Oscar Snub: The Dark Knight Rises

Posted: February 19, 2013 by jperritt in Action, Adventure, Thriller
Tags: , , , , , ,

joker-oscarsWell the Oscar winners will be announced in less than a week (this Sunday for those of you who did not know), and I must admit that I’m a little upset with the Academy. I know, I know, I couldn’t imagine having the job they have of selecting a handful of films out of the possible contenders. To put yourself in their shoes, try and pick your favorite film of all time. Or, simply list your top 10 films. It’s not easy, right? You can pick some, but you leave some others out.

Even though there’s a certain level of grace we should give the academy, I’m going to go ahead and state that they really messed up by not – at least – nominating The Dark Knight Rises. I understand that filmmakers created some of the best films our cinemas have seen in recent years, but come on.

Just like everyone knows that Saving Private Ryan should have won Best Picture over Romeo In Love (some of you didn’t even realize that’s the incorrect title, which proves my point), everyone also knows that The Dark Knight should have been nominated in 2008. It would have been considerate of the Academy to at least admit their obvious error, by nominating TDKR.

I know the TDKR has received its fair share of criticism. Many people have pointed to the obvious plot-holes in the film and other minor issues with the story, but that is EXACTLY why TDKR should have been nominated. That is, it actually had a story to critique! When was the last time a comic-book adaptation had a decent story? You never hear people picking apart The Avengers or The Amazing Spider-man, but they’ve elevated their expectations of TDKR because it’s a higher caliber film.

You see, the Academy failed to nominate this film, because they honestly didn’t know what to do with a comic-book-action film that was actually just as good, or better, than many of the other dramas released. The Academy had never seen a superhero portrayed in this way and it caught them off guard. They were ready to admit that it was a good action film, but they were completely blind to the fact that these films have forever changed actions films.

They would also be hard-pressed to name a trilogy that has been complete as this one. My friend James Harleman states, if you didn’t like The Dark Knight Rises, you didn’t like The Dark Knight. These three films possess some of the most consistent, tightly woven story-lines to ever grace the silver screen. And what recognition does Christopher Nolan get? Nothing. What about the fact that Christian Bale actually portrays three characters in every film, any notoriety? Nope. What about the fact that almost every comic-book action film has used the Batman trilogy as a template for super hero movies, does that account for anything? Guess not.

It’s hard to measure the difference these films have already made and will continue to make, but the fact that they have changed filmmaking is worth far more than a golden statue.

What does this have to do with theology? Everything. Anytime someone makes a unique piece of art, and a timeless piece at that, it is something we should take notice of and appreciate. Christopher Nolan obviously has a gift and used many gifted actors and filmmakers to hone his story, but that’s what we should applaud. Any gift we have is a grace. There is a Giver who bestows the gift and the lengths at which we strive to sharpen those gifts, gives glory to the Giver. We don’t need an Academy to tell us that.


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