...and The Dark Knight is now my favourite film. Ever. Will it stay there? It might drop a few places over time and further viewings (think I'll wait for the DVD now though) but I can't see it dropping out of my top five. It's phenomenal.
It's two and a half hours long but there isn't a wasted moment. Right from the word go it grabs you by the throat and does not let go. I can't remember a film that so completely drew me into the story and kept me there right till the end, building tension the whole way. It leaves you drained.
The performances are all excellent, of course the one getting all the press (and rightly so) is Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker. It's mesmeric, hilarious, terrifying and so powerfully charismatic that he does make an impact that casts a shadow over the rest of the cast. But he was given an incredible script to perform, much of the characterisation of the Joker is on the page to begin with. Oscar for Ledger? Given that Anthony Hopkins got one for Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs I'd say it's highly likely. Ledger's Joker makes Jack Nicholson's look like Harold from Neighbours. Unforgettable.
But as I say, all the cast are great - Bale, Eckhart, Gylenhall, Caine, Freeman and of course Gary Oldman - all are superb and all have important moments. No one is left out of the show.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if the film is nominated for many more Oscars - direction, screenplay, special effects (seamless) and score (awesome, especially in the opening scene). Best film? Why not? It's a landmark because it takes the big budget, summer-blockbuster comic book movie to heights I never thought it could reach, and that must be a scary thought for future film-makers because it will now be the measure that other films of this nature are judged by. Which makes it hard to wonder how they could top it, if the team decide to make a third Batman film? I think they should, but I think they should switch genres and not try to out-do TDK. Maybe a dark psychological thriller set in Arkham Asylum? Who knows, I can't wait to find out though :)