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Oscar-Buzz Cheat Sheet: Brad Pitt and Batman, the (Very) Long Shots

Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly, Christian Bale, The Dark Knight Rises Plan B Entertainment, Warner Bros.

Brad Pitt's Killing Them Softly is in theaters today. The Dark Knight Rises arrives on home video on Tuesday. They'll both be at the Oscars in February.

Well, about that last one…

Pitt confronts the big 5-0

Honestly, Neither Film Has a Good Shot at Best Picture: The U.K.-based oddsmaker Ladsbrokes has Killing Them Softly and The Dark Knight Rises as 100-to-1 picks, if you will, for the top prize. And while others are more bullish on the Christopher Nolan film, nobody else has the Pitt movie on the board.

Well, Wait a Second, Whoever Said Killing Them Softly Was a Contender? Harvey Weinstein. When the Weinstein Company moved the mob film from an Oct. 19 release to a Nov. 30 launch, the studio's namesake honcho told Deadline.com, the later date "positions us better in the awards-season calendar."

And Could a Reasonable Person Reasonably Expect The Dark Knight Rises to Compete? Let's put it this way: A person seeing a serious-minded drama that was overwhelmingly popular with critics and audiences could, yes, reasonably expect that movie to do well with Oscar voters—until the person saw the movie was a comic-book movie.

And the only comic-book movie to ever, ever, ever be nominated for Best Picture was…?

What Killing Them Softly Has Going for It: Pitt's track record. His previous four live-action films—The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Inglourious Basterds, The Tree of Life and Moneyball—all netted Best Picture nods.

What The Dark Knight Rises Doesn't Have Going for It: Besides Aurora? There was a report of Academy members being "disappointed" and unimpressed by the film at a summer screening that, um, took place just days after the shootings in Aurora, so, really, there's no way of getting beyond that, plus, the fact that, yes, it's a comic-book movie. 

Any Chance for Pitt? Technically, yes. A 100-to-1 chance, per Ladsbrokes (and nobody else).

Any Chance for Christian Bale (or Anybody Else in That Movie)? Well, Anne Hathaway just might win Best Supporting Actress (for Les Misérables), but as for Dark Knight Rises, no, barring something unprecedented and wholly unexpected, no star is going to get nominated for that movie.

So, Is Either of These Movies a Legit Contender? Yes. Like The Dark Knight before it, The Dark Knight Rises will make itself known in the technical categories. On Thursday, in fact, it was shortlisted for Visual Effects.

Oscar or no Oscar, Pitt will always have his movie-star-ness

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