Jonah Nolan's Response to The Dark Knight Oscar Snubs

January 23, 2009

Jonathan Nolan

Besides Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer, one of the three people who wrote the screenplay for, and helped make, The Dark Knight an incredible movie, is Jonathan Nolan, aka Jonah Nolan. He is Chris' brother and has helped write the screenplays for The Prestige and The Dark Knight. As we all know, the Oscar nominations hit yesterday and while TDK did get a solid 8 nods, it was missing from the big categories like Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay. Yesterday we posted Andrew Stanton's response, and today we have Jonathan Nolan's response to the Oscar nominations and lack of The Dark Knight.

hey — not sure who to address this to as it looks like a collective effort, but I just wanted to pass along my thanks.

It's truly humbling that you guys would take the time and effort to try to get the film recognized. I, like you, was disappointed that Chris didn't get some recognition this morning, but for Heath and so many of the people who worked so hard on this thing to get nominated is thrilling.

Any nominations for a comic book movie is a thing of beauty no matter how you slice it, and that takes the sting out a bit. Besides, I've been to the big show before, and, like any of these things, it's a little disappointing. Did you know it's not even an open bar once the show starts? At least this time I would have remembered to bring a little cash so I could buy myself a drink after losing.

The best part of this experience is seeing other people getting passionate about the film the way that we did. It has been a truly incredible experience. So thank you again.


jonah nolan

His letter comes from the website, which was a grassroots fan-organized website in support of The Dark Knight's Oscar campaign. At this point it's too late for that website to have any more impact, but I admire Jonah for contacting them and providing them with this response. He deserves a considerable amount of respect for calmly and humbly addressing the Oscar nominations. And in the end, he's right, if The Dark Knight ends up winning at least a few of the Oscars that it was nominated for, it'll still be an outstanding achievement. We don't need the Academy to tell us how great The Dark Knight was.

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Reader Feedback - 28 Comments


EXACTLY!!! it got noms, that's the point. Hopefully now people will stop moaning and groaning like a bunch of little bitches. FANBOYS ARE RUINING CINEMA

adrian on Jan 23, 2009


Dark Knight was entertaining (if too long), but it was no best picture by any measure.

YK on Jan 23, 2009


Quite a model of class and humility. Brilliant way to take it. I wish more Hollywood-types could have as much class as this. Also, to "adrian," a true critic (or at least one who attempts to view film objectively) is able to divorce a film from its supporters (and detractors), extending that to its "merit-based" accolades. If it's a bad film, good for you, you know that and can carry it with you and justify it when asked. If it's a good film, that's awesome, you won't forget it in time.

Matthias Galvin on Jan 23, 2009


I still cant believe it didnt get nominated. I cant wait till the Oscars feel The Dark Knights wrath, when the ratings are the lowest it has ever seen. The Academy is now, and will forever be a joke in my eyes. They choose a poorly reviewed holocaust film over the highly praised Batman film. Not to mention it seemed clear at the nomination announcements that they didnt even know who was the nominees for The Reader, as if it was a last minute choice, that just so happened to fill three spots that almost eveyone thought would go to The Dark Knight. Im not watching the Oscars this year, instead Ill appreciate movies by watching The Dark Knight again. #2 In your opinion, but on the larger scale, when compared to the usual requirements for a best picture nominee, The Dark Knight was a perfect candidate. Highly praised, nominated by the Producers/Writers/Directors Guilds. The fact is just because you dont think it should get a nomination doesnt change the fact that compared to The Reader, The Dark Knight was a better choice. #1 It is more then fanboys who are complainging. Almost every site I saw in the past few days has mentioned The Dark Knight being snubbed. The Academy is ruining cinema, by letting a films genre effect their judgement of it.

Derek on Jan 23, 2009


I know it's a big deal, but why does should it matter? You can't distill all that work and passion into a statue. The numbers speak for themselves. And everyone knows it's a brilliant film. But that's just me. Besides, the Oscars lost all credibility after they gave one to Halle Berry.

Fuelbot on Jan 23, 2009


the dark knight should have got nominated but i'm not mad anymore!

shirley on Jan 23, 2009


Oh well everyone deserves a chance at these awards we cant just focus all our intention on TDK i still think that Tom Cruise should be nominated for best supporting Actor in Tropic Thunder.

werdnafaz on Jan 23, 2009


it was never gonna win but frost nixon got nominated great performances with a thing story so why cant TDK get nominated

nelson on Jan 23, 2009


i definately think TDK should win an award but i like the previouse comment where tom cruise should win an award i really think he did amazing in tropic thunder and should definately be recognized for his efforts

f dragonball on Jan 23, 2009


Heath will get an oscar and that's enough!

avi on Jan 23, 2009


The Dark Knight SHOULDNT have been nominated for anything else then it is now. It had a bad story and stupid camera work. The only good thing was the actors, except Batman himself.

max on Jan 24, 2009


Stupid camera work? You've GOT to be kidding me... Not to say the other Best Picture noms don't also have great cinematography, but so does TDK. It draws you into the truly realistic world of Gotham City with ease.

