The Academy has never really taken a liking to superhero movies. And probably rightfully so. I have plenty of fun watching the likes of Batman Begins, Spider-Man, X-Men, and Hellboy, but never once have I thought to myself, “Ooooh, Tobey Maguire could get a Best Actor nod” or “Man, I think X2 might be Best Picture material.”
Yet, I’ve been convinced since seeing the first footage of Ledger as the The Joker that he was going to win himself a posthumous Oscar and I’ve stood by that ever since. Yeah, sure, so no other competition for the Best Supporting Actor award will come around until the Fall at the earliest, so it’s pretty silly even making such a prediction since it’s impossible to judge what his competition will be, but I stand by my statement – and it looks like those that are finally actually seeing the film are agreeing here.
Here’s just a few excerpts about Ledger’s performance from recent early reviews
Sara Stewart – The New York Post
“Ledger’s green-haired fiend overshadowed all of them [his co-stars], from the first moment he appeared onscreen … In this flick, Ledger showed us what a masterful actor he was – certainly deserving of a posthumous Oscar nomination. … [I]t’s Ledger’s performance that clearly completes the movie.”
Peter Travers – The Rolling Stone
“I can only speak superlatives of Ledger, who is mad-crazy-blazing brilliant as the Joker. Miles from Jack Nicholson’s broadly funny take on the role in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman, Ledger takes the role to the shadows, where even what’s comic is hardly a relief. … If there’s a movement to get him the first posthumous Oscar since Peter Finch won for 1976′s Network, sign me up.”
Kevin Smith – Filmmaker
“Heath Ledger didn’t so much give a performance as he disappeared completely into the role; I know I’m not the first to suggest this, but he’ll likely get at least an Oscar nod (if not the win) for Best Supporting Actor.”
Todd Gilchrist – IGN
“Finally, there’s Ledger, whose performance I suspect will be the subject of many analyses of all sorts in the weeks and months to come. What he does with The Joker is, quite frankly, nothing short of transcendent. … [Y]ou realize that Ledger was a master of his craft, only in his final years finding roles that truly offered him the chance to explore that mastery. His is the definitive movie Joker, and he owns the role and achieves a level of abject insanity that is terrifying as it is irresistible.”
So, can his performance really live up to this hype? If not a win, does Ledger have a nomination locked? Only time will tell – and us less privileged only have a few more weeks until we can make up our own minds.