BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) _ ``American Beauty,'' a dark comedy about family mayhem in suburbia, led a diverse slate of Academy Award contenders with eight nominations today. ``The Cider House Rules'' and ``The Insider'' were right behind with seven each.

The three movies all received nominations for best picture along with ``The Green Mile'' and ``The Sixth Sense.''

``American Beauty's'' other nominations included best actor and actress for Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening, director Sam Mendes, screenwriter Alan Ball for best original screenplay, as well as for cinematography, film editing and original score.