Should ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Win an Oscar?

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The Dark Knight Rises Oscar Race Nominations Should The Dark Knight Rises Win an Oscar?

Warner Bros. is officially launching their awards season campaign for The Dark Knight Rises, and it is not out of the question that Christopher Nolan’s concluding chapter to the Dark Knight Trilogy could be in the race for the biggest award, the Oscar.

The question is: does the movie deserve to win? We look back on the merits (and deficiencies) of Nolan’s final Batman opus – but if you’ve already made up your own mind, feel free to hop on down to our poll at the bottom and cast your vote.

In our own Dark Knight Rises review, we gave the film a 4 out of 5 star score, based on the level of technique in Nolan’s directing, as well as cinematographer Wally Pfister’s excellent shot composition. Add to that standout performances from franchise star Christian Bale, and strong debuts from franchise newcomers Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy as Bane – perhaps the most parodied film character of 2012.

Then again, time does have a habit of changing things: looking back now, it’s clear that while Dark Knight Rises is still a great film, and one of the better Batman stories ever told, compared to the rest of the Nolan Bat-films it is arguably (key word: “arguably”) the weakest entry in a very strong trilogy. (As discussed in depth (and infamy) on our Dark Knight Rises podcast.)

Then again, by now a lot of us know how Academy mentality works: Peter Jackson had to wait three years after the release of the first Lord of the Rings film to snag his Oscars, which were piled on in honor of the concluding chapter, Return of the King – which some people will say is arguably (arguably) the weakest film in that trilogy. Could Nolan be due for a simliar late reward after being snubbed (air quotes)for both The Dark Knight and Inception?

Dark Knight Rises Oscar Ad in Variety 570x728 Should The Dark Knight Rises Win an Oscar?

Considering the changes to the Best Picture category (which has seen an increase of potential nominees in the last few years), there is plenty of room for Dark Knight Rises to fit into the race; however, the competition is far from a lock. This is year in which awards-magnet director Steven Spielberg unites with awards-magnet leading man Daniel Day-Lewis in the awards-magnet genre of historical drama (Lincoln - read our review), so all this Batman Oscars talk could turn out to be a moot point. Given the level of critical acclaim and public interest, Honest Abe sweeping the Oscars would surprise no one.

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The Dark Knight Rises will hit DVD/Blu-ray on December 4, 2012 – just in time for the holidays!

Source: Daily Variety (via /Film)

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  1. If Nolan wants an award he will stop with the spectacle and do something smaller and more along the lines of memento or even insomnia which I don’t like but critics love.

    • Insomnia was the movie with Al Pacino and Robin Williams wasn’t it?

      If so, I saw that movie for the first time a few months ago and enjoyed it.

      • Correct

    • Agreed. I personally loved this movie. its one of my favorites and I think it deserves it but the academy doesnt go for stuff like this often. The Return of the King was basically a reward for the whole trilogy and I think that might happen here. However I do believe hes gonna do some smaller movies and by that I mean a more intimate story. I know he wanted to do a Howard Hughes movie and im sure the academy would love that.

  2. No, it doesn’t deserve any oscars. But not because i think it’s a lousy film (i enjoyed it plenty, unlike all the rabid naysayers), but because i think the oscars are completely worthless. It amounts to little more than Hollywood patting itself on the back. I don’t need a group of self proclaimed experts telling what is goo and what is bad, especially when their choices are all too predictable. They are all about the unappreciated indie gem or the period drama pieces. To me, the oscars are a hollow attempt to tell us what makes a good movie, when i have learned that such criteria is completely subjective. Look at all the comments here: half praise the movie so highly while the other half believe it’s a flaming sack of crap. And that’s how it should be: people forming their own, varying opinions. There’s no need for some puffed up ceremony that claims to be a celebration of movies but snubs so many of them.

    Long story short, i don’t think TDKR deserves an oscar simply because i think the oscars are irrelevant and and should just be left by the wayside so the rest of us can just enjoy movies without having to debate whether or not it should win a small, meaningless statue.

    • F*ck, that was an awesome comment.

  3. I’m kinda sick of nolanesque style to be honest. Typical dialogue is like this,

    “We’ve got to go that way but we’re not really going to go that way while seeming to go elsewhere when we really do.”

    “Ok I’ll definitely decide on maybe while we do the exact opposite.”

    Bad guy, “I’m so smart lets see you put that in the corner of this circular room!!!”

    Play ominous music in the meantime & pass itself of as being very smart and witty.

