Warner Bros. Pictures
Batman Lives?! After The Dark Knight was shut out of the Best Picture race yesterday, we emailed an Academy voter for reaction. "The fact it and Chris Nolan weren't nominated is a shame," the voter replied. "And I plan on casting a write-in vote for it on the final ballot."
Write-In?! In the early days of the Oscars, write-in campaigns were common, the Academy's Teni Melidonian tells E! News. In 1936, a successful write-in campaign brought an award to the unnominated Hal Mohr for his cinematography on A Midsummer's Night Dream.
So, Maybe There's a Chance for The Dark Knight, After All?! Yes. In one of the eight categories it drew a nomination.
Best Picture, however, is a lost cause.
After Mohr's win, Melidonian says, the Academy nixed future write-in votes on the final ballot. So, if someone this month were to, say, ignore the bubbles beside the five Best Picture nominees and scribble in "The Dark Knight" instead? "It does not count," she says.
Oh, Well, the Drinks Are Too Pricey Anyway: In an email posted Friday on Dark Campaign, Jonah (aka Jonathan) Nolan—Christopher's brother and Dark Knight cowriter—thanks the website for its Batman-boosting efforts and tells fans to look on the bright side: "Any nominations for a comic-book movie is a thing of beauty no matter how you slice it."
And while Jonah Nolan writes that he, too, was disappointed his brother didn't receive any recognition, he doesn't sound too sad he won't be going to the big show, either. "Did you know it’s not even an open bar once the show starts?" asks the onetime nominee for Memento. "At least this time I would have remembered to bring a little cash so I could buy myself a drink after losing."
It's Not Just the Academy: The Dark Knight isn't up for Best Picture, or its equivalent, Best Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, at Sunday's Screen Actors Guild Awards, either. One SAG voter, who served on the awards' nominating committee, uses a gardening term—taproots, as in the stubborn roots that keep a plant planted—to explain why The Dark Knight didn't take hold. "There's a lot of taproots," the voter says, "and they just won't shift, and they think it should be more like a movie like Doubt." Doubt, up for five Oscars, is up for five SAGs, including Motion Picture Cast.
Department of Bad Timing: The Dark Knight, out on DVD since Dec. 9, and in only six theaters last weekend, is rolling back into 350 theaters this weekend to cash in on that groundbreaking Best Picture nomination.
Department of Worse Timing: Revolutionary Road, which earned three nods, but none for its big-name stars, much less one for Best Picture, is bulking up by more than 1,000 theaters.
When a Plan Comes Together: One day after their respective marquee nominations, Frost/Nixon, Slumdog Millionaire and The Wrestler all went wide.
Why Hugh Jackman Shouldn't Be Too Worried: Last year, Oscar host Jon Stewart not only had to make do with five indie-skewing Best Picture nominees, he had to make do with only three marquee stars among the 19 nominated actors: George Clooney, Johnny Depp and Cate Blanchett. Four, if you count Daniel Day-Lewis. (By the way, usually, there are 20 nominated actors, but Blanchett was nominated twice.)
This year, even disregarding The Dark Knight-less Best Picture race, Jackman will have nine brand-name acting nominees as ratings draws: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Heath Ledger, Sean Penn, Mickey Rourke, Meryl Streep, Robert Downey Jr., Kate Winslet and Anne Hathaway. Ten, if you count Penélope Cruz.
And if you count Pitt and Jolie twice each, and count the Ledger storyline 10 times, then Jackman will have more nominee draws than there are nominees.
In the end, however, Jackman is still probably going to wish one less Slumdog Millionaire song was nominated and one more Miley Cyrus-penned Bolt song was.