Monday, November 28, 2022

Surveying The Oscar Field: Is “Dunkirk” An Oscar-Hopeful For Christopher Nolan?

By Josh Tarpley​​ Ever since “Memento” was nominated for Best Original Screenplay it was clear that any production Christopher Nolan is involved in is one we ought to pay attention to. After weaving in and out of the Batman franchise, it seems as though the next chapter in Nolan’s career will be developing original projects close to his heart. The “Interstellar” director spoke about “Dunkirk” at CinemaCon recently and all signs are pointing towards the WWII flick being a possible contender in this year’s awards race.

Click beyond the jump to read more about Nolan’s “Dunkirk” comments. When asked about the film’s PG-13 rating, Nolan gave some clarifying comments. Lucky for us, inside these comments we also get some insight into the type of film Nolan wanted to make in a general sense:

“All of my big blockbuster films have been PG-13. It’s a rating I feel comfortable working with totally. ‘Dunkirk’ is not a war film. It’s a survival story and first and foremost a suspense film. So while there is a high level of intensity to it, it does not necessarily concern itself with the bloody aspects of combat, which have been so well done in so many films. We were really trying to take a different approach and achieve intensity in a different way. I would really like lots of different types of people to get something out of the experience.”

Nolan has three Oscar nominations to his name, two for writing (“Memento,” “Inception”) and one for producing (“Inception” benefited from the expanding nomination process in 2009-2010). After missing out on a Picture/Directing nominations for “The Dark Knight” and the accompanying Best Director nomination for ‘Inception,” every time we get a new Nolan film we have to ask ourselves, “could this be the one?”

To recap what we have here with “Dunkirk:” World War II epic film? Check. A celebration for old-school filmmaking (Read: shooting on IMAX cameras/promoting the “shot on film” aspect)? Check. A cast full of prior Oscar nominees? Check! Nominees Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hardy round out the supporting cast with recent Best Supporting Actor winner Mark Rylance taking on a main role.

The only aspect that brings a question to “Dunkirk’s” Oscar hopes is it’s release date. Warner Bros has the film set to come out on July 21. They definitely want the film to be a “Nolan Blockbuster” in the same vein as “The Dark Knight” or “Inception.” If the film is good, and that is a big “if,” we could expect to see critics/online discussion carry the movie into Fall’s awards discussion (Think back to “Mad Max: Fury Road”).

What does the Next Best Picture community think? Will “Dunkirk” earn Nolan his first Best Director nomination? After the so-so reception of “Interstellar,” are you excited for the film? Let us know in the comments below! You can follow Josh and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @JoshTarpley7

Josh Parham
Josh Parham
I love movies so much I evidently hate them. Wants to run a production company.

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