For many of us, the holidays are just beginning. Oscar Season is definitely the most wonderful time of the year. 2008 has been an especially stimulating year in film – the competition is fierce, my friends! While most rumored Best Picture candidates seem suitable, and more or less expected – Chris Nolan’sThe Dark Knight is sparking hordes of controversy regarding a potential nom. And I am here to assert that, yes, 2008′s highest grossing box office film – The Dark Knight – does not deserve an Oscar Nomination.
Let me preface this by saying I am absolutely a fan of this film. In fact, I saw The Dark Knight multiple times in theaters. It was the box office hit of the summer, clearly epitomizing cinematic entertainment. However, the key phrases here are “entertainment” and “summer box office hit.” Do you really think that TDK could stand up to last years winner No Country for Old Men? Or even the runners up, There Will be Blood or Atonement? No!
Let’s backtrack for a minute here, and remember the significance behind an Oscar Nomination. This isn’t just any award – it is THE award. For over eighty years, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been responsible for implementing the most prominent annual award ceremony in the history of cinema. You’re rolling with the big dogs – the best actors, directors, cinematographers, and essentially, storytellers in the game.
Generally speaking, aside from Raiders Of The Lost Ark, and the three Lord Of The Rings films – it’s highly unusual for an action-flick (let alone a comic book adaptation) to score a nomination and even then those were nominated, they didn’t really belong. Performance-wise, outside of Heath Ledger’s incredible portrayal of the Joker (which I do think does deserve a nod), the acting in general wasn’t anything too spectacular. Christian Bale, Batman HIMSELF, the title character, just droned on in a Darth-Vadorish voice and looked impossibly attractive. Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, have all had MUCH better performances that didn’t earn them a nod. Hell, if TDK can be nominated why hasn’t Harry Potter or any of it’s cast? Those films are just as solid, with just as much good acting. Why, because they’re not Academy winners, they’re amazing movies, but not Oscar films.
And while, yes, TDK certainly touches on some sociological statements – at the end of the day, it’s STILL a Batman Movie, more to the point, it’s still a comic book. It’s STILL that blockbuster, let me dress up in my costume, should have been an hour shorter but hey the action scenes were sweet, type of movie. An Oscar Nominated film should be the perfect ten – great story, great acting, thought-provoking message, great directing, the list goes on… This is not the cream of the crop, the best of the best.
While The Dark Knight does merit critical acclamation, and perhaps some type of award – NOT an Academy Award. It’s only a matter of time, until the Academy makes that decision themselves. Less than 24 hours, so keep checking in!
And I know plenty of you differ with me, so feel free to leave a comment telling me why you disagree I’m very interested in your thoughts!
***Update from the Author: Well, my friends..today – you lose. It looks like the Academy agreed with me. And as far as the physical threats go – come by anytime – Check out the full list of Oscar nominations now”"”