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.

[poll id="444"]


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. I love this movie so much, i wouldn’t say it was as good as Dark Knight but it was just a really well done sequel and one of the best third movies i’ve seen; other movies on that list include Toy Story 3 and Rocky 3. I’m not sure how i feel about it winning an oscar i feel maybe it deserves to at least be nominated but an oscar i’m not all that sure.

  2. Ere Though a good movie I don’t think it was Oscar worthy. There are many good things about the film and some and but nothing to me really struck as academy award worthy. Call me crazy but that’s just how I feel.

    • your not … I agree

    • I also agree. It may have been entertaining, but nothing in the film was Oscar worthy.

  3. The Dark Knight Rises was one of the best films of the year and deserves nomination.
    I doubt it has much chance of winning but it it likely will garner some technical trophies.

    My sense is if Les Mis nails it, as it just might it, I expect it will sweep all major awards.

  4. No. No way. Popular is not synonymous with excellent. If it were then Avatar is the best movie ever made.

    • Exactly, or we might be seeing the popular but terrible twilight movies at the Oscars.

    • Avatar got a nominaion

  5. Maybe nomination for best Cinematography? It should/could be able to get nominated, but to win an oscar, difficult.

  6. they should have an oscar for best sequel or best franchise, then it could possibly win.

  7. Win an Oscar Meyer’s, maybe? Have not seen it yet, but plan to, and I bet like all the other Batman movies, it’s not that good.

    • You mean the mid to late 90s Batman movies and not the 89 and 92 Burton films and the Nolan films, right?

      Cause those 5 were good at least, excellent at most.

  8. I hope the DKR doesn’t get nominated, it’s too good for the like of them. The oscars missed out with DK and many other great movies along the years. Not to say they haven’t made some great choices (French Connection, I’m looking at you!) but for the most part…. f*** YOU, OSCARS! YOU SUCK!!!

    • I completely agree with u. they snobbed Martin Scorsese, one of the greatest film makers of his genetation for like 4 decades before they gave it to him after probably feeling guilty for not awarding him for Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Goodfell n Capefear

  9. It’s not Nolan’s best work so I would go with no.

  10. Tom Hardy should get a nom.

  11. It is a good film, I think it has a shot to squeeze in, but not win. I don’t think this one will win anything but I think it will pick up nominations in Best Cinematography, Best Sound editing, and Sound Mixing.

  12. Where is the option to vote in agreement with what was the main idea of the article? I wanted to vote “Yes, but only because he deserves it for his past efforts”. Dark Knight arguably deserved Best Film, but all the emphasis was on Heath. I’m glad Heath won, but clearly with Memento, The Dark Knight, and Inception, Nolan work is clearly overdue the big prize. Someone said on here last week, that The Dark Knight would’ve been best on it’s own. I’m all for that. The beginning felt clumsy to me and the conclusion far too contrived. Over the years, I expect I’ll watch that film many times more than both the others combined.

  13. No. I enjoyed it a great deal, but it is not Best Picture-caliber. As others have mentioned, Cinematography, sure.

  14. I think it’s best chances for nominations are in Cinematography, Art Direction, Score, Best Director and Best Picture.
    Will it win? Doubtful.
    Maybe the technical awards but I don’t think it will win Best Picture or Director.
    I’m looking forward to the Blu-ray release. I loved it in the theater but I’ve started to wonder if it’s as amazing as I originally thought?

  15. Don’t think it will get nominated and don’t think it should get nominated. The Lord of the Rings seemed more like parts of a whole and that’s how it was treated. The Dark Knight movies are more separate, and its pretty agreed upon that The Dark Knight is better.

    • No Dark knight is not better.
      Dark knight Rises>Dark knight

  16. Excellent Article! It’s as if Kofi Inceptioned me and then I’m reading this and agreeing with everything as If I’d felt that way all along.