    • Lol, what the hell are you talking about?

      • yeah if your example was philosophical then I’d buy your comment. Nolan dialogue is basically used to define a characters and the themes of the film.

    • Greatest movie ever? Simply stunning.

      • Yeah, it was great but lets not go too far with this.

        Then again, I never really liked The Godfather movies and they’re supposed to be amongst the greatest ever. I also got bored watching It’s A Wonderful Life for the first time last christmas, which proves it’s all subjective and opinion based.

        In that case, why bother having the awards ceremony anyway now since I haven’t agreed with the Best Picture winners since the year before that crappy Slumdog Millionaire swept the board.

  4. I’m loving all of the contempt for this movie! Hated it from the moment it finished and never want to see it again, glad there are more people that share the same sentiments as me! Awful movie that ruined the whole trilogy for me, bring on the reboot!

  5. I think it will get a nom in the best picture category, but it wont win. It may win some sound editing, sfx and cinematography awards though. It was a really good movie, not as good as TDK but concluded a great trilogy that defined the genre and put a permanent stamp on pop culture.

  6. I thought it fell way short of the brilliance of TDK. Period.
    Nominations? Sure, why not. None for acting, or music or sound- all of them overwrought boilerplate. Maybe for Cinematography. Maybe also a nom for Best Pre-Release Hype…

  7. I’m down for it getting a best picture nod.. but from the looks of things Lincoln will be cleaning house come Oscars time.

  8. Skyfall > TDKR on every level, in my opinion.

  9. It doesn’t really deserve to win best picture. And I say this as someone who adored the film. But there were simply to many logic gaps and examples of lazy script writing. But the again, as mentioned, Oscar does have a habit of making up for past discrepancies. Did Scorsese deserve to win for The Departed? Probably not. But after decades of being snubbed he was clearly owed one. It should be a cert for cinematography (but could get pinched by Skyfall). Even if he doesn’t get it this time around, I’m sure Nolan has several Oscars in his future.

  10. I believe it most definitely deserves a nomination, but as much as I want it to win, I don’t think it deserves it. There were just too many half-baked threads and dialogue, which is a pity, because almost everything else – the casting, acting, cinematography, music – was great.

    Nolan missed his chance with TDK. That was the one that deserved to win. TDKR is awesome for what it is and I love it, but I doubt it’ll win. It definitely deserves it more than the Avengers, though. And Hunger Games will probably miss the nomination because it’s the first one – the Academy will probably wait and look out for the sequels.

    If TDKR walks away with a bunch of technical awards, and noms for Best Pic, Director, Music, Cinematography (and if it could win one of those) I’d be satisfied enough.

  11. This movie sucked. Anyone who liked this movie is probably stupid.

    • So people who like great quality entertainment like THE DARK KNIGHT RISES are “stupid”? Gotcha.

    • Be afraid. Be very afraid. Mike Thompson is here. Is our species taking a nosedive?

    • I totally agree. Cheesy dialogues and poor story with too much logical errors. But still people like it because it’s filled up with a lot of shiny effects, uuuh… Yeah, you can capture uneducated and uncritical teenagers with it but it will stay what it is: cheap entertainment. Hell, I was sitting in the cinema and I couldn’t stop laughing because the script was so bad and the villain looked like a cheap copy of MortalKombat. Dark Knight Rises is just a piece of crap, not more.

      • Aw, how cute…Mikey’s widdle, simple friend didn’t understand the brilliant film. To hard, huh?



        • Duh? Brilliant film??? What is there to understand??? How old are you that you find this movie demanding? 12???

          • You just aren’t too bright, are you? The point was that the film was NOT particularly demanding. Its message was clear; its storyline was fairly straightforward. It required attentiveness to appreciate the nuances (obviously, NOT your forte). The characters and characterizations were well- and effectively played. The production was beautifully put together. The effects were excellent.

            I’m not 12…are you?

            • Oh, you’re angry because someone does not like the movie you like? Quite pathetic. But anyway, to your points: The storyline is badly developed and the characters behaved wrong too often. Might be because the backstory is not properly used… At the end there even is an arbitrary break in the storyline (the thing with the evil evil villain from MortalKombat turning into a puppy and squeezing out a tear…), but you didn’t seem to care about that. Must have been too busy looking for “nuances”… However, I reserve my “attentiveness” for other things than a boring Hollywood-Blockbuster that’s just like any other Hollywood-Blockbuster. Conclusion: nothing new, nothing exciting, far from brilliant.

