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The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The filmmaking in The Dark Knight Rises is nothing short of masterful, and stands above the other two in the franchise, especially from a cinematography, production design, and art direction standpoint.
Not to say 'Begins' and especially 'Knight' were lacking, because they were crafted to astoundment, but 'Rises' just took it a step further, especially with the sound, and the fact that it didn't get nominated for either sound mixing or editing is a straight up insult to the film, and goes to show The Academy was only concerned with the politics of the shooting that year rather than the merit of the actual film, which was fantastical.
On a technical level, it's **** amazing. It deserved a cinematography, production design, SCORE, sound editing, and sound mixing, and visual effects nomination and there's no **** denying that.
The production design and art direction were more layered and complex than the past few films. The cinematography did seem a bit more modest than 'Knight" but it still succeeded at giving us some haunting and memorable images and composition that really fit the more somber and hopeless tone of the film, instead of the fiery orange and blues that bolded the presence of chaos in 'Knight".
The score may have taken track basis' from Begins, but it restated them and added much more variety and emotional power and timing to the film.
The sound design isn't even an argument, and while the visual effects were actually pretty minimal for the part of a lot of them being practical, that still should've given it enough to grasp a nomination over ugly bland CGI **** like The Avengers and that Hunstman movie. I mean come **** on, those two movies have some of the ugliest color palettes and uninspired VFX I've ever seen.
In a less competitive year, it easily could have gained a supporting actor nomination for Michael Caine, because he added a whole extra layer of emotional depth to the film with his performance, and boy he really got it out in those few scenes. It gave me a feeling I haven't really felt in any other movie, bringing tears to my eye.
And no, he wasn't not in it enough. Check Hal Holbrook for Into the Wild. He was in that movie for a very short time, but gave enough of a performance to get a nomination.
Same type of deal. With very similar roles, actually.
Despite being the best, most relevant, and most well made film of the year, and even one of the best of the decade, Adapted Screenplay, Picture, and Director were extremely unfavorable for the simple fact that the Academy can't see past "Batman" and because it wasn't getting anything more than its predecessor did.
I can go on and on and analyze all the relevant and subtle political themes and philosophical depth that is beautifully mixed in with honest and emotionally resonating heroism, postmodern ambivalence, and themes of pain, corruption, and personal crisis and struggle, but it's not that important to this topic.
People are too busy nitpicking **** that doesn't even matter (and can easily be debunked) anyway.
The fact of the matter to this question is that it was ungratefully and unreasonably snubbed from the technical categories simply for the fact of the Aurora shooting. There is no other answer. The Academy didn't want to glorify a film that "represented" such a tragedy.
The Dark Knight Rises is one of the most gritty and beautiful films ever made, and from a technical standpoint, it is one of the absolute greatest next to its predecessor.
It deserved at least 2 or 3 nominations for sure at the very least.
**** the Academy for putting politics over actual filmmaking merit.
This was one of their biggest sins.