The Oscar nominations came out this week, and though Heath Ledger picked up his very deserved posthumous nod for playing the Joker, The Dark Knight failed to show in any other major category. A nomination for director Chris Nolan was widely expected, and Best Picture wouldn not have been out of the question, either. As things turned out, besides Heath's Best Supporting Actor nomination, the only other nominations in major artistic categories were for Wally Pfister for Best Cinematography and Lee Smith (who has found quite the second career for himself since retiring from Major League Baseball) for Best Editing.
(You might hear from . . . well, pretty much everyone that Best Cinematography and Best Editing are not artistic, but rather technical categories. The next time someone says that to you, I want you to stab them in the eye with a pencil or the spike of a compass. It will start a huge fight if there are other people around, and you will most likely take a beating and end up doing some time for assault, but you will truly have done holy work.)
Fans of The Dark Knight and comic geeks (imagine the overlap on that Venn diagram) were disappointed, because the film would have been the first superhero movie — indeed, the first comic book adaptation — to score a Best Picture nomination.
Can that be right? In the 80 years of the Academy Awards, there has never been a Best Picture nomination for a film based on a comic book? A quick perusal of the Best Picture Wikipedia article confirms it. No Best Picture nominee has ever been a comic book adaptation. (I know what you must be thinking — What about Hamlet? That was actually based on a play by William Shakespeare.)
Needless to say, The Dark Knight getting snubbed does not bode well for the future of comic book films at the Oscars. Not only was it widely praised and showered with critics and guild awards, but it grossed, at last count, approximately a billion jillion fucking dollars. If it could not snag a nomination, what chance does, say, Green Arrow: Escape From Supermax have?