for many years.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jan 22, 2009 2:14:50 PM

  24. I have to say that I am completely disgusted by those of you who are saying that Milk should win because Brokeback did not.

    They have NOTHING to do with each other.

    Just because it is a mainstream gay themed movie does not make it deserving of any award. To be honest, when actually looking at the aspects of the filmmaking as you should be, Milk would not get my vote in any of the categories it is nominated for.

    There were some amazing films produced this year. Many of them just happen to be better than Milk. Sorry.

    Posted by: Lance | Jan 22, 2009 2:46:31 PM

  25. That "Let The Right One In" didn't get a best foreign nomination is quite unbelievable.
    I wish there was both a Best Movie and a Best Film categories... thereby Slumdog (movie) and Milk (film).
    Frost/Nixon could be a huge sleeper.

    Posted by: Pbar | Jan 22, 2009 3:07:19 PM

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