Dave Karger
January 22, 2009 AT 10:01 PM EST

As usual, this morning’s Oscar nominations announcement provided its fair share of ho-hum results and truly surprising developments. Strangely, four of my 10 possible surprise outcomes from yesterday ended up coming true. Here are my 5 biggest surprises and sure things.


Benjamin Button leads the pack With 13 nominations, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was far and away the most recognized film of the year. But after going home empty-handed at the Broadcast Critics awards and the Golden Globes, can it actually win?

Slumdog Millionaire places second The crowd-pleaser of the year landed 10 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and three nods for composer A.R. Rahman. My hunch is that it won’t end up placing second on Oscar night.

Double nods for Brangelina First of all, I can’t believe I actually just typed “Brangelina.” Secondly, I’m sure Oscar network ABC is thrilled Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie both made it into their lead-acting categories.

Milk‘s resurgence After earning only one Globe nomination, the stirring biopic scored eight Oscar nods. I give Sean Penn the edge in the Best Actor race.

No Doubt for Best Picture Even though the thought-provoking drama landed four acting nominations, the Academy didn’t recognize the film in the Best Picture or Best Director categories.


The Dark Knight left out of the big dance Even though it earned eight nominations (including Best Supporting Actor for Heath Ledger, the Batman film didn’t make it into the Best Picture or Best Director races. There must be a lot of disappointed fans out there today.

Winslet in Best Actress for The Reader The Academy overruled a campaign and placed Kate Winslet in the lead-acting category for The Reader instead of Revolutionary Road. She may not have gotten two nominations, but this increases her chance at an eventual win.

Gran Torino skids out Despite its strong commercial performance, Clint Eastwood’s drama didn’t pick up a single nomination. At least his other directorial effort, Changeling, managed three.

No Slumdog acting nods The British Academy recognized Slumdog stars Dev Patel and Freida Pinto last week. Today, nothing for the cast at all. Perhaps SAG will honor them with their ensemble prize this weekend.

Big stars snubbed in Best Original Song No Beyonce, no Miley, no Springsteen? Don’t get me wrong, I love Peter Gabriel’s Wall-E tune and both nominated songs from Slumdog, but the Academy certainly didn’t need to cut the category down to three nominees this year.

Also, please check out our brand-new Oscars cheat sheet, listing all the nominees and winners of the season.

addCredit(“Anita Bugge/WireImage”)

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