Thursday, December 11, 2008

Heath Ledger Nominated for Golden Globe

Batman: The Dark Knight, which made huge sales at the box office, is once again making huge sales in DVD. And today, Heath Ledger has been nominated for a posthumous Golden Globe award for his portrayal of the Joker.

Ledger gave a tremendous performance as Joker. It was externally loud and outward, but at the same time, he portrayed a character with an intense, seething inner life. He showed a man whose psyche was rotting away to such a degree that he had lost all sense of right/wrong and societal norms. Yes, it was a comic book character, but you bought how this being could have been born out of a real-life scenario.

Now, I do have to admit, there is extra value added because it's the last great role Heath Ledger will ever put down on screen. The finality of it all is enticing. I think he might have one more film left in post-production? But for the most part, Ledger's work is over, and that casts a haunting resonance this piece. How do we separate that from evaluating the work?

I don't think we can. And maybe it shouldn't matter.

As I said when he died and people were flocking to see the film in the theaters, there's a sense of public grieving that comes from appreciating this role. And I'm a huge fan of public grieving. It's cathartic and healing and doesn't happen often enough. There's no doubt it's a quality performance, and I don't see anything wrong with Ledger getting every possible recognition for his performance as Joker, even if part of the reason is the fact of his death.

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