DVD That Might Interest You
Let's see here, The Wire complete series was released. Then we've got 20th Century Fox's only hit of the year, Horton Hears a Who. Oh, and a little DVD called The Dark Knight is out today. That seems like a big deal. And it conveniently leads me to my next topic...
Oscar Thought of the Day
Guys, listen up, because I've got some good news. You ready for it? The Dark Knight is going to get a Best Picture nomination from The Academy. It's in the bag. Bet on it. It's a sure thing. I'm not sure how much more emphatic I can be on this point; but I want everyone to rest easy. We don't need to campaign anymore, this thing is over. What cinched it? The following factors:
1. The Dark Knight wasn't made, marketed, or received as a superhero film. This isn't Spider-Man we're talking about, here. No, Nolan made a real film, worthy of a higher level of discourse and passion. The Dark Knight has a 94% critical approval rating (h/t RottenTomatoes). Guess what last year's WINNER (No Country for Old Men) had? 94%. 2006's Best Picture winner, The Departed, had a 92%. So that's the pedigree of film we're talking about here. It isn't like this is a pulp classic, or even just a pop culture sensation. It's a film beloved by all, critics and audiences alike.
2. But the other huge factor is how much audiences loved it. Wall-E has a 96% critical rating, but it won't be getting a Best Picture nomination. Why? No buzz. The Dark Knight has made a billion dollars. Wall-E has made a little under half that. Neither are failures, but half a billion more at the box office is going to get some attention. And that attention is what forms the mysterious "buzz".
3. Oscar wants ratings. There's only one thing The Academy loves more than being smarter than you. And that's you paying attention. Rewarding films like Crash and No Country for Old Men is the Academy equivalent of eating veggies. It feels good, and it seems like the right thing to do, but not enough people share in your joy. Actually, for many years The Academy has been all about DVD sales. Finding worthy films and bringing them to the general public's attention in the hopes it boosts the financial prospects of "art" films. But what do you do when you've lost the public's attention? Give 'em what they want. And they want a Dark Knight Best Picture nomination.
4. The Dark Knight has an Oscar pedigree. Don't underestimate how much having Michael Caine (2 wins, 6 nominations), Morgan Freeman (1 win, 4 nominations), and Christopher Nolan (1 nomination) helps. The Academy loves pedigree. Bale, Oldman, Gyllenhaal, and Eckhart all have superb reputations within the actor's community too. Throw in the emotional wallop of Heath's passing and this is a sure thing. Seriously. It's over. Mark it down.
Because what's the alternative? Not nominating the biggest and most beloved film of the year? For what? Just to read the billion editorials saying "The Academy is completely out of touch" the next day? I think not.
Press Releases of Note
The only big news is that I'm headed back to the /FilmCast on Monday, December 15th to chat about The Day the Earth Stood Still. If you want to listen live starting at 9pm EST you can do so here. If you'd prefer the downloadable version that's generally available on Tuesday right about here or by searching "The /filmcast" on Itunes. And of course you can always catch up with the Film.com "Best Movie-Film Talk Show Ever" every Thursday here or by searching "Film.com" on Itunes.
What I Watched Last Night Besides a Movie
Bottle Rocket, for the Criterion Blu-Ray DVD review I'm writing. It looks fantastic on Blu-Ray (on a High-Def TV). I'm thinking about quitting this whole criticism game and becoming a Blu-Ray shill. But it really does look better. Ah well, we'll get into all this when my review is posted.
Videos For You
First, some Dark Knight:
Finally, a little music for you, "L.E.S. Artistes" by Santogold.