    I was really excited about TDKR, and saw it about 16 times in IMAX, but all the while, I silently felt that Begins was by far the best film in the trilogy, and though I wasn’t thrilled with TDK, even that I feel is a better film [sadly]

    also, TLOTR was by far better then either sequel, so it’s odd that TROTK is the one that actually got “recognized”.


    while I thoroughly enjoyed TDKR, it’s no Lincoln :) which, IMO will win best Picture and Best Actor.

    TDKR should get one or two minor nods, and wins of course, but sadly, I’d even pick The Prestige as a more oscar worthy film than TDKR


    • 16 times in IMAX? Woooow.

      • yeah, Ive got Begins & TDK on my iphone so I watch [listen] both pretty much all day at work…
        since TDKR wasn’t out yet, and the bootlegs were pretty crappy… I figured I might as well just catch it on the way home… 16 viewings later, I realized I was creeping the employees out so…. especially since I was like the only one in the theatre after a while…

        • They should have given you a designated seat with your name on it! :)

  17. Id say, No.

  18. I enjoyed the movie, but no way is it best picture material. However, I don’t always agree with their choices anyway.

  19. While I greatly enjoyed the film it is the weakest of the trilogy and if neither ‘The Dark Knight” nor ‘Inception’ could win (with only the latter being nominated), then the ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ has less of a chance.

    The film has a lot done right but it does arguably has faults that can make or break the film for certain viewers. The film again may not be the best in the trilogy (or even second best for some) but the film does stand head and shoulders of many other films in the genre, and its a third entry in a trilogy that is not universally panned or great disappointment.

    I think this is due the strong work on effects, acting, cinematography, score, stunt, design, and direction added on to story/script- that while it may suffer in some places- is in its essence a strong, proper, ambitious, epic conclusion to a very strong trilogy that changed the game for comic book-based films and films in general. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is an ending chapter (usually the hardest part of a story to get right, especially after an exciting second act- ‘The Dark Knight’) that is treated earnestly and respect from the filmmakers and actors. It is the effort to bring conclusion to the storylines and themes brought up in the first two installments with the utmost craftsmanship and heart that truly separate this film from its competitors and other third entry films.

    So in this respect, I can imagine the film being nominated for technical awards such as cinematography and editing, etc. with strong chance to win. For the big awards such as Best Director and Best Picture, on its own this film probably may not get nominated or win. However, I do think time will be kind to this film and all the faults can be tolerated (if not overlooked) as the film will be recognized by its ambition, talent, and heart as the conclusion of thrilling and thematic trilogy. Toy Story 3 and Return of the King may be great films in the own right but they both were nominated mostly due to what they both represent- artful and entertaining conclusions to masterful series that may not have been individually recognized in the past. Who is to say The Dark Knight Rises does not have the same chance.

    In conclusion: I loved the film for what it was while simultaneously recognizing that it could have been improved in some areas. It is the caliber of scale and talent behind a plot that in its essence is a great mythological story that sets this film above others even when the film itself may suffer from some faults. Due to being the epic conclusion of a series of films that made a name for themselves in the history of cinema from a director who is widely respected and honored, this film may have some chance of getting nomination in some of the bigger awards, and much stronger chances in technical awards due to recognition.

    If Godfather Part 3 can earn a nomination why not ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, right? lol

  20. I loved it. I think its Oscar worthy, but there are so many better films out there.

    It’ll probably do better in the minor categories than the big ones.

    although, I wasn’t a fan of the cinematography, wouldn’t mind if it gets snubbed there.

    Also, shouldn’t WB be busy with the Oscar campaign for Argo? Especially since that one looks like the Best Picture frontrunner? Or are they campaigning both of these movies to be nominated?

  21. Oscar has never been a friendly place for mainstream storytelling and action fun. True, many popular franchises have won in minor categories like special effects or make up or sound effects, but only those. They can’t quite compete in more serious categories like Best Actors/Actress or Best Director and the like. Yes, I’m aware of LotR Oscar sweep, but sad to say the same thing isn’t gonna happen with TDKR, especially considering the talks that it isn’t on par with TDK (believe it or not I haven’t seen TDKR, although I trust the folks here, but I shall see how much the talk is true myself when the DVD/BR is released).

