Sunday, February 22, 2009

An Oscar plea to Dark Knight fans

Today is Oscar day. Most years I wake up with butterflies in my stomach and I watch the mindless cooing over free diamonds on the E! network. Right now I'm watching Debbie Snuffleupagus help a bag of bones model (dressed in some neon pink nightmare) put on lipgloss.

There are no butterflies this year. There is no Dark Knight best picture nomination. No Christopher Nolan or Jonathan Nolan nod. It's enough to make you want to boycott. I understand the anger, bitterness, and feeling of betrayal. It's enough to make you understand how Harvey Dent went batshit crazy.

Within the first hour of the ceremony, Heath Ledger will win the Oscar he also deserved three years ago. If you love the Joker, and if you respect Heath Ledger's work, then you know that this is bigger than hurt feelings. Five years from now nobody will remember or care what was nominated for best picture, or what picture won. Heath Ledger's Joker, however, can't be forgotten; the maniacal laugh, the leering at a panicked Rachel Dawes, that magic trick. Watch the Oscars for that.

Watch it to support the crew that created Chris Nolan's masterpiece. Watch it because Jonah Nolan is a classier man than any member of the Academy could hope to be. Watch it because even though in your heart of hearts you want to watch the Oscars burn, you also want to honor the people who gave us one of the most memorable crime dramas in recent memory. Keep watching even as the nominees lose to someone else. Making a film takes blood sweat and tears, and two people involved with The Dark Knight did not live long enough to see this moment. Watch the Oscars for all of them.

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