Why did the academy snub Batman?

By Remy Soni

The 81st Academy Awards are this Sunday, and once again, viewers can hold on to a piece of the glamour and glitz behind one of the most well-known award ceremonies in the world.

Unfortunately, this year’s Oscars are marred by a terrible decision made by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Although “The Dark Knight,” only the second film ever to earn more than $500 million at the box office, was one of the most popular and well-received movies of the year, it failed to capture the academy’s attention for almost all of the major categories, including Best Picture.

“The Dark Knight,” with eight nominations, has the third-highest total, behind “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Slumdog Millionaire.” Besides Heath Ledger’s posthumous nomination for supporting actor, “The Dark Knight” only receives recognition in many of the technical award areas, like best makeup and visual effects.

Not to discredit those nominations, but was the academy blind and deaf to the movie’s enormous success and praise it received when it denied “The Dark Night” the major nominations it deserves?

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    Within its first week of release, “The Dark Knight” had already made more money than all the Best Picture nominees combined.

    That certainly screams Best Picture material to me.

    The fact that it set a number of records and has quickly made many all-time best movie lists is incredible, yet the “highly esteemed” members of the academy seem to disagree.

    Even looking past its numerical accolades, the film presents us with lessons and themes that are worthy of Oscar glory.

    The struggle between Batman and the Joker represents a constant battle between good and evil.

    Heath Ledger’s character really seemed to set the bar high for villains.

    He certainly made me contemplate just how disturbing it is for someone to be driven by the desire to wreak havoc for no reason whatsoever.

    It’s comparable to the same desire instilled in terrorists who inflict harm on innocent people every day.

    The dark themes throughout the movie helped to highlight its applicability to our own lives.

    In one scene, citizens of Gotham City are trapped in two different ferries and are given the choice to take the lives of the group on the other ferry in order to save themselves.

    Both groups decide to spare each other, and they are saved in the end.

    We see how evil has the opportunity to tempt anyone, and that corruption lingers in all parts of humanity. Blagojevich anyone?

    Sure, “Benjamin Button,” “Frost/Nixon,” “Milk,” “The Reader,” and “Slumdog Millionaire” all have worthwhile stories and messages behind them, but the academy cannot continually snub blockbuster movies, and especially one as good as “The Dark Knight.”

    What’s interesting and puzzling at the same time is how two of the three highest-grossing films of all time above

    “The Dark Knight” not only received the Best Picture nomination but also went on to win it. Of course, I’m talking about “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”

    Maybe the academy just has something against superhero films, or perhaps they think Batman is too childish and not mature enough of a character to receive such a grand prize in the film industry.

    If that’s the case, then I hope that these motion picture professionals get off their high horses and take note of films like

    “The Dark Knight” for more than just their technical achievements.

    Tune in this Sunday if you have a chance; the academy would certainly be grateful.

    The Oscars have been plagued with bad ratings the past few years, and interestingly enough, the ceremonies where “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings” won their respective Best Picture awards were two of the most-watched in recent memory.

    To think, having success at the box office means better ratings for the awards show. I bet the Joker would have a good laugh about that.

    Remy is a junior in communication and English and was distraught when “Good Burger” never received a Best Picture nomination.