June 26, 2009

'Dark Knight' Never a Best Picture Contender

I intended this blog post to be about how the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences decision to open the list of Best Picture nominees from a reasonable five to an unmaneageable 10 seems like an attempt to please everyone all of the time.

However, after reading quite a few articles on the change, and giggling at some of the comments posted in response to these articles, I've determined that there are quite a few bitter, bitter folks out there that feel like the Dark Knight was bamboozled out of its Oscar nomination.

And I happen to disagree.

The Dark Knight was good superhero movie. It had hear-stopping action and blinding explosions. It was dark and beautiful. It had one incredible, stand-out performance that brought attention to the picture and created the kind of buzz that turns a good film into a box office blockbuster. But it was never a contender for Best Picture. Even if there had been 10 slots in the Best Picture category, they would have been filled by:

Wall-E, or

The Wrestler, or

Rachel Getting Married, or

Tropic Thunder,

and a toss-up between Doubt and Vicky Cristina Barcelona. But never the Dark Knight. Sorry fanboys. Heath Ledger was incredible. He did things with the character that made a tired housewife, soccer mom, wine-drinker watch a superhero movie. But he did not turn a good action pic into a Best Picture nominee. Not even close.

Best Picture Change Triggers a Backlash [New York Times]

Oscars to Include 10 Best Picture Nominees [zap2it.com]

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