This year’s Academy Awards nominations were announced on Thursday (January 22), and while Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” received nods in eight categories (including the Best Supporting Actor nomination for the late Heath Ledger ), the record-breaking film failed to receive a nod for Best Picture.
On its way to becoming the second-highest-grossing film of all time (behind 1997’s Best Picture winner, “Titanic”), “The Dark Knight” has been the focus of no small amount of praise from actors and filmmakers — with many of those complimentary words aimed at the late Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker. Here are some words of praise for the movie we’ve gathered since its release:
Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman: “As a kid, I was a big comic book collector. What [Nolan]’s doing is taking it to a whole other exciting great place.”
Actor Guy Pearce, star of Nolan’s 2000 film, “Memento”: “I thought it was really powerful and obviously very different from past Batman films. But I was mostly struck by Heath in the film. I think he really was one of the most strange and compelling characters I’ve ever seen.”
Actor Liam Neeson, who played Batman’s nemesis in “Batman Begins”: “I thought it was very dark, very entertaining. Wonderful performances. The tapestry of the story was quite wonderful.”
Actor Mark Ruffalo, who auditioned for Harvey Dent: “It raises the bar in that entire genre. It’s great. It’s great filmmaking.”
Paul Levitz, president of DC Comics: “Chris Nolan did an extraordinary job. … And what Heath did to the Joker, you couldn’t do in print — the facial expressions, the body language, how his body twitched. That was the magic of film. Will it influence how it’s done in the comics? I’m sure in some fashion. Will it be replicated? No.”
“Cloverfield” director Matt Reeves: “I almost had nightmares after ‘Dark Knight’ from Heath Ledger’s performance. He so captured that anarchy and bitterness. There’s nothing scarier than the person who has nothing to lose. Anarchy is pleasure for them. He definitely deserves some recognition from the Academy Awards. I’ve never seen somebody in that kind of film who brought that kind of complexity and resonance to the character. He just popped off the screen in a way I’ll never forget. It’s astonishing.”
Will it be a curious night for “Benjamin Button”? Can “Slumdog Millionaire” rise out of obscurity to grab Oscar gold? Will Brad Pitt surprise leading contenders Mickey Rourke and Sean Penn? The MTV Movies team has the Academy Awards covered every which way, with news, interviews, photos and more. Check out a complete list of the Oscar nominees here and keep it locked on MTVNews.com until the statues are handed out on February 22.
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