Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
On the one-year anniversary of his death, Heath Ledger earned a supporting actor Academy Award nomination for his role as The Joker in The Dark Knight.
Ledger's nod was among the most anticipated of Thursday's Oscar announcements. The best-picture nominees include The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which led with 13 total nominations, Slumdog Millionaire, Frost/Nixon, Milk and The Reader. (Check out the list of nominees here.)
Ledger, a previous lead-actor nominee for Brokeback Mountain, picked up the biggest nomination for The Dark Knight, which was shut out of the picture and director race despite momentum in recent weeks, including nominations from the three Guilds (Producers, Writers and Directors).
Competing against Ledger are Josh Brolin (Milk), Robert Downey Jr. (Tropic Thunder), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Doubt) and Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road).
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, meanwhile, picked up his-and-hers lead nominations for their roles in Button and Changeling, respectively.
Kate Winslet couldn't earn two Oscar nominations to match her two Golden Globe wins, managing only a lead actress nomination for The Reader. At the Globes, she won for The Reader in supporting and in lead for Revolutionary Road.
Jolie and Winslet are up against Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married), Melissa Leo (Frozen River) and Meryl Streep (Doubt). Streep, already a record-holder as the most nominated performer in Oscar history, received her 15th nomination and is looking for her third win.
Shortlisted alongside Pitt for lead actor are Richard Jenkins (The Visitor), Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon), Sean Penn (Milk) and Golden Globe champ Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler).
The supporting actress race pits Doubt costars Amy Adams and Viola Davis against Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Taraji P. Henson (Button) and Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler).
The 81st Academy Awards, hosted by Hugh Jackman, airs Feb. 22 at 8 pm/ET on ABC.
What do you think of the nominations? Which snub stings the most? Who do you think will win?