Academy Award nominations are in, and The Dark Knight is out. Despite being the top grossing movie of the 2008 and hailed by critics as one of the best films to hit the screen last year, the Batman themed movie was shut out of Best Director and Best Picture nominations. The film did garner 8 nominations, however, including shoo-in nominee Heath Ledger as the Joker. Passing over high grossing action films is nothing new, but this year appeared to be different. Over the past few weeks, increased buzz surrounded the film. It looked as if director Christopher Nolan would pick up a director nod and the movie itself would vie for the top motion picture of the year. With Oscar television ratings in the dumps, it almost seemed as if the Academy would NEED The Dark Knight for ratings.