Christopher Nolan omission only shock in unsurprising Oscar nominations

In many ways 2011 has had a belligerent start, with shocking events in the news leading to fear and suspicion amongst the planet’s populace. Perhaps then it’s something of a relief that, by contrast, this year’s Oscar nominees are nothing short of reliably predictable.

While that may upset some of you, the nominations for the award ceremony to be held on February 27th are an indication of the state of the film industry and lack of quality it is producing these days. The old Hollywood guard seems to continue grabbing the headlines and plaudits, pushing out bloated, big production extravaganza’s that rely heavily on eye candy with little to offer in the way of plot or dialogue; while just a layer beneath that the rest of the film industry scraps away for a leg up to the top echelon, soul contracted to Satan for all eternity.

Only 8 nominations for Nolan but not for Best Director

Yes, the Oscar nominations for 2011 were delivered in the usual no-frills fashion at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills by Academy President Tom Sherak, but his announcements brought nothing in the way of shocks or surprises – except perhaps with one exception.

Christopher Nolan has been forging a reputation as a serious, intelligent film maker and his latest offering, Inception, backed up by the excellent reinvention of Batman in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, as portrayed by the wooden Christian Bale (his rigidity suits the Batman role – don’t fret); adds strength to an incredibly impressive CV. His omission from Best Director is an odd call, given that film was applauded for its direction.

And onto the predictables.

While the Coen Brothers always seem to entertain, is a remake of an already classic western really worthy of an Oscar? True Grit is an all time classic, Clint Eastwood portrayed the central character flawlessly, so why remake it? Remakes cheapen the film industry and it’s a shame that the Coen Brothers have stooped so low.

The King’s Speech and The Social Network are also in line for Oscars which is fair enough I suppose, although enough people spend their lives tinkering about with Facebook, I have to ask if a film about it is really necessary.

[adsense]Elsewhere it’s great to see Josh Fox’s homemade documentary Gasland up for an award. The subject matter is something which could ultimately affect us all, as big corporations plunder the countryside and water supplies in the name of extracting natural gas – a process called fracking – and this endorsement by the Academy Awards can only help to spread his good message further.

As per usual the Oscars will be broadcast in flamboyant fashion and we’ll get to see the final outcome on February 27th, hopefully they can even muster a few surprises.

Please share your thoughts on the Oscar nominations by leaving a comment.

Read about the Best Picture nominations, Josh Fox’s Gasland, Batman and the Joker‘s psyche, as well as Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman role in forthcoming The Dark Knight Rises.


Superhero Psyche: Batman vs The Joker


When it comes to a meeting of minds there’s probably no bigger battle than these two extreme ends of the bipolar scale.  Let’s examine the psyches of these supercharged super men a little more thoroughly.

Batman, or the “Dark Knight” as he is called on the streets of Gotham City, is the ultimate crime fighter in many respects.  Born out of anger and rage at the death of his parents, Bruce Wayne set out to avenge his mother and father from whom he inherited strong principles and a vast fortune with which to build his vast array of crime solving gadgets.

He is extremely intelligent, thorough and a supreme forensic detective who has the added weight of muscle and martial arts to match almost any adversary.  But what drives him?  What keeps him on the right side of the line?

He has a strong sense of justice which he exacts as best he can but is something of a megalomaniac.  He is essentially a normal human being with no super powers and that gives him limitations which he does not respect, making one feel he has ideas above and beyond his true power and importance.

Vengeance is his guiding light.  Many regard Batman as the true personality, a dark and brooding character who hides behind the mask of Bruce Wayne, born the day his parents were murdered.  He is a psychopath in some people’s eyes, a brutal, violent crackpot who lives in the shadows and uses fear to weaken his many enemies’ resolve, but true to his code never kills anyone – that is his one major rule.

His code is an indication of conscience, which, in some respects is a weakness.  He has strong morals and in his own mind he is setting the right example for others to follow.  By solving crimes the right way, catching the perpetrators and locking them up in prison, or worse, Arkham Asylum.

His arch nemesis is The Joker, a crazed sociopath who revels in creating chaos but the two have a special relationship.  The Joker feels that Batman is the perfect game and Batman sees The Joker as a perfect project.  This situation creates a mutual respect of sorts between the pair, and of course, leaves the door open for more enthralling stories and battles of wits.

In comparison to his ultimate adversary he seems relatively calm and sane but after witnessing his parents’ murder it’s possible that violence was ingrained into him.  Violence also leads to notions of insecurity, as is also backed up by his inability to have a relationship with anyone else.

In summary, Batman is as much as contradiction as The Joker with whom he has an intriguing fascination.  He is principled and has high morals yet megalomaniacal and violent.

What do you think?  Is Batman a crazed psychopath or a model citizen with a passion for justice?

Tune in for more superhero psyche evaluations.  Coming next, The Joker.

Images: and wildhoodoo