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Entertainment behind the scenes

Is Heath Ledger Oscar-worthy?

July 18, 2008

Heath ledger in Batman

The hype around Friday’s release of the “The Dark Knight” has reached a fever pitch, with Heath Ledger’s dark turn as the Joker generating an avalanche of posthumous Oscar buzz.

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone has called Ledger’s performance “mad-crazy-blazing brilliant,” while the sequel’s director Christopher Nolan has raved in the New York Times that Ledger’s portrayal of the sadistic makeup-caked villain is “stunning” and “iconic”.

The big-ticket Academy Award categories have typically been bereft of summer blockbuster nominees.

But is Ledger’s performance so bone-chillingly remarkable that it can survive the hype and the action-movie stigma?

As the 2006 best-picture shunning of “Dreamgirls” demonstrated, presumptive hype can lead to a snub when the Academy Award nominations are announced.

The Internet Oscar buzz alone for the Australian actor – lead by a gallery of fans likely still reeling from the shock of his untimely death in January – has eclipsed the praise of traditional critics, elevating the risk that Ledger will become a target for backlash.

The film is likely to surge above the $100-million mark during its opening weekend, placing the film in the same mega-earning category as “Iron Man” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”.

clip_image002.jpgWriting Ledger’s name on a ballot will perhaps become more palatable for Academy voters given the length of time between opening weekend and when Oscar nomination polls close on Jan.12, 2009.

This may be one time when fading memories are deemed an advantage amongst the fickle Hollywood elite – cementing Ledger’s legacy as an Oscar-worthy talent.

For full coverage of “The Dark Knight”, click here.


I completely agree with Tom Stathopulos.

I approached the film openly, keeping in mind that because of Heath Ledger’s death, his performance may have been overrated.

However, watching the film, I was stunned with his brilliance.

He owned the movie, and I was really taken back by just how chilling his portrayal of the character was.

Bloody good job.

The film was also excellent.

Posted by SA | Report as abusive

although i also believe ledger\’s overating debate is totally unrespectful and harmful to my heart, i can not change others\’ mind. to me, it\’s the best movie, ledger is the best actor, forever.

Posted by calix | Report as abusive

I have to say I was very disappointed that they didn’t even put Heath in the Tribute to all the people we lost. I kept looking for him and he never came up. Very sad.

Posted by Jen | Report as abusive

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