Penelope Cruz Receives Oscar Nomination for "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"

This just in! The 2009 Academy Award nominations were just announced, and as expected, Penelope Cruz scored a well-deserved Best Supporting Actress nod for her role as Maria Elena in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. This marks Cruz's second Oscar nomination--her first was for Best Actress for her performance in 2006's Volver.

Cruz picked up several Best Supporting Actress wins leading up to today's Oscar nominations and has been a favorite to win, but her odds looked increasingly shaky after a loss to Kate Winslet at the Golden Globe Awards. Luckily for Cruz, Winslet is only nominated for Best Actress this time, which significantly changes the playing field. Cruz is now looking like the frontrunner again, but she'll still have to contend with four stellar actresses for the win: Amy Adams (Doubt), Viola Davis (Doubt), Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler).

Other notable news from this morning's announcement:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button leads with 13 nominations, including Best Picture. The other four films up for the big award are Slumdog Millionaire, Milk, Frost/Nixon and The Reader.

And Heath Ledger was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for The Dark Knight, exactly one year after his passing. The Batman film, however, was shunned for Best Picture nomination and fared poorly overall.

Congratulations to all the nominees--especially Penelope Cruz! The full list of 2009 Academy Award nominations in the leading categories is below.

Best Picture
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

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

Best Actor:
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:
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Best Supporting Actor:
Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

Best Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler

Best Original Screenplay
Frozen River
In Bruges

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Foreign Language Film
The Baader Meinhof Complex
The Class
Waltz With Bashir

Best Animated Feature
Kung Fu Panda