Heath Ledger for Best Supporting Actor

I’m worried that with The Dark Knight having come and gone so long ago that Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker will get overlooked come awards season.  And though at the time I thought Aaron Eckhart’s performance was the better of the two, I can’t shake Ledger’s turn as the maniacal Joker some six months later.

Maybe part of that is tied into his early death, but it’s hard to imagine anyone else turning in a better performance acting wise this year.  Well, okay, that’s a stretch and things like acting performances are always subjective but still it was a captivating performance.

Warner Bros. has begun their publicity push with advertisements in Variety for Heath Ledger as Best Supporting Actor.  Academy Award ballots are mailed on December 26th, polls close on January 12th, and the nominations are announced on January 22nd.

According to Slashfilm, his competition in the category includes: Michael Shannon in Revolutionary Road, Philip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt, John Malkovich in Changeling, Ralph Fiennes in Duchess, John Malkovich and Brad Pitt in Burn After Reading and Robert Downey, Jr. in Tropic Thunder.

Strange that three of those performances are strictly comedic and Ledger’s comes from a “comic book” movie.  Two genres the academy has consistantly looked down their noses at.  I can’t really imagine Ledger not being nominated for several reasons, but mostly because of his searing performance and his untimely death.

Especially in light of quotes like this from his ex-wife Michelle Williams: “It’s so sad. I guess it’s always changing. What else can I say? I just wake up each day in a slightly different place. Grief is like a moving river, so that’s what I mean by ‘it’s always changing’.It’s a strange thing to say because I’m at heart an optimistic person, but I would say in some ways it just gets worse. It’s just that the more time that passes, the more you miss someone. In some ways it gets worse. That’s what I would say,” speaking about late husband Heath Ledger with Newsweek‘s Ramin Setoodeh.

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