In my young life, I have seen far greater snubs. As I sit here now, at my computer, only one question comes to my mind: how many people did Harvey Weinstein have to pay off so his one, and only, Oscar-contending film, The Reader, would rake in 5, count em 5, MAJOR Oscar nominations, despite only receiving a mediocre 60 percent on Rotten Tomatoes?
Meanwhile, The Dark Knight sits with only one major Oscar nom, that being the late great Mr. Ledger for Best Supporting Actor of course. Director Chris Nolan got no love, the Nolan bros got no love for their screenplay (although I already spoke my mind about the undeserving sloppy screenplay). By the way, The Dark Knight, which was both the best superhero film of all time and the best crime film of this year, got 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. I guess ALL of those critics were wrong.
The Weinstein Company is half of what once was the all-powerful Miramax (which also still exists, under new ownership, and is still rather powerful, if not far less savvy), after the split that occurred a couple of years ago. And while rumors of fledgling business and continuous lay-offs have been circulating around The Weinstein Company, it appears that Harv still has a whole lotta power in Cali. After all, how does one convince enough Academy voters to choose a film that was described by more than a few critics as the definition of “Oscar bait?”
The answer, apparently, is money and intimidation. The guy is a bully with a big pocketbook and a whole lotta friends. When I say friends, of course, I mean people he pays who are REQUIRED to like him.
I’ve always been a defender of the Oscars, admitting the politics involved but admiring the importance associated with it and the star power of the whole thing. And the fact that, every once in a while, there’s a nice little surprise nomination (In Bruges got a Best original Screenplay nod this time around). All of that being said, I’m beginning to give up on the whole Oscar thing. Because of The Reader. And the lack of The Dark Knight. My guarantee is that ten years from now no one will know what The Reader was about, only remembering that Kate Winslet won the Oscar for it, finally being recognized for an increible body of work, not actually The Reader. People will remember The Dark Knight, for Ledger’s performance and so much more.
It’s also because of Weinstein. This is the same guy that got The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love the Best Picture Oscar over far superior films, most notably Saving Private Ryan, arguably the greatest war film ever made.
This guy is destroying something that looked to be on the right track, with a No Country for Old Men win last year AND love for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly director Julian Schanabel. It appears that all of this was a lie and the Academy is as corrupt and fickle as ever.
They are also stupid. Why wouldn’t you vote The Dark Knight in? In today’s viral age, how many viewers did you just lose because there’s no chance that Nolan’s masterpiece can win come Oscar night. After the wise hiring of Hugh Jackman to host, they go and do something like this. Congratulations Academy, you just dug your own ratings grave…again. Christopher Nolan gave you a chance at rejuvenation on a silver platter, and you shit all over it. For The Reader. And Harvey Weinstein.