              • You really think I’m mad at you? Heh-heh. Nah…I just pity you your pathetic attitude. You felt the need to insult all of us who enjoyed TDKR because you’re just THAT sad.

                As for the film: The storyline developed quite smoothly and effectively. The characters were, in fact, on point in terms of the portrayals. The final part of the Bane story actually added some dimension to the plot of the film, as well as to character, himself.

                …and me? I was busy enjoying the film, not looking for anything (I simply appreciated those nuances you obviously COULDN’T catch).

                It’s perfectly fine that you didn’t like the film. Don’t begrudge those of us who did.

                Hopefully, that’s simple enough for you to comprehend…

                • Yes, I feel sad. Sad and angry for giving away money for the cinema to watch one giant plothole, poorly written dialogues and flat characters. I didn’t expect a revolutionary and outstanding movie, just a solid actionfilm, but this really made me angry. Nearly everything that can be done wrong has been done wrong. No, I really cannot understand why people like, even praise tdkr.

                  btw, I don’t know you, you don’t know me, so I do not care about your insults. If it makes you feel better, feel free to call me anything you want.

                    • Yes, the trash talk was unnecessary, you’re right.
                      I apologize to you.
                      Sometimes I forget that on the other side of the internet there’s not just letters but a person and I tend to fall into trolling behaviour. No justification, just an explanation ^^ Sorry!

                    • Thank you.

                      I too apologize. You’re right that it was unnecessary. You feel passionate in your dislike; I feel passionate in my liking of the film. Neither of us should let the other’s opinion bother him. I should have expressed myself better.

                      Cheers…have a great weekend.

  12. Great article on a topic that, up until now, critics and film writers have ignored. I sent the following letter to Entertainment weekly 2 weeks ago:

    EW’s Oscar Predictions failed to list a film America’s influential critics Kenneth Turan (LA Times) and Richard Corliss (Time Magazine) hailed one of the year’s best, stating it warrants Oscar nominations including Best Picture – “The Dark Knight Rises.” Legendary critic Todd McCarthy (Hollywood Reporter) called it “Big-time Hollywood filmmaking at its most massively accomplished” and “ranks as the best of Nolan’s trio.”

    This Oscar season, Hollywood should honor the Aurora Shooting Victims. The Batman fans that faced the tragedy, went back and saw “The Dark Knight Rises,” drew inspiration from it, and wore Batman t-shirts to the killer’s arraignment. As one victim who showed up at court in a Batman shirt said, “He attacked us out of cowardice, but we will attack back in strength.”

    Hollywood should have the guts the Aurora victims have – give “The Dark Knight Rises” objective artistic Consideration in all Eligible Oscar Categories, just like all of 2012′s films. Don’t ignore it out of cowardice.

  13. The Dark Knight Rises does not deserve an Oscar. I can see The Dark Knight winning one but I guess its too late for that.

  14. Frankly, I never thought that even Nolan himself would top his own ‘The Dark Knight (2008)’. But he did! Everybody regretted TDK not winning the Oscar for the Best Picture …including the Oscar committee who then as a consequence, changed the rule for the number eligible for Oscar Best Picture nominees from FIVE to ALL. This time ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ definitely though looks like taking the Best Picture statue home. …But NOT that I care about awards anyway.

  15. What?!! ‘The Avengers’ is an intolerable suffering. No awards for TA, please.

  16. The movie went on for far too long. Too drawn out. Tedious. I actually fell alseep three quarters of the way in the movie!

    • Well that’s not a reflection of the movie. For me it was one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. I have a few favourites, but each movie has a story which resonates in its structure and symbology and will affect the person more depending where and what they’re doing in life. Anyway it’s 5 stars for me better than avengers, spiderman and Prometheus in my eyes for this year in terms of he genres.

  17. This was not the best film of the year, much less was it a film that at all deserved an Oscar. I absolutely loved the last film, the first film was a great re-imagining of the story and concept. This film simply fell short and tried too hard to wrap up everything neatly and quickly while making huge leaps in logic and timing. I won’t even be buying it on DVD and Nolan’s take on the Bat-story will be a duology in my movie collection.

  18. Simply the best film of this year. Much better than avengers. Excellent and unpredictable finish to the trilogy. I was almost in tears. Rank it second to Return of the King (GREATEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME!!!). Great job Nolan. Really great job. Sadly though, I don’t think it is going to win as much Oscars as it deserves. The Oscar is seeming to be rubbish over time.