Heath Ledger "100% Supporting"

That’s the official word this morning from Warner Bros. as to how Heath Ledger will be campaigned for his riveting performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. To which I say: smart move. I know some people were pulling for a Best Actor placement for the late star, but that just didn’t feel right to me (nor, apparently, to the Warner Bros. people). Sure, Ledger had tons of screen time and is certainly the most memorable thing about the film. But the movie is called The Dark Knight, not The Joker. The only Best Actor candidate here should be Christian Bale.

But the most important thing to consider is his chance at the win. I doubt he’d have a shot at beating The Wrestler‘s Mickey Rourke, or Milk‘s Sean Penn, or Frost/Nixon‘s Frank Langella in the Best Actor race. But in the supporting category, his strongest likely competitor is Doubt‘s Philip Seymour Hoffman, coincidentally the man who defeated Ledger for Best Actor the only other time Ledger was nominated, for Brokeback Mountain. While Hoffman’s Capote performance was the sure bet back then, this time it could be a true toss-up.

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  • HulaHoop

    I know that comedic performances never win, and I fully support Heath Ledger’s possible win, but I think Robert Downey, Jr.’s performance in “Tropic Thunder” deserves some serious consideration as well. He was just great. Ledger was truly phenomenal though and I don’t think anyone can beat him this year.

  • Nancy

    Heath Ledger deserves an Oscar nodd and I think supporting-actor is the best fit. His performance in that film was the best I’ve ever seen him. I feel he deserves the Oscar, not because of his unfortunate and untimely death, but because he gave a strong, vivid, moving performance….the best performance of his life.

  • alex

    100% support this.. I’ve seen TDK numerous times now, and his performance is definitely the most riveting thing about a very exciting movie. The amount of prep that he put in, the research, the dedication, he has literally changed the way comic book villains will be played from now on.. “you’ll see, i’ll show you”.
    he will absolutely be nominated, and depending on the others, i’d give him at least decent odds for a win. It’ll be hard overcoming the comic book movie hurdle, but this is the one performance that has a genuine chance.

  • J

    A little FYI – Hoffman is being put into the Lead race for “Doubt.” But even if he wasn’t, it wouldn’t matter. Supp. Actor has had Ledger’s name written all over it for MONTHS. No one will beat him.

  • Rahul

    So I guess that talk over the summer of the film getting nommed for Best Picture has died out?

  • Siobhan

    J, I hope you’re right – Heath deserves the Oscar because he (and his chemistry with Bale) made TDK incredible to watch. I would hate that a bunch of people who pigeon-hole TDK as a “comic book” movie would deprive him of that Oscar.
    I also want Christopher Nolan to get a nod. I suppose that’s being a glutton for awards for this movie, but I can hope.

  • Jayson

    Listen if PSH beat Heath for Best Actor for Capote, then PSH needs to accept to be Heath’s runner up this year!!! If for no other reason than that the better voice wins… I don’t think I’ll ever be able to hear that slurping sound again without thinking of that creepy “Wanna see a Magic Trick???” yeesh!!! 100% Supporting 100% win!!!

  • Ceballos

    “Sure, Ledger had tons of screen time and is certainly the most memorable thing about the film.”
    I’ve said it before (on this blog) and I’ll say it again: Heath Ledger’s performance in “The Dark Knight” is CLEARLY a lead performance, and Dave’s quote above help makes my case. Who cares what the title of the movie is?
    However, as I’ve said before, I’m fully aware Ledger’s best shot at a statue is in the supporting category. I’m usually annoyed at the way studios jockey certain performances to increase their Oscar chance (Jennifer Hudson was SO not a supporting performance in “Dreamgirls”), but since I’d love to see Ledger be rewarded for his work, I”m ok with it in this instance.

  • Stacey

    I don’t know. Heath will be dead over a year at Oscar time. I still can’t see him winning. He will get nominated, but won’t win. Now, Heath was amazing in the movie. But I find the role too hyped up. I have seen better performances. If Heath hadn’t died, would he be lauded? Maybe, but I doubt it. Death made it appear better in my view. But given that, I’ll see who will be nominated. I still doubt he will win, even if he’s in Supporting. Don’t give away the award yet.

  • jaime

    I 100% support this as well. . .he deserves it!!! His performance was so good seriously!

  • Koz

    YES!He truly deserves this.Best performance i have ever seen.

  • Jill

    Someone finally got it right!! I have been saying that since the first talk of an oscar for Heath was mentioned. I definitely agree he deserves to be recognized for that amazing role. He definitely stole the spotlight on that one, AS A SUPPORTING ACTOR – but not BECAUSE He died. His performance was great and he deserves the oscar for best supporting. GIVE CHRISTIAN BALE THE NOMINATION FOR BEST ACTOR!!!

  • Nathan

    I know the money shouldn’t matter in Oscar odds, but the truth is that without Heath Ledger’s performance in TDK, it would not have been the insane hit it was. I’d bet that his turn as the Joker was responsible for at least $200 million in ticket sales, at least. The nomination is a sure thing, and I think a win for Ledger is looking very likely.

  • Sarah A

    It’s really quite weird to me that Christian Bale has never been nominated for an Oscar. The man is pretty damn brilliant, but that’s another story.
    Heath Ledger for Best Supporting Actor 08’! The Oscars will be pretty cliched and drab without that win, he’s the most deserving candidate this year. I’m sure he could hold his own in the Best Actor category too. Mickey Rourke? Really?

  • Corran

    I definitely hope Heath scores a best supporting actor nom. Who said he would make it into the best actor category?!?! WHA THAT DOESNT MAKE SENSE (then again Jamie Foxx was the main star in Collateral and he was placed as best supporting actor). Also Robert Downey Jr. should be in serious consideration for Iron Man. It was the only leading role that was really praised by an audience throughout this entire year so far! I know oscar chances would never happen, but is it too much to ask for Russell Brand to be at least nominated best supporting actor for a golden globe comedy in Forgetting Sarah Marshall?

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