I kind of cheated a little bit on the backgrounds for today's comic. They're screen captures from Tony's garage in Iron Man. I had a hard time grabbing them. I would scan the frames for the shots I needed, but then go back and start watching scenes from the movie. Total time suck!

As you may or may not know, the 2009 Oscar nominations were announced yesterday and Robert Downey Jr. being nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Tropic Thunder stuck out the most to me across a field of otherwise safe choices.

Obviously RDJ won't win, citing the Academy's aversion to comedic performances. If anything, it's a tip of the hat to the comeback year Downey Jr. has had and they certainly couldn't nominate him for Iron Man for fear of losing complete credibility.

I was a little surprised that The Curious Case of Benjamin Button racked up 13 nominations and even more surprised that it earned nominations in the Big 5 - Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director and Adapted Screenplay. Seriously - I thought interest had wained on this thing. Everyone I've talked to says it's an exhaustive slog to get through and nothing much happens.

But, statistically, it's the front-runner. So I suppose I will have to check it out.

I guess I was also surprised that The Wrestler was no nominated for Best Picture. Almost everyone I talk to seems to love that movie. Meanwhile, The Reader made the cut despite critics taking it to task for being a bit of a mess (aside from Kate Winslet's performance, of course).

Any while we're talking about the Best Picture nominations, I'm personally disappointed that Wall-E couldn't bust out of the Best Animated Feature Film ghetto and lock down a Best Picture nomination. One of the most critically adored and respected film's in Pixar's history and it's been relegated second-class citizenship. If the Academy had not created the Best Animated Feature Film category, Wall-E would have been a contender for sure. If the Academy saw fit to nominate Beauty and The Beast for Best Picture nearly 20 years ago, surely Wall-E could compete.

Interesting that there was no gold watch nomination for Clint Eastwood and his contributions to Gran Torino. Going into nominations, I thought buzz was building on that one. I guess not.

Of course, everyone is talking about Heath Ledger being nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his revolutionary turn as The Joker in The Dark Knight. But I don't think he'll win. The Dark Knight was conspicuously shut out of any other major category. The highest grossing film of the year - one of the highest grossing since Titanic and no recognition with a Best Picture or Best Director nomination? Sure it cleaned up with 7 nominations in the technical categories, but c'mon!

Ultimately, I think Nathaniel R. from The Film Experience hit the nail on the head with his Oscar nominations talking points posted yesterday. I found this by way of Jeffery Wells over at Hollywood Elsewhere:

Oscar Preferences

The Oscar's will be broadcast February 22 on ABC. For your reference, here is a list of the most prominent 2009 Oscar nominations:

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Richard Jenkins--The Visitor
Frank Langella--Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn--Milk
Brad Pitt--The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke--The Wrestler

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Josh Brolin--Milk
Robert Downey Jr.--Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman--Doubt
Heath Ledger--The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon--Revolutionary Road

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Anne Hathaway--Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie--Changeling
Melissa Leo--Frozen River
Meryl Streep--Doubt
Kate Winslet--The Reader

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Amy Adams--Doubt
Penelope Cruz--Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis--Doubt
Taraji Henson--The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei--The Wrestler

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

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Frozen
Happy-Go-Lucky
In Bruges
Milk
Wall-E

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Eric Roth--The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
John Patrick Shanley--Doubt
Peter Morgan--Frost/Nixon
David Hare--The Reader
Simon Beaufoy--Slumdog Millionaire

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Bolt
Kung Fu Panda
Wall-E

BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

So, what's your take? Is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button worthy of 13 nominations? Who films or performances do you think were ignored? What are your predictions for who will take home the little golden man?

Leave your comments below!

↓ Transcript
Tom did you hear the news? Robert Downey Jr. was nominated for an Oscar!

GASP! For Iron Man?

No, actually. Best supporting actor for Tropic Thunder, I believe.