Dark Knight: Batman at the OscarsWritten by James A. Molnar | The Gold Knight | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Caped Crusader may be adept at saving those in peril, but Batman has quite a sordid past with the Oscars.
Granted, the movies themselves have run the gamut from terrible to good to brilliant.
Batman’s first Oscar came in 1989 when Tim Burton’s “Batman” won an Academy Award for Art Direction, its sole nomination that year. The film, starring Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson and Kim Basinger, was critically lauded for its visuals and panned for its story. It was the No. 1 movie at the box office that year. The next Batman film to do so would be “The Dark Knight” in 2008.
The only acting Academy Award nomination — and win — given to a Batman movie was presented posthumously to Heath Ledger for his supporting performance as the Joker in “The Dark Knight.”
Critics and fans alike were shocked when the Christopher Nolan sequel did not receive a Best Picture nomination in 2009 for the 81st Academy Awards. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which puts on the Oscars, later expanded the category to include more than five nominees with the hope of including more popular films.
This expansion could prove lucrative for director Nolan and his final Batman movie in the trilogy, “The Dark Knight Rises,” out nationwide July 20. Nolan’s most recent film, “Inception,” received critical acclaim and eight nominations, including Best Picture, and four Oscar statuettes. Nolan, however, was shut out of the Best Director race. One of his go-to cinematographers, Wally Pfister, won the Oscar in his category.
Nominations are not announced until Jan. 15, 2013, and there is still a barrage of movies to be released in this calendar year. But if “The Dark Knight Rises” is critically acclaimed and well-received, Academy members may just give Batman his due.
“Batman” 1989 (62nd Oscars):
Art Direction (winner)
“Batman Returns” 1992 (65th):
Makeup, Visual Effects, Cinematography, Sound, Sound Effects Editing
“Batman Begins” 2005 (78th)
Cinematography (Wally Pfister)
The Dark Knight” 2008 (81st)
Supporting Actor (Heath Ledger, winner), Art Direction, Cinematography (Wally Pfister), Film Editing, Makeup, Sound Editing (winner), Sound Mixing, Visual Effects
On the web and on air: Look for Film Editor James A. Molnar’s full review of “The Dark Knight Rises” at 12:01 a.m. Friday on www.toledofreepress.com/movies. He will also discuss the film on “WNWO Today” around 5:50 a.m. Friday on NBC 24.