December 04, 2016

Oscars: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ a Best Picture contender


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” isn’t even in theaters yet, and already, someone has dropped the “O” word.

Oscars.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have a contender,” Clayton Davis of The Awards Circuit Tweeted after his “Rises” screening. I doubt it will be the last time that we hear Nolan’s trilogy capper in the same breath as the Academy Awards.

After all, it’s widely believed that Nolan’s last Batman movie, “The Dark Knight” – and its absence in the Best Picture category – led to the changes in the number of potential Best Picture nominees we can have each season. Will “The Dark Knight Rises” capitalize on the new BP regulations and compete for Oscar’s top prize early next year?

To do so, it’s going to have to rise above a series of fellow contenders … some of which are coming right out of Warner Bros.’ pipeline. As was noted in The Hollywood Reporter, Warner has a handful of titles that will come to the table with awards “buzz.”

Perennial Oscar contender Clint Eastwood plays a baseball scout on a trip with his daughter (Amy Adams) in “Trouble With the Curve” (Sept. 28). Ben Affleck’s back in the director’s chair for “Argo” (Oct. 12), a political thriller with a tremendous cast. And then there are two heavy hitters racing to theaters in December: Peter Jackson’s opening chapter to “The Hobbit,” and Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby,” with Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire.

This weekend, the attention falls on Nolan’s “Knight” as we analyze its Oscar potential. The truth of the matter, though, is that it’s one of several options Warner has as the Oscar season kicks into high(er) gear.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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