Oscar Blitz

Slatecoverage of the Academy Awards.

This morning, the Academy announced the nominees for this year’s Oscars.

The leads in Brokeback Mountain snapped up two of the film’s eight nods, the Academy nominating Heath Ledger for best actor and Jake Gyllenhaal for best supporting actor. How is the distinction between “lead” and “supporting” roles determined? In 2002, on the occasion of Jennifer Connelly’s nomination for best supporting actress in A Beautiful Mind, Chris Suellentrop explained the method to the Academy’s madness: “It’s up to the voting members of the Academy. No rule determines the category for which an actor can be nominated.”

Wondering why your favorite foreign-language film of 2005 was snubbed? In 2003, June Thomas outlined the rules for submitting foreign films to the Academy.

For his performance in Hustle & Flow, Terrence Howard was nominated for best actor. Last summer, David Edelstein reviewed the film and Christopher Kelly described how its success heralded the rise of the indie blockbuster: “It’s a sign that Hollywood’s blockbuster ethos has now completely infected the indie/art-house landscape. In a curious case of Hollywood’s Stockholm Syndrome, the indies have learned not just to love their captors, but also to emulate and refine their ways.”

Last year, David Edelstein reviewed all the films nominated for Best Picture: Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Crash, Good Night, and Good Luck, and Munich.

Daily Show anchor Jon Stewart will host this year’s festivities. Dana Stevens rounded up  the reaction to the announcement.

In Dec. 2005, David Edelstein, Scott Foundas, Jonathan Rosenbaum, and A.O. Scott debated the year’s best films in Slate’s Movie Club.