Hathaway, Hanks and Berry get lead Oscar pushes for 'Dark Knight Rises' and 'Cloud Atlas'

Posted by · 5:43 pm · October 12th, 2012

One of the things we’ve been looking to get confirmation on regarding Warner Bros. Pictures’ Oscar campaigns this year is just where Tom Hanks and Halle Berry would be pushed for Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis’ “Cloud Atlas.” Lead seemed to be the obvious call (both are the movie stars and have the most screen time across the various stories in which they appear and the characters they play), but it’s always possible something like this puts everyone up for supporting.

It turns out the two will indeed go lead for the film. I suppose you can consider them contenders in our Best Actor and Best Actress galleries, then. The real surprise from the studio, however, is the decision to place “The Dark Knight Rises” star Anne Hathaway in the lead actress category as opposed to supporting. Is that indicative of a serious rallying or simply a smart decision to get out of the way of another film?

The only lead push for Universal’s “Les Misérables” will be Hugh Jackman, as we confirmed some time ago. Everyone else, including Hathaway (who has a show-stopping if fleeting role in the film), will go supporting. Gunning for lead with Christopher Nolan’s Batman denouement keeps Hathaway from crashing with herself in the supporting actress competition.

But the studio has never laid off the notion of a major Oscar push for “The Dark Knight Rises,” even when reviews didn’t quite reach the level of “The Dark Knight.” The feeling is that Nolan has shown awards consistency and that there is a lot of goodwill for him to finally be recognized by the Academy. Many believe his 2008 blockbuster would have been a Best Picture nominee under the current system and it is generally seen as the film that sparked the movement to change things up in the category. “Rises” didn’t quite reach “Knight”‘s domestic box office gross, but it topped it worldwide with a $1.07 billion haul, second only to “The Avengers” this year.

In my opinion, Hathaway was best in show in the film, which I found largely disappointing in a minority assessment. Tom Hardy crafted an intriguing and magnetic character and in some ways seems like a likelier contender (not that anyone is really in the hunt), but Hathaway’s Selina Kyle was fully-fleshed out and extended past the shadow Michelle Pfeiffer cast 20 years ago in Tim Burton’s “Batman Returns.”

Christian Bale will also get a lead push, while Hardy, Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard will all go supporting.

“The Dark Knight Rises” arrives on DVD/Blu-ray on December 4. “Cloud Atlas” opens nationwide on October 26.

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