  22. Nope. Also they shouldn’t award drug addicts like they did for the previous drug addict who played the joker.

    • Troll much?

    • If the Academy never awarded drug addicts there wouldn’t be a show to air.

      • Hahah; too right

  23. No. The structure of the movie is awful compared to The Dark Knight and for a director like Nolan who is all about how structure can be played with (Memento, The Prestige and Inception being the obvious choices), pretty difficult to forgive. Now I know that a Batman movie cannot really lend itself to the ideas of the three aforementioned movie, but some of the mistakes are alarming (building all that momentum with Bane blowing up/talking on the steps, only to then cut to the prison and deflate all that said momentum without transition shots).

    I’d be for Bale getting a nom, but he won recently so that’s a no go. Wouldn’t be surprised at an unexpected nod for Anne Hathaway though…

    • She will get it for les mis

      • That’ll be the Academy’s way of working around nominating a Batman movie for a major award. Maybe Tom Hardy will get nominated for Lawless or something too.

        • That’s a nomination he deserves imo

  24. I don’t hate the movie, I do think it’s a good movie… but for an Oscar nominee?
    The answer is: Yes and No
    YES for some of the actors performance (Bruce Wayne, Alfred) and definitely NO for the movie. I think TDK is way better (in story and acting performances) and it only received few nominations, so I’m not sure if TDKR will get more than that. Plus, the competition is already high against the likes of The Master, Silver Linings, Lincoln, Hitchcock, and probably the upcoming Les Miserables. I’m not sure TDKR will stand a chance against them, since it is still considered a ‘superhero’ movie after all…

  25. It should! but it won’t anyway. It’s only likely to get some of the minor categories. Here’s the problem, were used to “best picture” films having a certain specific look, feel, and even genre (Drama), and a lot of people have a hard time “changing” and “evolving” from that. Ultimately, if it’s a good movie, then it’s a good movie. It shouldn’t need to be a “realistic” humanistic film. I mean, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis was a good film in it’s time and according to their generation, even if it was futuristic or fictional, bur it wasn’t a drama film ala “Lincoln” or “The Hurt Locker”. But what it was is its a game changer for movies, something that sets the bar and will shape the way movies will be made from then on. Kind of like how TDKR help improve bond through Skyfall.

    Yes, TDKR is more of a superhero action film, but it transcends it’s own model for the typical superhero genre. Back in 2003, the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King won best picture. Why not The Dark Knight Rises in 2012?

    • Why not the Dark Knight Rises? because its a poor movie that just didnt come together the way it should have with the talent involved. poor writing, directing, acting, writing, writing, writing

      • hikemogan,

        (“poor writing, directing, acting, writing,”)

        That’s your opinion and not a fact. You know that, right? :D

  26. No, just no.

  27. I’m sure it will get nominated for some stuff but not win. Though I truly believe Tom Hardy killed it as Bane. The only reason Bane has become so parodied and popular is because of the voice Tom Hardy went with.

  28. The film was long and boring, that’s about all it takes to be an Oscar contender these days.(joke)
    Nolan deserves nothing more than he already got for this non-sense flick. -I liked it the first time around, went back for a second helping and walked out ill. If you liked TDKR but still have mixed emotions about it go listen to Ralph Garman’s review, He’s a die hard Batman purist. The true fan’s opinion is the only one that matters to me at this point because film enthusiasts seem to gloss over obvious mistakes. TDKR was far from a great film even a mention would dumb down the ceremony.

    • What do you mean “true fans?” I’m curious where you’re coming from with your loathing of TDKR. I mean, everyone’s entitled to their opinion but I’m wondering why this particular Batman movie seems to have hit your buttons so much.

    • if he is such a big fan, why the f*** did he wait a month?

  29. [*imo]