Going gently

Posted by · 11:17 am · August 16th, 2008

I’ve made the decision to quietly retire from combating whimsical notions that “The Dark Knight” will be nominated for Best Picture.  It makes me feel like a grumpy old man and you can only fight the same two or three tired and hollow supporting arguments so many times before you realize people have blinders on.




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23 responses so far

  • 1 8-16-2008 at 11:52 am

    Fei said...

    Weren’t you the one who first suggested that Nolan might be nominated for Best Director, before anyone was taking The Dark Knight seriously as an awards contender (outside of Supporting Actor and techs)? Thus, I find your retreat into this self-admittedly curmudgeon-like attitude to be surprising and disappointing. But you’re human, and the stronger and/or more insistent the other side is, the more resistant you become. People just don’t like admitting that they’re wrong.

    Now please don’t take this the wrong way. I’m not proclaiming that you’re wrong—that would be childish. In fact, even I’m not sold that The Dark Knight will be nominated for Best Picture. You have your reasons for holding out, reasons that I’m sure are rock-solid in your mind. I can only respect that. I’m merely making an observation on the state of your mind. You will probably continue to insist that The Dark Knight won’t be nominated right up until the end.

    But if it does happen, I’m sure that you will post about it here at In Contention, and at that time, I will link back to this post and highlight your “grumpy old man” statement—a fancier way of saying, “I told you so.”

  • 2 8-16-2008 at 12:11 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Actually, I was on Christopher Nolan back in 2005 for the same reasons people are high on The Dark Knight this year. Call it a learned lesson.

    But Nathaniel Rogers was the first guy on the Nolan director train this year. And he’s also one of the many who are going down the Best Picture road.

    For the record…I will insist on TDK’s likely Best Picture miss until critics groups begin to put it on the awards landscape with Best Pic wins or even runner-up positions.

    I’m always up for being the butt of an “I told you so” moment if it comes at the expense of one of my favorite films of the year proving me wrong in the derby.

  • 3 8-16-2008 at 12:20 pm

    Darbicus said...

    So I hve whimsical notions now?

    No matter…if I’m wrong…I’m wrong. If I’m right, then so be it.

  • 4 8-16-2008 at 1:05 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    please don’t take offense Darb…it’s not just you..

  • 5 8-16-2008 at 1:05 pm

    JEFF SNEIDER said...

    I don’t think The Dark Knight stands a chance of being nominated for BP but you never can tell. After all, Juno and Michael “zzzzz” Clayton got nominated. The truth is, the field is WIDE OPEN right now. There are only two front-runners, I believe, and those are BEN BUTTON and REVOLUTION ROAD. Doubt, Milk, Frost/Nixon, Changeling, Gran Torino, The Soloist, none of them are a sure thing. That said, I DO think Nolan could snag a Best Director nomination for reinventing the superhero movie and raising the bar for all to come. The action in the film isn’t perfect but the intensity, the character work, the momentum, and even how he’s dealt with Ledger’s death in the press, all work in Nolan’s favor. I think this year’s directing crop could surprise people. Everyone’s thinking Van Sant, Ron Howard, Fincher, Joe Wright, Clint, Mendes, etc. But I think guys like Spike Lee and Baz Luhrmann have a real chance, even if their films don’t. I think Oscar is gonna spread the love this year. Can’t wait for the Variety Screening Series to begin.

  • 6 8-16-2008 at 1:06 pm

    JEFF SNEIDER said...

    Excuse me, RevolutionARY Road.

  • 7 8-16-2008 at 1:13 pm

    Darbicus said...

    I don’t necessarily appreciate the blinders comment, but understand it considering the point of acceptance that we all have some degree of subjectivity in whatever prognostication we make.

  • 8 8-16-2008 at 1:31 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Jeff: I think the fall would have to crash and burn for TDK to slip past the already (admittedly) thin Oscar season product.

    Darb: I meant no willful offense, but it is, indeed, my viewpoint on the matter. I think it is a lot of wishful thinking combined with bending “rules” and “history,” etc., to fit that thinking.

  • 9 8-16-2008 at 2:27 pm

    Drew said...

    I’m still looking forward to the video of you eating your hat should it come to fruition.

  • 10 8-16-2008 at 4:12 pm

    Jeff said...

    You know it all depends on how long people can sustain the Batmania. If the Oscar nominations were tomorrow, Dark Knight would easily be on the list of nominees, even if all of the movies coming out this year (and are serious contenders) had already come on, just because Batman/Joker/Heath Ledger fervor is high. If it dies down, than no, Dark Knight will not be nominated for BP. But I’ve always said that a well-placed DVD release could seal Dark Knight’s fate as an awards contender. It all really depends.
    And Batman Begins was a different story: Dark Knight has a full 10 points higher than BB on RottenTomatoes, as of today likely is the second highest grossing movie of all time, and the #1 reason: Heath Ledger. All of these factors separate TDK from any previous good comic book film, and really make it feasible that we might hear the TDK be nominated on January 22nd for BP. But no one will care about these things if they no longer pay attention to it, which is why it’s nearly impossible to tell at this point.

