I could say a lot more about the movie, but let’s keep it simple with a few bulletpoints:
* The main antagonist: Everybody knew that Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker could not be topped. But Tom Hardy did a heckuva job as Bane, with a thunderous presence and a fear-inflicting voice, ready for demagoguery, too (see Blackgate Prison speech). No sympathy for the villain unlike the Joker, but Bane doesn’t need it.
* Selina Kyle a.k.a. Catwoman: inadvertently sets in motion the reclusive Bruce Wayne to become Batman again, Anne Hathayway as Catwoman could even give meaning to the word swag. Sexiness, glamour, flair but only a cold, distant charm. Selina Kyle’s a ruthless delinquent and she shows it clearly the way she deals with the Batman.
* The Fights: Batman seems almost powerless fighting Bane. But the sheer willpower the superhero shows even when he’s losing the fight, looks dignified and somewhat realistic and obviously true to the Batman’s character. Bane will be always remembered as the “villain that broke Batman’s back”, now and forever a true centerpiece of the Dark Knights’ lore. And the end it was truly surprising (almost sacrilegious) to see the creature of the night par excellence fighting in daylight.
* Bane’s army: forget about veiled #OccupyWallStreet deconstructions, Christopher Nolan lampooned first, with exquisite sarcasm… the French Revolution. Think about it, doesn’t Bain’s first misdeed as tyrant, the release of the Blackgate prisoners, closely resemble the storming of the Bastille? And Jonathan Crane, a.k.a. The Scarecrow, presiding the mock trials? Doesn’t he have certain Robespierian panache? Even the revolution has its parade of useful idiots (see the death of John Daggett). Yes, the film aims real big in its critique of the class warfare and the populist demagoguery.
* The Filmmaking: Christopher Nolan is truly the most gifted director of his generation. Even if he didn’t have taken over the Batman reboot, there would have been praises for his original, daring filmmaking. Witness Memento and Inception. The Dark Night hit such a high note that it was understandable Nolan’s reticence to participate in a third part. But as I said, he’s not averse to take risks, an uncommon feature in postmodern Hollywood. After all, this originated as a Batman reboot. But Nolan imposed his “gritty reboot” concept, making the nineties and aughts superhero productions like the campy Batman of the sixties.
Will still the AMPAS be ignoring Christopher Nolan? Or will the director join the ranks of Alfred Hitchcock, Ridley Scott, Stanley Kubrick and other talented directors that never won an Oscar?