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'Dark Knight,' 'Benjamin Button' on shortlist

Three effects-heavy movies, three intimate dramas and one satirical comedy are among the seven films in the running for consideration in the best makeup category at the 81st annual Academy Awards.

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "The Dark Knight" and "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" all made the makeup shortlist, announced Tuesday, the same day on which they were shortlisted in the visual effects category.

They will compete against the dramas "The Reader," "Synecdoche, New York" and "The Wrestler" as well as the comedy "Tropic Thunder," in which Robert Downey Jr. appeared as an Australian method actor playing a black soldier.

On Jan. 17, the members of the academy's makeup branch will view 10-minute excerpts from the shortlisted films and then will vote to nominate three films for final Oscar consideration.

Nominations will be announced Jan. 22, and the Oscars will take place Feb. 22.

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