Anne Hathaway Was Superb In The Dark Knight Rises, But Not Oscar-Worthy

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Anne Hathaway Catwoman Selina Kyle The Dark Knight Rises Oscar Best Actress Best Supporting Actress Les MiserablesSo, this is interesting: Warner Bros. has put forward Anne Hathaway‘s role in The Dark Knight Rises as an Oscar contender. But not for Best Supporting Actress, as everyone assumed. Because they think that Anne will get the nod for her brief but powerful role in Les Miserables, they don't want her competing against herself within a category. So, now the studio is pushing Catwoman as a Best Actress nominee—opposite the likes of Helen Mirren, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Lawrence, and Keira Knightley.

Even though there's been Oscar buzz around The Dark Knight Rises since it came out in July, it still seems odd to put Anne against that mix of greats and her peers who are in (sorry to say) more conventionally-nominated movies. Her last Oscar nomination was in 2009 for Rachel Getting Married, a rave performance she hasn't since matched. To be clear: Anne is one of the best parts in Rises. Compared to Christian Bale‘s third go-round as an aging Bruce Wayne, her Selina Kyle (and alter ego Catwoman) is a fresh, spry young crusader whose energy and anger we admire. While Tom Hardy‘s Bane sometimes came across as a parody, Selina perfectly embodied the haves-vs-have-nots message of the film.

But Best Actress? I hate to say this because it feels like I'm still pushing a stereotype, but I worry that Rises clearly being a superhero genre film will hurt Anne's chances. Consider her last nomination: Rachel Getting Married was an indie grounded in realism, with Anne's role as a recovering addict a surprisingly mature and fierce turn from this actress. Rises has the latter but not the former, and that may not be enough to even get her a nomination. I'd say she has a better chance of getting nominated for Les Mis. And I certainly hope Rises gets nominated for Best Picture!

Warner Bros. seems to be going the genre route this year; they also submitted Halle Berry and Tom Hanks for Best Actress and Actor since they play the main characters in the trippy-looking multi-generational/-dimensional Cloud Atlas. We'll know soon enough, when the nominations are announced on January 10, 2013.

Photo: Warner Bros.