I know I’m not going to make any friends with this, but after reading things like this, I feel like it has to be said:
I don’t think Heath Ledger should win the Oscar.
Now that you’ve all thrown your tomatoes, I offer you this: Robert Downey Jr. SHOULD.
HA! You had no more ammo for THAT one, didya? SUCKERS.
Now that I’ve already pissed you off, I will say this: Heath Ledger’s death was truly a loss. He was immensely talented, very loving, and (yes, I’ll say it) hot. My generation will forever love him in that teen flick with Julia Styles, the name of which escapes me at the moment, but him singing to her in the bleachers with the marching band and all?! Precious, and I was instantly a fan.
And I appreciated his work in The Dark Knight. I’m not disagreeing with his nomination. He was amazing. His little ticks and his embodiment of pure anarchy was chilling and real, and I thought to myself through the whole movie, “Wow, Heath really outdid himself in this.”
But during Tropic Thunder, I kept thinking, “Who IS that guy playing the black dude?” RBJ was just so amazing that I consistently forgot who he was. And, that to me, is more noteworthy of an acting nod.
And I’ll say that yes, RBJ’s makeup was also a contributing factor (because, seriously, how amazing was his transformation?!), but so was Ledger’s. Even playing field, in my mind.
Perhaps my most controversial thought, which is also the one that tips the scale for me, is the whole drug thing. Bear with me.
Robert Downey Jr. is a man who has been in many a drug rehab. But he’s back. He’s back and he’s making great things and he’s surviving in a sober way and I feel that we should commend that. I’m going to be a little blunt here (SURPRISE!), but I kinda see it like a race. If one runner falls and doesn’t finish the race, we don’t hand over the gold medal because he had an amazing start. I know that makes me sound heartless, but we have a lifetime achievement award for just such a case.
To sum up, Ledger’s performance was AMAZING. Hell, he completely overshadowed the horrible direction given to Christian Bale (“Okay, so, to fool all of Gotham, when Bruce is Batman, he needs to sound like he’s been snorting Comet cleaner for about seven years and is currently breathing out of his trachea, okay?”) and the horrendous editing. There is no doubt that everyone left the movie sad that we would never see more of Ledger’s Joker. (I am the biggest Batman freak I know, and Ledger’s Joker was the first one I really, truly wanted more of, Romero and Nicholson be damned.)
But Downey’s performance — to me, the girl who LOVES character acting and wants to be that good — was something that consistently made me forget who he was. And I’m not even an across the board Downey fan. (That mashup of Jack Black, Ben Stiller, and Downey performing as “The Pips” in Midnight Train to Georgia? Downey clearly sucked that up.) But the Oscars are a snapshot in time, not a summation of a career. I’m, quite frankly, upset that his nomination is being ignored in favor of a Hollywood tragedy, when it’s worthy of noting because of 1) the actual performance and 2) the nomination of a comedic role at the Oscars.
To be fair, I won’t even watching Sunday night. Cause, dude, Tool Academy is on.