Slumdog Millionaire's continued awards-season domination has taken a curious twist: It finally has gotten some company at the top.
The Mumbai-set inspirational drama tied with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for a leading 11 nominations, including dueling Best Film nods, at the Orange British Academy Film Awards 2009, aka the BAFTAs.
Hot on their tails is The Dark Knight, with nine nominations, including the now requisite Supporting Actor nod for Heath Ledger, followed by Changeling with eight. Frost/Nixon (six nominations), The Reader (five) and Revolutionary Road, Milk and In Bruges (four apiece) are among the other top contenders.
Gone, however, is the opportunity for Kate Winslet to repeat her Golden Globe double win on her home turf. While the actress did receive nominations for her work in The Reader and Revolutionary Road, they were both in the Leading Actress category, meaning her greatest competition might just be herself.
BAFTA cofrontrunner Slumdog Millionaire, meanwhile, picked up nominations in nearly every major category. In addition to Best Film, the little movie that could scored nods for Adapted Screenplay, Best Director for Danny Boyle, Outstanding British Film, Leading Actor for Dev Patel and Supporting Actress for Freida Pinto.
Rounding out the Best Film competitors: The Curious Case of Benjamin, Frost/Nixon, Milk and The Reader.
In addition to his time-defying performance in Button, Pitt also scored in the Supporting Actor category for Burn After Reading, pitting him against Tropic Thunder's "dude playing a dude disguised as another dude" Robert Downey Jr.., Doubt's Philip Seymour Hoffman, In Bruges' Brendan Gleeson and Ledger.
As for Winslet, in addition to herself, her competition in the Leading Actress category is shaping up to be a familiar group of gals with Changeling's Angelina Jolie, I've Loved You So Long's Kristin Scott Thomas and Doubt's Meryl Streep rounding out the category. Winslet's double nod appears to have squeezed Anne Hathaway clear out of contention.
The Leading Actor slate features Slumdog Millionaire's Patel with his first top-tier nod facing off against the usual suspects: Frost/Nixon's Frank Langella, Milk's Sean Penn, The Wrestler's Mickey Rourke, and Pitt.
On the Supporting Actress side, Doubt's Amy Adams maintains the film's three-for-three acting nod trifecta and is joined by Vicky Cristina Barcelona's Penelope Cruz, who scored the film's sole individual acting nod, Burn After Reading's Tilda Swinton, The Wrestler's Marisa Tomei and Pinto.
BAFTA's trademark category, the Orange Rising Star Award, will as always be voted on by the public and includes Michael Cera and Vicky Cristina Barcelona's Rebecca Hall, among others.
British TV personality Jonathan Ross hosts the ceremony, taking place Feb. 8 in London.
Here's the complete list of nominees:
SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKE UP & HAIR
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
THE CARL FOREMAN AWARD
(For special achievement by a British director, writer or producer for their first feature film.)
THE ORANGE RISING STAR AWARD