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Something’s Fishy With the Critics Choice Awards Nominations

Although the ranks of film critics may (sadly) be diminishing in number, our society certainly isn't lacking when it comes to virtually meaningless end-of-year awards shows. To that end, the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) has teamed up once again with VH1 to bring us the commercially minded Critics Choice Awards. Why so dismissive, you ask? Well, if you buy into the notion that the Golden Globes are considered to be the little sibling of the Academy Awards, then the Critics Choice Awards are pretty much the Cousin Oliver of the awards season in that they're superfluous and pretty much there solely for ratings' sake. To wit: Today's BFCA nominations were hosted by none other than the replicants recently chosen to take the At the Movies mantle, the Two Bens. And while it isn't entirely crazy to see The Dark Knight listed among their ten (!) nominations for Best Picture, there were two nominations that we found to be insidiously transparent attempts at ratings grubbing.

Not only was it a huge miss by the BFCA not to have Revolutionary Road on their list of ten Best Picture candidates (again, we repeat, TEN!), but eagle-eyed observers will note that both Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie earned themselves nominations in their respective lead acting categories. While Vulture considers both to be very fine actors in their own right, neither has been tipped by any of the major prognosticators as being players in this year's Best Actor/Actress race. After reviewing the evidence, does anyone else think that someone (*cough*, VH1, *cough*) is trying to solicit themselves a red-carpet moment with Brangelina by using their Best Acting categories to tip the scales in their favor?

And with that, Vulture concludes its Conspiracy Theory hour. We hope you enjoyed it! As a reward for your patience, here's a list of (all the important) nominees:

BEST PICTURE
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Doubt
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire
Wall-E
The Wrestler

BEST ACTOR
Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

BEST ACTRESS
Kate Beckinsale, Nothing But the Truth
Cate Blanchett, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
James Franco, Milk

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Vera Farmiga, Nothing But the Truth
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
Kate Winslet, The Reader

BEST DIRECTOR
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight
Gus Van Sant, Milk

BEST WRITER (Original or Adapted Screenplay)
Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
Dustin Lance Black, Milk
Peter Morgan, Frost/Nixon
Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
John Patrick Shanley, Doubt

For a complete list of nominees, head over to In Contention.

Critics Choice favors 'Milk,' 'Button' [Variety]

Photo: Getty Images