This question shadows the Oscar race from the beginning of the year onward. It stood upright when No Country for Old Men was in the race and it loomed large when The Departed was in the race. “Too dark” translates this way: The Academy is made up of senior citizens, it is assumed, who spend their days in retirement, for the most part, locked up in a giant mansion in Beverly Hills or Bel Air, or Encino or London or New York whilst the rest of the world evolves. Think: the card game in Sunset Boulevard. The theory is reinforced by the notion that voters have just the holiday season to figure out which film they vote on for Best Picture. Holiday season equals good cheer which equals a reluctance to go dark.