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Ledger wins awards for Joker

TheJoker.jpgHeath Ledger is winning awards for his performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight, or is he? Is he perhaps winning awards because he's a dead actor?

Both the Australian Film Institute and the Washington D.C. Film Critics have awarded Heath Ledger and his Joker performance an award within days of each other.

Heath Ledger died soon after filming The Dark Knight (Filmstalker review), and although it is not his last film appearance, it is the most complete and one of his most powerful.

On Saturday night the Australian Film Institute posthumously awarded the actor their International Award for Best Actor for his role in The Dark Knight. Of the award they said:

"It was this swaggering, psychopathic clown that turned his career into a legacy and the name Heath Ledger into an ongoing inspiration to actors everywhere"

The comment comes through cbs4denver who have some emotionally powerful comments from his family who accepted the award on his behalf.

Then the announcements were made by the Washington D.C. Film Critics for their winners, a full list of which can be seen at the bottom of the story thanks to EW, and Heath Ledger won Best Supporting Actor for The Dark Knight.

You know I loved The Dark Knight, and I think Heath Ledger's performance is great, but there's more to it than his performance, and I think the Joker in that film is made by the score, and the excellent writing and direction. Sure, strip that all away and you have Ledger, but I don't believe his performance there is individually better than Brokeback Mountain or I'm Not There.

I can't help but feel that a lot of the desire to give a posthumous award is for that very reason, that he's died in such tragic circumstances and with such a great potential career ahead of him.

Of course saying that, with regard to the Australian Film Institute awards, his competition was Eric Bana for The Other Boleyn Girl, Russell Crowe for American Gangster and Jack Thompson for Leatherheads, with that competition I'd say he'd be up against Crowe alone.

Unfortunately I can't find the nominees for the D.C. Film Critics awards at the moment so I'm not going to comment on the competition there, but here are the other winners of the Washington D.C. Film Critics awards:

Best Film: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Actor: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
Best Actress: Meryl Streep, Doubt
Best Ensemble: Doubt
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Best Supporting Actress: Rosemarie DeWitt, Rachel Getting Married
Best Breakthrough Performance: Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
Best Original Screenplay: Jenny Lumet, Rachel Getting Married
Best Animated Feature: Wall-E
Best Foreign Language Film: Let The Right One In
Best Documentary: Man On Wire

Well done Slumdog Millionaire!



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