I’m less than 24 hours to watching the most anticipated movie of the summer, perhaps the year, The Dark Knight Rises. So, you know what that means? Limited time to jump on the Groundless Speculation Bandwagon. So here’s my semi-informed opinion on why The Dark Knight Rises will win the Oscar this year.
1) It’s Christopher Nolan’s turn, right? He got robbed of an Oscar nomination for The Dark Knight, in some kind of reverse reverse backlash to backlash to popularity. You needed a flowchart to follow reaction that film. And a huge calculator, on account of it made so much money. It changed the very way the Academy nominates movies. So they owe him, right? Plus, he didn’t win for Memento. And, he didn’t win for Inception, even though it was totally mind-blowing. It’s aalllll about dreams, man. Trippy.
2) Tom Hardy is awesome. Tom will be playing the villain, Bane. Tom was OK in Inception, but did you see him in Warrior? Seriously, stop reading this now and go watch that movie. I’ll wait. It’s cool. I have a back issue of The New Yorker to get through. (Really, it’s EW, but we’ll keep that between us, k?) Oh? Are you back? Warrior...Amirite or amirite? If anyone can pick up the mantle of the late, lamented Heath Ledger as the ultimate villain, Tom Hardy can. In fact, I want that on a T-Shirt: “Tom Hardy Can.”
3) Nolan pays attention to his villains. To have rich, complicated good guys, you have to have rich, complicated villains. Not just sort of megalomaniacs who want to take over the Tri State Area or the world (I’m looking at you, Loki), but guys who are only different from us in degree. If the audience doesn’t see themselves in a villain, it’s not really a villain. That’s how you get to be one of the hottest perennial Halloween costumes, which is pretty much the true goal of all villains.
4) It’s got something to say, yo! I don’t know what it will say, exactly, but the trailer has me hooked already. The National Anthem? Catwoman spouting #Occupy Wall Street slogans? The military? Football? This is a referendum on America, sort of like the Wisconsin governor’s recall effort or the popularity of “Call Me Maybe.” Who are we as a country? The Dark Knight is fixin’ to tell us.
5) Nolan doesn’t think a good movie has to be boring. I’ve sat through enough Oscar seasons to know Very Serious Film Critics like boring movies. Preferably without endings. Like the slow-as-oxen Meek’s Cutoff which made you feel like you, personally, had crossed the prairie by foot. Or the relentless 127 Hours where all that guy did was lay pinned under a rock. I could go on and on. But Nolan knows that you trick people into thinking about America and good and evil with two simple things: Explosions and fights. The advanced press on TDKR looks like it will be spectacular in its effects. As the old Batman TV show used to put it: “Ka-POW!!!!” “Ba-ZING!!!” and “Waphacha!” (Ok, I made that last one up.)
So start writing your speech, Chris! If I was a member of the Academy (hint, hint), I’d already be stuffing the ballot box for you.
Here’s hoping I feel the same tomorrow when I’ve actually seen the darn thing.
For all our coverage of The Dark Knight Rises, check out our Batman Page.