True, but likewise just because the guild doesn't think it deserves one doesn't mean it doesn't. Regardless, it's a very difficult thing to say that there's no bias in the industry, when it's clear as blue sky. I generally ignore the so-called experts when they aren't behaving as experts.
Some people are always going to say any attention to Ledger is purely posthumous and that BS. I remember him before he made it to the big screen and I'd say I was a mild to moderate fan, but with Dark Knight he showed us what he can do.
BTW I liked 300 too, but IMHO there’s little comparison. The suspension of disbelief and over the top sensationalism was so intense it was really was a separate element from the film, and it kept it enjoyable versus if they handed us all that and expected us to believe it on some level.
Of course there has to be some bias there - to say that there isn't would be ridiculous, but I don't think there's that much bias. It's hard for me to criticize the guild when that's their job, and regardless of what you think they are professionals. I think some of the movies that have been nominated in the past few years have been absolute shit (I can't remember many, but The Departed comes to mind), but at least this year I feel like nearly every movie nominated is good. Perhaps if The Dark Knight came out a few years ago when there wasn't as much competition I would've been a little more sympathetic to it not getting many of the 'bigger' nominations, but they still got eight
this year, which isn't anything to scoff or to complain at.
I don't think that all the attention that the movie and Ledger got was because of his death, but it's quite naive to think that it wasn't a factor. For days on end all it was was about Heath Ledger and his new 'amazing part' in a film, before anyone even saw it. I am not a huge film-buff, but I had not known who he was before he died, and many people I know were in the same situation. For a few days I thought Heath Ledger was going to be the new Anna Nicole Smith, but thankfully he wasn't, at least.
This may sound rude, but to me, The Dark Knight was "300 with a plot". I know superhero movies are required to have a certain amount of cheesiness in them - which is fine with me, but The Dark Knight had so many "I am nearly gagging since it's so cheesy and stupid" moments. Also, perhaps it's just because I never read the comics or anything like that, but there were many times where I thought the movie was going to end then some new villain is introduced only to be killed off twenty minutes later. The only suspension in The Dark Knight for me was "when is this movie going to be over". >_>