It was unquestionably a milestone moment for supporting actor Oscar winner Christian Bale, who took home one of cinema’s most coveted prizes for his depiction of real-life boxer/crack addict Dicky Eklund in David O. Russell’s Boston-set boxing drama “The Fighter” on Sunday night. But in the press room backstage after his turn at the Academy Awards podium, Bale offered one bit of encouraging news for fans of another of his widely admired roles. “I’m in the middle of filming a movie in China,” said Bale, sporting a bushy beard for his part in Zhang Yimou’s “The 13 Women of Nanjing.” “When I finish the movie in China, it’s straight to Batman. Much more Batman.”
Bale, of course, was referring to his third collaboration with director Christopher Nolan on their blockbuster franchise, the upcoming “The Dark Knight Rises,” which is set to go before cameras soon.
Admittedly, there wasn’t too much talk about other superhero films — the newly crowned best picture Oscar winner “The King’s Speech” comes up a little short in the capes department — but that doesn’t mean that Sunday’s 83rd Academy Awards were completely unkind to fan favorite films and filmmakers. In fact, the evening started off particularly well with prizes for art direction and cinematography going to, respectively, Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” and Nolan’s “Inception,” the first of four prizes the mind-bending heist thriller would receive.
“The intention was always for us to make a blockbuster,” Nolan said at the ceremony Sunday. “But to have a movie that’s science fiction and has all the effects is really nice. It’s encouraging that the academy is recognizing a movie like this too.”
Although Nolan lost the Oscar for original screenplay to 73-year-old “King’s Speech” scribe David Seidler, he did receive plenty of love from the members of his “Inception” team who took to the stage to accept gold statuettes. Cinematographer Wally Pfister, who collaborated with Nolan on “Memento,” “Insomnia,” “Batman Begins,” “The Prestige” and “The Dark Knight,” referred to him as “my master” in his acceptance speech, and the movie’s sound mixers, sound editors and visual effects supervisors also thanked the writer-director.
“Alice in Wonderland” also picked up the prize for costume design for Colleen Atwood, and Rick Baker and Dave Elsey won the Oscar for their makeup on “The Wolfman.” From the stage, Elsey made a point to thank, “Universal Studios for the legacy of horror monsters that we love so much.”
“It was always my ambition to lose an Oscar to Rick Baker,” he added. “This is much better.”
— Gina McIntyre, with reporting by Yvonne Villarreal and Steven Zeitchik
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