It may shock some of you to know that director/writer Christopher Nolan has NEVER won an Academy Award. It may be even more shocking for some to discover that he’s never even been nominated for the Best Director Oscar, though he has been nominated for three other Oscars (two for writing, one for producing).
This has been one of the Academy’s biggest oversights in the last several years, continually rejecting the man who brought us some of the greatest films of the last eleven years, films like Memento, Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and Inception.
To be fair though, his directing efforts have not gone unnoticed as the Directors Guild of America has nominated him three times as one of the five best directors of the year, which is something I see as a better achievement as it has many, many more members to form a better consensus (about 14,500 compared to the Academy’s director branch, which only has 367). He hasn’t won, but the recognition is an amazing achievement.
So what does Nolan think about his snubs and chances of taking home an Oscar for The Dark Knight Rises? Well, here’s what he had to say on the matter:
This is how I honestly feel: I’ve been nominated for an Oscar three times. My films have had more than 20 nominations. The Academy has honoured my films in spectacular fashion, and I couldn’t be happier.
You don’t take on Batman as a character because you think you’ll win a prize. That’s absurd. We want this to be the most exciting, emotionally engaging, and enjoyable blockbuster and audience can see this summer. I’m happy with it. It’s the film I wanted to make. I look at what everyone has done, and I think they’ve done a good job. [Laughs] And I think I’ve done a good job of not obscuring it.
That’s the kind of answer we like to see. It’s not about the awards, it’s about making the best damn film you can make, one that will give the audience a great experience at the cinema. It’s good to see that he’s happy with the amazing recognition that his films have gotten, though you still have to find it a little strange that the man responsible for helming the films, for bringing all of the pieces together, has not been acknowledged by the Academy in the Director category.
Rewatching The Dark Knight yesterday, my mind was once again blown by how they didn’t give him a nod for it, though this was one of the three that the DGA acknowledged. What was perhaps even more surprising was his snub for Inception, which seemed almost entirely guaranteed after the film’s amazing reception by critics’ awards groups as well as its acknowledgment from the DGA.
Perhaps with The Dark Knight Rises we’ll see a Lord of the Rings effect, where the Academy will acknowledge the completed trilogy, perhaps even awarding it in several places. But, as Nolan said, it’s not about the awards. It’s about making it exciting, emotionally engaging, and enjoyable. If you give the audience something special and they acknowledge you for it, that’s more praise than any award can give.
The Dark Knight Rises finally arrives in theaters on July 20, 2012.
(Source: Comic Book Movie)