Here we are on the one-year anniversary of Heath Ledger‘s death and he was just nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Joker in The Dark Knight. It’s poetic, and Hollywood loves that kind of symbolic gesture. Admittedly, I was no fan of The Dark Knight. I found it to be a bleak and dreary enterprise so focused on being Dark with a capital D, that it forgot its comic book roots and why people like comic books and superheroes in the first place. Since it made a zillion dollars, I was clearly in the minority. But, no matter how I felt about the film, I agree that Heath’s performance was nothing short of brilliant. His Joker was terrifying and hypnotic, and I couldn’t wait for him to be on screen again. Bad news for Batman, since I didn’t care if he ever reappeared or not. I think the nomination is partly fueled by Hollywood’s regret over Brokeback Mountain, part regret over his death and part recognition of an outstanding performance. If Heath had lived, I wonder if his work in a hugely successful comic book movie would have been recognized. We’ll never know, which is the truly tragic part of it all.
For a full list of nominations, go to the Forum and join in the discussion.