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"The Dark Knight" Score Disqualified from the Oscars?

Posted on Friday, November 28th, 2008 8:55 AM by Scott Jentsch

Soundtrack CD Cover ArtAccording to this article on the New York Times web site, the score for The Dark Knight has been disqualified from Oscar® contention.

Was it because there was some really good reason? No, it appears that too many people were listed on the cue sheet for the music, which is used to determine compensation for the people that contributed to the work.

In my review of the movie, I mentioned how excellent I thought the score for The Dark Knight was when I saw it. I purchased the CD and have listened to it several times in the past couple of months. Every time I listed to it, I like it more, and I would love for it to be available as a separate audio track on the Blu-ray and DVD release.

To disqualify an entry for the Academy Awards because of a clerical issue and not something related to the work of art itself seems too foolish to be true. Perhaps there is a good reason for this that isn't brought out in the article, but on the surface, it appears that the people behind the Oscars are spending too much time looking at statistics and not enough time paying attention to the arts that they are supposed to be recognizing with their awards.

I've seen many criticisms in the past about how the Oscars are a bore, how they are irrelevant to their stated purpose, and how few people can actually recall who won any of the awards from past years. While I agree with the fact that they need the editors that they are awarding to come in and do some trimming on their own ceremony, I always watch the awards broadcast. Stuff like this just reinforces the positions of the detractors and gives them more ammunition to fire at what is becoming an increasingly insignificant event for the movie industry.

After the Golden Globes were cancelled last year, I'm not sure that anyone really missed them and no one would really notice all that much if they were never held again. The Oscars are just a hair's breadth away from falling into the same category, and missteps like this only get them closer to that point.

If you haven't checked out the soundtrack score for The Dark Knight, I encourage you to do so! Amazon.com has samples of the music that you can play, but they really don't give you a good idea of what the soundtrack as a whole is like. If you liked the movie, take a chance and buy the soundtrack and determine for yourself if it was Oscar-worthy.

It appears that the Academy is going to act like there was no soundtrack for the biggest movie of the summer, and nothing would be more obvious than for the top-selling soundtrack of the year to be completely missing from recognition at the upcoming Academy Awards® ceremony.

The Dark Knight-Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2 CD Special Edition)

As I was looking for the cover art for this story, I came across a listing for the 2-CD Special Edition that is going to be released on December 9th (see image at right) -- it looks like I just found something for my wish list!

I found a description of the new set:

"The Dark Knight: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" returns with the ASCAP-winning composers from Batman Begins- Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard for a powerful orchestral score. The Special Edition features the complete score on two CD's plus four bonus remix tracks; it also contains an 8×8x40 page hardbound book.

Scratch that wish list comment, my pre-order has been placed!

Anyway, here are some links to check out the soundtrack for yourself and make your own decision as to the quality of the work, since the Academy won't even allow it to be considered.

Thanks to reader Ron H. for sending us the link to the NY Times article!


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