Batman's 15 Oscar Nominations

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Batman's 15 Oscar Nominations

DC Comics/ABC TV

Among the many superhero films that have been released over the years, Batman's films tend to do particularly well when it comes to nominations for the awards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and aren't too shabby when it comes to wins, either! Read on for the fifteen Oscar nominations that Batman films have received over the years, including three victories! The nominations will be listed chronologically.

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1. Batman, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration

Anton Furst's designs for Gotham City were beautifully haunting. Warner Bros.

 The only nomination that the 1989 blockbuster film, Batman, received was for art direction/set direction, but it ended up in a win! Peter Young did the set decoration. He has worked with director Tim Burton on a number of projects, and in fact won a second Oscar for his set decoration on Burton's Sleepy Hollow a decade after Batman was released. Anton Furst's art direction was astonishing - his designs for Gotham City were haunting. They were so good that DC Comics actually ended up adapting Furst's design of Gotham City to the Batman comics

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2. Batman Returns, Best Visual Effects

Warner Bros.

The visual effects for 1992's Batman Returns, produced by Michael L. Fink, Craig Barron, John Bruno and Dennis Skotak, were done through a series of interesting processes, including a miniatures.The film did not win the award. 

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3. Batman Returns, Best Makeup

Warner Bros.

Heads of makeup for Batman Returns, Ve Neill, Ronnie Specter and Stan Winston, did a marvelous job, particularly on their work turning Danny DeVito into the Penguin. They also helped on the classic ending to the film (which led to a movie urban legend involving Two-Face). They did not win, though.

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4. Batman Forever, Best Cinematography

Warner Bros.

Stephen Goldblatt received his second Oscar nomination for cinematography for 1996's Batman Forever, the first film directed by Joel Schumacher (Goldblatt got his first nomination for The Prince of Tides). He did not win. 

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5. Batman Forever, Best Sound

Warner Bros.

Right from the opening scene of Batman Forever, it was clear that it was a loud and over-the-top action piece and the people in charge of that sound, Donald O. Mitchell, Frank A. Montaño, Michael Herbick and Petur Hliddal, did a fine job managing it all. They did not win the Oscar, though. 

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6. Batman Forever, Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing

Warner Bros.

 John Leveque and Bruce Stambler were nominated for their sound effects editing for Batman Forever. They both spoke to FilmSound in a spotlight on the film: 

This is the most effects-heavy film I've ever seen, both visually and from an audio perspective," says co-supervising sound editor Bruce Stambler. "The only thing I could compare it to would be the last two reels of Aliens, where Sigourney is chasing down the monster. But this film is that way front-to-back. We've done a number of action films now [Under Siege, The Fugitive, Clear and Present Danger], and we try hard to create a soundtrack that doesn't kill the audience. The key is peaks and valleys, and I think we succeed in this film."   "This film is just so much bigger than I expected," adds John Leveque, Stambler's co-supervisor since Under Siege. "I've done pictures with special effects, but not like this. This is way beyond the norm. My first thought when we began in November was, 'How are we going to get this done?' I thought that when we did The Fugitive we had the tightest post-production schedule in the history of A-films. But this was even tighter, and there's more to it."  

They did not win. 

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7. Batman Begins, Best Cinematography

Warner Bros.

 Wally Pfister received his first Academy Award nomination for best cinematography for 2005's Batman Begins. This was the beginning of a remarkable streak for Pfister, where he would receive an Academy Award nomination for his next three films. He did not win for Batman Begins, though.

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8. The Dark Knight, Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Warner Bros.

 There were plenty of excellent visual effects in 2008's The Dark Knight, but I think an area where Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Tim Webber and Paul J. Franklin should get special notice is how they were able to create Two-Face's look almost completely using just digital effects. They did not win the Oscar, though.

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9. The Dark Knight, Best Achievement in Art Direction

Warner Bros.

Art director Nathan Crawley (who has received two other Oscar nominations for his work on other Christopher Nolan films) and set decorater Peter Lando came up with quite a strong visual style for The Dark Knight. They did not win the Oscar. 

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10. The Dark Knight, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Warner Bros.

Sound mixing is when sound editors mix in the music along with the dialogue to create hopefully a perfect mixture. You shouldn't typically notice a good sound mix as a viewer, but when you watch a scene with it in mind, you can tell how difficult it is to mix it all together. Check out this sequence from The Dark Knight and see how it is all put together by the team of Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo and Ed Novick. They did not win. 

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11. The Dark Knight, Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Warner Bros.

 The Dark Knight was a gritty film, but director Christopher Nolan still needed the action to sound bigger-than-life, and Richard King, one of the top sound editors in Hollywood, was more than up to the task. He created distinct sounds for all of Batman's vehicles, from the Batmobile to the Bat Tumbler. King has noted that the sound of the Batmobile was created by using starting with the sound of big race boat engines and then adding in animal sounds and growls for emphasis. King won his second Oscar for The Dark Knight (his first was for 2003's Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World). He would win another one for another project with Christopher Nolan, 2010's Inception

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12. The Dark Knight, Best Achievement in Editing

Warner Bros.

 Like King, Lee Smith was also nominated for an Oscar for his work on Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. However, unlike King, Smith did not win for his editing work on either that film or The Dark Knight.

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13. The Dark Knight, Best Achievement in Makeup

Warner Bros.

 While Two-Face's makeup was done digitally, The Joker's makeup in The Dark Knight was done by the team led by John Caglione Jr. and Conor O'Sullivan. It was an iconic look, but did not result in an Oscar.  

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14. The Dark Knight, Best Achievement in Cinematography

Warner Bros.

As mentioned before, The Dark Knight came during a hot streak for cinematographer Wally Pfister, as he was nominated for every film he did from 2005's Batman Begins through 2010's Inception, for a total of four nominations in total. He did not win for The Dark Knight, but he did take home his first Oscar for Inception, which he also worked on with The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan.  

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15. Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Warner Bros.

 Perhaps the most notable aspect of The Dark Knight was the performance of Heath Ledger as the main villain of the film, the Joker. Ledger was absolutely captivating. Tragically, he passed away before he won the Oscar for the role. His parents and his sister accepted the award on his behalf. The Dark Knight's eight Oscar nominations were the most ever for a film based on a comic book. 

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Cronin, Brian. "Batman's 15 Oscar Nominations." ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2016, thoughtco.com/batmans-oscar-nominations-327070. Cronin, Brian. (2016, August 25). Batman's 15 Oscar Nominations. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/batmans-oscar-nominations-327070 Cronin, Brian. "Batman's 15 Oscar Nominations." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/batmans-oscar-nominations-327070 (accessed November 19, 2017).