There’s still a gap between popular movies and what’s supposed to be more serious fare. Paul Dano has tents on both sides, so before the Oscar nomination was announced, we asked him why…

    “I really liked doing The Batman and I really liked the movie too,” Dano told us. “I think it’s an amazing job. Matt Reeves did an amazing job. It’s a big job. Every element of it – the cinematography, the production design.

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    “So I feel like it’s a real movie. And I think it should be considered for anything. I was surprised at how rich The Batman was emotionally and thematically. I don’t think many movies like that are. And that’s why they are [overlooked]. Because I don’t think many of these movies offer more than the front layer. It depends on the film and the filmmaker.

    “Cinema is a very rich medium. And I love the medium. I think it’s different from television – neither better nor worse. But because it’s a more compact medium, it requires a finer level of attention to how the camera tells the story, the sound design, the score, and how each component fits together. adds to one piece. And what experience does it give you, what does it leave you.

    “And once in a while you have really big movies that are really nifty. And I think The Batman is. But I can’t wait to see Avatar as much as i need to see Warehouse. I have not seen Warehouse yet, because we just had a baby – but I’m going to see all these movies.

    Working with Steven Spielberg (a man who has two director’s Oscars), Dano didn’t find enough applause.

    “What hooked me was the look in his eyes when he told me what it was about,” he said.

    “My heart skipped a beat. I thought he had to do something so personal at this point in his career? You could say it seemed important, the stakes are high.

    “His father had only died about eight months before we spoke. So it was raw. And it took a while to digest. I thought, damn it, that’s pretty bold and brave to dive into this.

    “Steven is a very intuitive filmmaker and trusts his instincts and what he sees. He follows a very clear line of intuition and imagination – it was so inspiring.

    “Steven is an imp. He’s a very exciting director. And with each new character that was based on someone in her life, you could feel the energy shifting slightly on set. It was very, very powerful.

    “It wasn’t like any other shoot I’ve been on in terms of the director, the way his heart was on the line. The crew he’s worked with for 30 years were all saying this one was different. From the first zoom to the toast he gave at the end of filming, it was an important and special experience.

    The winners of the 2023 Oscars are announced on March 13.

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