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July 23, 2008

Christian Bale's Oscar chances: slim or none?

Christian Bale

Why should Heath Ledger be the only "Dark Knight" star to whip up some Oscar talk?

Because, our pal Tom O'Neil over at Gold Derby says, Christian Bale might've just slipped right out of Academy voters' hearts because of his arrest this week in London.

Details of an alleged assault on his mother and sister are still fuzzy (Was it a shove? A brush-by? A hurled insult? Man, those Brits are sensitive) and Bale has not been charged with any crime.

But the encyclopedic O'Neil does a historic dive and comes up with this pearl: voters don't so much like the bad boys and tend to do a big tisk-tisk in the form of Golden Guys not bestowed.

Examples abound, but usually start and end with the producer-manhandling, phone-throwing Russell Crowe. A couple we hadn't really thought about until O'Neil brought them up are Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole, who have a combined 15 Oscar losses between them. In their day -- yeah, that was a while ago -- they were considered real rapscallions, which are worse than scamps but not as bad as hooligans.

Here's our own observation. O'Toole couldn't even get nominated for an Emmy this year for his pivotal role in "The Tudors." And he played the pope. The Pope!

While it seems that the deck is stacked against those perceived as rowdies and thugs, actors who play those kinds of characters can do quite well for themselves (see: Denzel Washington in "Training Day," Anthony Hopkins in "The Silence of the Lambs").

No one we know of has suggested that Bale could earn an Oscar nod for "The Dark Knight," record-breaking boxoffice and orgasmic reviews notwithstanding, but O'Neil wonders if his future chances could be irreparably damaged by this current debacle.

We think not, and here's why.

Bale's not likely to get nominated anyway because of the kind of actor he is (extraordinary, but not flashy) and the roles he picks (same). In our opinion, he already has an Oscar IOU with his name on it from his past work in "Rescue Dawn" and "3:10 to Yuma."

Why didn't he get nods then? Same reason he won't in the future, which has nothing to do with a hotel room incident and whatever may follow.


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I think this Bale incident has been blown way out of proportion. He was not charged with anything.

I just hope that the Academy voters finally recognize and don't hold a bias towards blockbusters or popcorn flicks. It just continues to show how out of touch they are with the moviegoing public. It would not be unheard of for Christian Bale to nominated -- they did nominate Johnny Depp for Pirates (which he even won the SAG award)

Christian Bale

Christian Bale is THE HOTTEST MAN in the movies these days. I love his intense gaze, his almost a smile, his gentleness for all the passion. Be still my heart!

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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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