Alex Billington on Jan 24, 2009


At #11 Are you serious? A bad story? GTFO

Neo on Jan 24, 2009


Kudos to Jonah Nolan for his letter. To the haters: The Dark Knight SHOULD have been nominated for at least Best Director and Best Original Score. If The Dark Knight wasn't good enough for an Oscar or seventeen, then why did it make nearly a billion dollars worldwide? Why did the critics praise it so much? Why did the people's choice nominate it for the top categories, and make a special presentation for it all on it own? I don't consider myself a "fanboy", I consider myself to be a lover of good cinema. Films are supposed to be entertaining, and draw you in. That is what the Dark Knight did, for nearly a BILLION people! How could the Academy pass up this film!?!?! Titanic won all kinds of praise, and that movie wasn't even near HALF as good! The Academy passed up one of the finest films in decades, and that is such a shame.

Brian on Jan 24, 2009


The Dark Knight wasn't really that good of a movie. Heath Ledger was amazing. That's it. Two face sucked. Batmans voice was beyond annoying. It was way too long.

Brian Ricci on Jan 24, 2009


i can't still believe that,TDK was the best,best of all time,i'm going to hate oscar,what a shame! readere is better than TDk ?! i'm going to be crazy

blackworn on Jan 24, 2009


From like 2005 and on the Oscars have disappointed me. All of it is a bunch of political B/S. Movies are about what the people think and the numbers speak themselves.

Reel Maddness on Jan 24, 2009


The camera work was quite bad. It was choppy and anything but fluid. The fact that I noticed that kind of proves it, IMO. Looking back on the movie now, it's far easier to find flaws. Perhaps people are not looking at the film objectively because they're still wrapped up in the mystique of the picture.

adrian on Jan 24, 2009


The camera work in TDK was bad. Especially during the action scenes. You can see that very clearly in the beginning fight between Batman and the Scarecrow crew. Dunno about you but I could not see how did the batman overcome the dogs and the 10-15 bad guys. I only saw a punch here, a fist there and suddenly everyone was on the ground. Absolutely perfect camera work does not exist. Meaning in a perfect action sequence the camera switches as little as possible between the characters. A good example of that is for instance the truck chase in T2 or the fight in the castle between Jackie Chan and The Jet in Wheels on Meals, which by the way is the most intense and most realistic looking fight sequence of all time. Story in TDK. Really what was the story. I beg please someone explain it to me. They placed some good actors in a series of scenes and filmed the outcome. It does not make the whole thing into a story. However I absolutely think that Heath should get the Oscar. He was amazing and made the whole movie watchable for me.

Shige on Jan 24, 2009


18 and 19 your idiots. And Tropic Thunder was worthless tripe as everything Stiller is involved with.

triangleofhorror on Jan 24, 2009


The fact that Downey was nominated for that steaming pile of shit known as Tropic Thunder makes me physically ill. Downey's role and performance in that movie are so far removed from Ledger's in TDK it's not even funny.

Tom on Jan 24, 2009


TDK should have been nominated for best picture, best score, best director and a few other noms. This movie is going to be remembered long after most of the other movies nominated this year. Who is going to be calling The Reader a must see in 5 or 10 years? If you remove the fact there is a guy in a batsuit in parts of the movie, this is one of the better crime movies ever made and is every bit as engaging as The Departed. I have no idea what the comments about the camera work are, this is an action movie and the shots, expecially with the scarecrow scene, are supposed to be somewhat confusing to disorient the viewer. This movie ended up on most critics top 10 lists, so I guess they are all wrong - or must just all be fanboys too?? I just watched Tropic Thunder last night and thought Downey definitely deserved his nom. About 20 minutes into it, you forget it is even Downey, and is that not the point of an acting perrformance?

Jason on Jan 25, 2009


DARK KNIGHT FLAWED PLOT AND STORYLINE Those who are disappointed that the TDK not getting a nomination at the very least should consider two things; 1. The picture does not have a plausible plot or storyline and 2. The main character dresses up as a bat and the Joker has some kind of abilities to foresee the future and get out of just about any insanely ridiculous circumstances. Let's face it- TDK is layered under too much plot and it moves very quick. Not surprised the Academy member did not fall for it, they know this movie it's way out there-- way outside the stratosphere of realism and lyrical film making- TDK deserves all the praise in the world for being the coolest most entertaining comic book movie to come in years, but come on- we all know deep inside it falls short of a best picture status.

Vic on Jan 25, 2009


#20 I like your argumentation methods. Call a person an idiot and fisnish up. George Bush speech writer next ?

Shige on Jan 25, 2009


Ben Button should win for Best Picture!!

Ray on Jan 25, 2009


If lord of the rings can win. Why not batman.

Rediculas Buttons on Jan 25, 2009


26 is from Canada, he knows not what he says. LLR vs TDK for Best Picture? Not even close.

feohatestheworld on Jan 26, 2009


If you read my words. you will see i didn't say which was better. I was commenting on the issue of realism. You know, cause we have all seen elfs battling orcs on main street. I thought i was typing English.

Rediculas Buttons on Jan 26, 2009

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