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Hollywood Presents 81st Academy Awards

The film industry is honoring its biggest stars and moviemakers with the 81st annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California.

Spanish actress Penelope Cruz won the first Oscar of 2009, as Best Supporting Actress for the movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona, written by U.S. film legend Woody Allen.

The film "Slumdog Millionaire," a rags-to-riches movie set in India, has won two awards so far, for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Cinematography. Altogether, the movie was nominated for an award in 10 categories, including Best Picture.

The American movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has received 13 nominations for Hollywood's prestigious Oscar Awards - including for best picture, best actor and best director.

Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Reader and Slumdog Millionaire are the other best-picture nominees.

Slumdog Millionaire, a rags-to-riches movie set in India, has 10 nominations. It tells the story of a teenager from the slums of Mumbai who rises to fame in a television game show.

Brad Pitt, who starred in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, is a nominee for best actor. Other contenders in that category are Richard Jenkins for The Visitor, Frank Langella for Frost/Nixon, Sean Penn for Milk and Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler.

Best actress nominees include Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married, Angelina Jolie for Changeling, Melissa Leo for Frozen River, Meryl Streep for Doubt, and Kate Winslet for The Reader.

Heath Ledger was nominated posthumously as best supporting actor for his role as the sinister Joker in the latest Batman film, The Dark Knight. He previously won a Golden Globe for his role in the movie.

The nominees for best foreign language films are Waltz with Bashir (Israel), The Baader Meinhof Complex (Germany), The Class (France), Departures (Japan), and Revanche (Austria).

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.