Christopher Nolan's epic conclusion to the celebrated Dark Knight trilogy was released in the summer of 2012, with many critics agreeing that it was already a viable contender for Oscar season, but of the 24 categories on offer, The Dark Knight Rises didn't receive a single nod.
Everyone seems to be up in arms over Ben Affleck's omission from the Best Director category, or over Skyfall's similarly unanimous snub (although, rightly so, it has been given the nod for Best Cinematography as well as nominations for its soundtrack and editing), but it does come as quite a surprise to see so few remarks about the lack of Batman at the Oscars.
Ok, we all agree that the film maybe wasn't overall as good as its predecessor The Dark Knight, but it was still one hell of a show (and how was Tom Hardy supposed to compete with Heath Ledger's Joker). From the colossal set designs (Bane's sewer-based lair), the quite brilliant costumes on show (Catwoman and Bane's mask) and the film's deep underlying messages reflecting our own world, raising questions about class, wealth and power, has a more deserving and appropriate for our time film been made this year? You'd have to say no, not really.
Les Miserables gave us an excuse to sing, Lincoln and Argo gave us history lessons, Silver Linings Playbook put an upbeat spin on mental health and Life Of Pi proved that not every 'unfilmable' book is unfilmable, but none had the cultural significance or impact that The Dark Knight Rises did, and we doubt that any of them will be remembered as fondly or for as long as Nolan's conclusion will (and if you want to have a go about TDKR being overly long, then go watch Lincoln or Les Mis).
TDKR's omission begs the question, will a superhero film ever take home the top prize at the Academy Awards or any awards show for that matter (it has also been snubbed by the Golden Globes)? It also asks, what does Christopher Nolan have to do to win an award? But laying claim to the title of 7th highest grossing film of all time and second highest grossing superhero film (behind The Avenegers, which did get nominated) it's unlikely that the film's crew are losing too much sleep over the snub. Still, food for thought for the Academy: maybe it's time to get off your high horse and give someone else a chance.