Oscar dims Dark Knight, pushes the Button, can't put down Reader

The Academy Award nominations snub 'The Dark Knight,' nod to 'Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk' and 'Slumdog Millionaire' and unexpectedly honor 'The Reader.'

This is no joy in Gotham City this morning following the Academy Award nominations. Heath Ledger earned the expected, posthumous Best Supporting Actor nod for The Dark Knight, but that's the only major award garnered by the downbeat Batman film, which happens to be the second-highest grossing film ever made. The Producers, Directors and Writers Guilds all nominated The Dark Knight, but the Academy, never one to eagerly embrace genre films, shut it out of the Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay categories while giving it eight nominations overall.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk and Slumdog Millionaire all earned major nominations, including Best Picture, as expected. Button got the most total nods, at 13, with Slumdog the runner-up, with 10.

So what took the Dark Knight's "slot?" Apparently The Reader, the post-Holocaust drama starring Kate Winslet (pictured). Not only did Oscar give it nominations for Best Picture, Best Director for Stephen Daldry and Best Adapted Screenplay, Kate Winslet triumphed over herself in Revolutionary Road. The studios had campaigned for Winslet as Supporting Actress in The Reader and lead in Revolutionary Road, but Academy instead gave her lead nomination and snubbed Revolutionary Road in the rest of the major categories, except Michael Shannon as supporting actor.