Sean Penn as Harvey Milk
Milk, the film about the assassinated gay politician Harvey Milk, has received eight Academy Award nominations.
The nominations for the 81st Academy Awards were announced today by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Sid Ganis and Oscar winner Forest Whitaker.
Directed by Gus van Sant, and starring Sean Penn, James Franco and Josh Brolin, Milk has received wide acclaim for Penn’s performance in the title role.
The film was nominated for: Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Sean Penn); Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Josh Brolin); Achievement in Directing (Gus Van Sant); Best Original Screenplay; Achievement in Costume Design; Achievement in Film Editing and; Best Original Score.
Other nominees in the Best Motion Picture of the Year category include The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, The Reader and Slumdog Millionaire (which scooped a number of Golden Globes earlier this month, including Best Motion Picture – Drama.)
Richard Jenkins (The Visitor), Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon), Brad Pitt (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) were also recognised for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.
The Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role nominees include Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married), Angelina Jolie (Changeling), Melissa Leo (Frozen River), Meryl Streep (Doubt) and Kate Winslet (The Reader).
This is Streep’s 15th Oscar nomination, continuing her reign as the most-nominated performer in the award’s history.
Heath Ledger was nominated for a Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar for his take on the Joker in The Dark Knight. The nomination came on the first anniversary of his death.
The winners will be announced on Sunday, February 22. The awards will be televised in more than 200 countries worldwide.