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  • Writer's pictureRyan Nevin

It’s About Time Nolan Won An Oscar.

Christopher Nolan

Anyone who knows us here at Life of Films will know we love Christopher Nolan. We see him as the gold standard when it comes to filmmaking and I don’t think we are the only ones. Many people may not enjoy the style of Nolan’s films but there is a tremendous amount of respect for him, due to always going the extra mile when creating his movies. So why hasn’t Christopher Nolan won an Oscar yet? The answer to that question is: I honestly don’t know…

I have always thought Nolan’s trailers have been pretty poor, due to the fact they really don’t show much at all. So then, why is it that his film’s are such a success if his trailers suck? The reason is because Nolan has never put quality second. He makes sure every scene is of the highest standard, as that’s what’s always been important to him. He only uses CGI where he must and makes sure the film is captured in the greatest format, so that when you see a trailer with Chris’ name attached to it now, you know that you are in for something special, as we trust him to provide a film at the highest possible quality. I believe this is why some of his earlier films, such as Momento and Insomnia, were not massively successful, as he doesn’t like to spoil anything, and at that point, having Nolan’s name attached to the film meant nothing. But, as more and more people see these films, they understand what Nolan is about, which is why now he is one of the greatest directors of all time.

Nolan & Caine

The day I lost a huge amount of interest for The Academy Awards was the day the 2009 Oscar Nominations were released and The Dark Knight was not on the list for Best Picture. That year the nominees were Frost/Nixon, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Reader, Milk, and the winner Slumdog Millionaire. All good films, don’t get me wrong, but now that time has gone on and we look back, The Dark Knight is truly a far superior film. In my opinion there aren’t many film’s that have come close since. Not only did The Dark Knight revolutionise the superhero genre, it was a game changer in film making as well, making 70mm IMAX a common format to film in today. This snub by The Academy is something people will not forget, confirming to us that a superhero film will never get the Best Picture award.

So you would think that it was purely the superhero genre holding Nolan back from a win. Therefore, when Inception was released, and the reviews were of the same level of The Dark Knight, you would have thought this was his time. You would have been wrong. Nolan was beaten by The King’s Speech, which, again, is a great film, but one that has become lost with time, unlike Inception where people, to this day, still try to work out if DiCaprio’s character, Cobb, was in a dream the entire time (he was).

Maybe The Academy just didn’t quite understand Inception, which is why it never managed to cross the line and get that win. So when Nolan announced he was doing a film about space travel, then I was convinced; if he managed to execute this film like he has done for the two prior, he will finally get his win. Nope. Interstellar is an outstanding film, which had me convinced Nolan would win an Oscar, but it still never managed to favour on the side of The Academy, this time even taking a backstep and not even getting a nomination.

Nolan Looking Through Camera

What is really the sad part of all this is that Nolan has had the same treatment for the Best Director award. Sure, if The Academy don’t feel that his films are the type of films that warrant an Oscar then we have to stomach that, even if I do disagree. But the fact he hasn’t won for Best Director is the biggest outrage. Every film Nolan pushes the boundaries of cinematography. In an era where film is being dominated, and some ruined, by CGI, Nolan is keeping classic filmmaking alive, which is what I thought the Academy was all about. Obviously not.

As we come closer to March 4th, the 90th Academy Awards, I get more and more nervous for Nolan and his recent masterpiece, Dunkirk. If Nolan cannot win either Best Director or Best Picture for this film then there truly is no hope for him. Not only is Dunkirk a grounded film, unlike his others, it is an incredible new take on a war film. It seems to truly capture what it was like for the soldiers and the importance of what happened that day. My fingers will be crossed - come on Chris, bring it home!

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