Popcorn Epics' Battle for Top Prize as Elusive as Holy Grail

By Chagollan, Steve | Variety, November 5-November 11, 2012 | Go to article overview

Popcorn Epics' Battle for Top Prize as Elusive as Holy Grail


Chagollan, Steve, Variety


In a year when Oscar has anointed as its host Seth MacFarland, creator of TV's ribald "Family Guy" and the blockbuster R-rated comedy "Ted," it's fair to say the Academy seeks to boost ratings for the telecast by appealing to a broader and younger demographic.

That broader reach was also widely perceived to have been behind the Academy's decision in 2009 (since revised) to expand the best picture category from five to 10 nominations, allowing a film like "Avatar," the mother of all blockbusters, to further prove fantasy and superhero epics, such as "Star Wars" and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, could aspire to high art while breaking new ground. Clearly the outcry over Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" not making Oscar's final cut the year before was not lost on the Academy's ruling body. Not only had Nolan's second installment of the Batman trilogy earned some of the year's best reviews, but it also challenged "Titanic" as the highest grossing film of all time.

This year, "The Dark Knight Rises" managed to surpass its predecessor's $1 billion-plus worldwide take, with some critics, such as Time's Richard Corliss, declaring it "a film of grand ambitions and epic achievement" while declaring Nolan "a dead-serious artist with a worldview many shades darker than the knight of the title."

Others disagreed. "Caped or uncaped, the guy is a bore," opined the New Yorker's Anthony Lane about Bruce Wayne and his alter ego. He went on to describe "The Dark Knight Rises" as "murky, interminable, confused, and dropsical with self-importance."

Such is the nature of a business where art and commerce make uneasy allies. In the immortal words of William Goldman, "nobody knows anything" and yet everybody has an opinion. But "The Dark Knight Rises" and the two films leading up to it can't be taken for granted as ambitious statements about the motiveless malignity of our times, to borrow a phrase by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Sam Mendes, whose take on the 007 franchise, "Skyfall," dares to examine James Bond's motivation, told the Playlist earlier this year that 2008's "The Dark Knight" was "a game changer" that influenced his approach to rebooting James Bond in a way the Academy might take notice.

"What Nolan proved was that you can make a huge movie that is thrilling and entertaining and has a lot to say about the world we live in, even if, in the case with The Dark Knight,' it's not even set in our world," Mendes said. "That did help give me the confidence to take this movie in directions that, without The Dark Knight,' might not have been possible. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Popcorn Epics' Battle for Top Prize as Elusive as Holy Grail
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.