  • 11 8-16-2008 at 4:20 pm

    Matthew Lucas said...

    I’m not seeing THE DARK KNIGHT in the final five either…but I could be wrong. It’s just not an “Oscar movie,” although you can point out plenty of nominees that weren’t. I see several nominations in it’s future, but I don’t think BP is one of them.

  • 12 8-16-2008 at 5:26 pm

    Hollywood Noir said...

    I’m so sick of hearing about “The Dark Knight” that Michael Phelps is starting to sound fresh about now.

    Ugh.

  • 13 8-16-2008 at 6:14 pm

    M.Harris said...

    Will “The Dark Knight” be nominated for Best Picture,to all that say no I think it’s a possibility.You look at a movie like “The Lord of the Rings” (a great movie but it wasn’t exactly your typical oscar bait type of movie)and it won for Best Picture .Now it’s a fact that you had a fantasy movie such as that one win why can’t “The Dark Knight ” at least be nominated,again compare the two.

  • 14 8-16-2008 at 6:40 pm

    Hollywood Noir said...

    Compare the two, hm? Well “The Lord of the Rings” is to Oscar what “The Dark Knight” is to the MTV choice awards. You can’t even compare the two for fuck’s sake… one’s totally in the vein of what the Oscars are about (a winningly epic saga, undeniably impressive, massively technical and storytelling achievement, irresistable sentimentality, picture-perfect vision and scope to match, etc.) and one’s totally NOT what the Oscars are about, a picture that feels like a great summer blockbuster but not much more.

  • 15 8-16-2008 at 6:57 pm

    M.Harris said...

    Hey hollywood, didn’t I say that “The Lord of the Rings”was a and I’ll put it in CAPS A GREAT MOVIE.In no way was I slighting it by comparing with ‘The Dark Knight”.When I say compare the two I’m refering to it not being your typical “super serious ‘oscar movie.It went up against”Mystic River,Master and Command and a movie like “Cold Mountain that year(by the way I liked”The Lord of the Rings”better than all of them)but still the same if you pay attention on a year by year basis it’s not typical oscar bait again that’s what I’m comparing it to.”Chicago” a musical none the less also won for Best Picture,a musical(I like lords a hell of a lot better than that one).

  • 16 8-16-2008 at 9:34 pm

    Colin Petkraft said...

    Kris,
    This makes me happy.
    I remember the Diane Lane “It Will Not Happen” fiasco, and after fighting against “The Departed” getting nominated, (a film that you loved), I think it would drive you crazy if this got nominated and you didn’t predict it.

    Warner Brothers campaigns like hell, and unless they do something stupid like release “Gran Torino” this year, they don’t have that much other stuff in their stable.

    That being said, I’d be suprised if it won. They’ve gone dark too many years in a row. They’re going to go all Rocky on us or something.

  • 17 8-16-2008 at 11:08 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    It wouldn’t drive me crazy in the slightest, Colin. You don’t appear to know me.

    But you have brought up a six-year-old moment of personal doubt (SIX!), which leads me to believe it’s obviously hard to come up with too many viable misses.

    People do bring the Diane Lane thing up from time to time, as well as the “Departed” thing, and the “Letters” thing. But hey, I nit-pick others’ prediction failures sometimes when I want to feel high and mighty, too. So I’ll give it to you.

    In any case, WB doesn’t “campaign like hell.” They are consistently one of the last studios to join the Oscar race with ad buys because they are one of the major studios that honestly doesn’t care about awards (if you were in the industry, you might know this).

    However, there are third parties that do a hell of a job for WB year in and year out. They know who they are, and they know I’m aware of their hard work.

    In any case, happy you’re happy. And as always, happy to be wrong in this instance. I don’t think I will be, but as is typical with the peanut gallery, a miss in this instance would be remembered far before a correct guess.

    So it goes…

    (And FYI, “Gran Torino” is and has been on the slate for a 2008 release.)

  • 18 8-17-2008 at 12:05 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Isn’t it funny how six weeks ago or so, people were hysterically insisting that “WALL-E” would definitely be a Best Picture nominee? How fickle are the hearts of the summer Oscar prognosticators.

    I’m still on your side, Kris. I don’t think it deserves a Best Picture nomination either. (The more I consider them, the more I think “Batman Begins” was the better film.)

  • 19 8-17-2008 at 12:10 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    And I keep saying it: if “Benjamin Button” is half as good as I think it’s being to be, it’s going to eat up the votes from the cool/fanboy contingent. Not that I’m saying the films have anything in common.

  • 20 8-17-2008 at 2:16 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    I don’t think Benjamin Button is BP material either. However I’ve seen TDK for the 5th time last night and I still haven’t really figured what makes it tick. With a rumoured December 10 DVD-release date and the moving of Potter we all know what WB is aiming for.

  • 21 8-17-2008 at 3:49 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I disagree about Benjamin Button, but who knows? Right now, given the vagueness of the season, I have it positioned as my frontrunner, but I’ve been wrong a zillion times before.

    Everyone goes on about the Potter bump with regard to this – I don’t see the relevance. It’s not as if the Potter films have ever been awards forces anyway – anyone care to explain the theory?