We’re days away from the Oscars and for the life of me I still can’t believe just how badly The Dark Knight was snubbed. I know it received a bunch of technical nominations, and Heath Ledger scored a Best Supporting Actor nomination, but what about the big ones? No Best Original Screenplay, no Best Director consideration for Christopher Nolan, no frakin’ Best Picture? Nothing for a film that was seen by more people around the world than any other this year? A film that is not only the biggest moneymaker of the past decade, but one that was hailed by audiences and critics alike. It boggles my mind how The Dark Knight could be so mercilessly snubbed by the bigwigs in Hollywood. And so you know, I’m not coming from this from strictly a geek point of view, because of all the comic book films that came out in 2008, my favourite was actually The Incredible Hulk.
I kid you not, true believers.
But in the weeks leading up to Oscars, I’ve caught myself thinking “well, maybe all the films nominated for Best Picture are actually far superior to The Dark Knight”. Well, I’m determined to find out, by seeing the five nominated pics this week. The mission began when the Queen and I got off our butts the other day and went to check out the movie to beat at the Oscars this year.
Of course you’d have to be living under a rock to not know that the buzz of Slumdog Millionaire is huge; it already took home some Golden Globe statues which is often the precursor to an Oscar win. I can’t say I was particularly looking forward to the movie, even though I do appreciate the work of director Danny Boyle (28 Days Later). And while the story is nice and sweet and the performances were all very good, at the end of the film I was left thinking “what’s the big deal?”
I mean, seriously. What’s the big deal? Slumdog Millionaire is a good movie and all, visually captivating, and somewhat epic in its scope. But is it jaw-droppingly amazing? Does it have one stand-out performance (I guess not, since none of its actors have been nominated for any Oscars) or one hugely memorable scene? Does it even have a line as quotable as “do you want to know how I got these scars?”
Now I know that these are two vastly different films, and ones that wouldn’t usually be talked about in the same sentence any other time. But when a film that is so deserving of recognition gets the shaft the way that The Dark Knight did, I think it’s fair to hold it up against its perceived competition. And in the battle between The Dark Knight and Slumdog Millionaire, it’s the Caped Crusader that comes out on top.
Up next, The Dark Knight takes on The Reader.