The Reader means Stepen Daldry's gotten nom'd for all 3 films he's made.
The full list of Oscar nominations is here, with expert opinion on them here. Talking points to make you look smart here.
I'm shocked that The Reader did so well! It raked in major nominations, including for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, and yet it stands at a mere 60% on RottenTomatoes.com with 150 reviews counted. Could it be the least positively reviewed film to get a Best Picture nod since...Ghost?
I would hazard a guess that its Nazi theme helped it with the Hollywood crowd. Anything about the Nazis—presuming it's good in the first place—gets an extra boost. Remember Adrien Brody's out-of-nowhere win for Best Actor? Not casting aspersions (I've been dying to see the movie), it's just an interesting trend to me. Hollywood also smiles upon movies with liberal social agendas, such as The Cider House Rules or Crash (realllly smiled upon it) or this year's Milk. It's not that they aren't good, it's that they're probably extra-favored for content as well as form.
I'm a bit miffed that Revolutionary Road was overlooked. I loved it! But it's also quite interesting considering the film was directed for Oscar winner Sam Mendes and stars two beloved Hollywood actors. Maybe the Academy felt giving nods to Brangelina was enough red-carpet consideration.
The eight nominations for Milk show a genuine affection and respect for the film, even if I think it will only win for Best Original Screenplay. ("Only" he says—that would be an amazing award.)
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button gets 13 nods, but I would guess it will lose most of those. It's such a BIG movie with so many potential nominees, but none jump out as sure-bet winners.