- Nominee: George Clooney, best actor, “Michael Clayton”
- Nominee: Saoirse Ronan, supporting actress, “Atonement”
- Nominee: Daniel Day-Lewis, best actor, “There Will Be Blood”
- Nominee: Laura Linney, best actress, “The Savages”
Character: Wendy Savage, an aspiring playwright working as a temp in New York City who needs to care for her ailing father.
Character’s salary: Temporary office clerks earn an average of $11.40 per hour**, while playwrights in New York City make $62,639. *
- Nominee: Johnny Depp, best actor, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
- Nominee: Marion Cotillard, best actress, “La Vie en Rose”
Character: Edith Piaf, the famous French singer.
Character’s salary: Median hourly earnings of wage-and-salary musicians and singers are $19.73. **
- Nominee: Tommy Lee Jones, best actor, “In the Valley of Elah”
Character: Hank Deerfield, a retired military sergeant trying to uncover the truth behind his son’s death after his tour in Iraq.
Character’s salary: In April 2007, an Army staff sergeant with more than 20 years experience earned $3,064.50 per month.
- Nominee: Tilda Swinton, supporting actress, “Michael Clayton”
- Nominee: Viggo Mortensen, best actor, “Eastern Promises”
- Nominee: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, supporting actor, “Charlie Wilson’s War”
Character’s salary: A mid-level (step five) CIA division chief earns between $63,481 and $89,202. Salaries vary. ****
** Average salary from May 2006, Bureau of Labor Statistics
*** Based on 2008 general pay scale provided by FedJobs.com
**** Not all Oscar nominees are listed.