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Oscars hand forced for Ledger win?

TheJoker.jpgNews is coming out everywhere that if Heath Ledger wins the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor that his daughter is going to inherit the award and the family will accept it.

What I wanted to know is if, as this story was being banded around, the jury behind the scenes had already voted and the decisions were made on who was going to be winning. If they hadn't there's certainly a nice little push in the right direction.

Now if you follow Filmstalker you'll know that in the Best Supporting Actor category for most of the award ceremonies I don't believe that Heath Ledger did deserve to win the award on his performance alone, but with the Oscars it's a little different.

The Oscars have a pretty decent category list for Heath Ledger to compete against, although the performance of Philip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt is the strongest there, that's without a doubt.

The other nominees though aren't that great a threat, and if there was any sway anywhere else, this story is a good one to push the jury behind the Academy towards the decision. How could you say no to hearing that the daughter of the actor up for the award who died after his performance will inherit it and that his family will personally accept the award?

As I've said from the beginning, Heath Ledger's performance in The Dark Knight (Filmstalker review) was great, but what really upped it for me was the written word, the film around him which lifted him up, and the superb score which really heightened the tension and creep factor behind the character.

Pitched up against Hoffman's performance which is all about the performances and the other actors, you have to start to wonder what comes under the acting category – should it encompass how the end performance looks in the film or is it about the acting and nothing else? How do we distinguish?

Whatever you think, is the story about his daughter and family another aspect of playing on the actor's unfortunate death for the marketing and awards? I think it certainly was true of when the news came out originally and we were immediately struck with interview upon interview from everyone involved talking about how great Ledger was and how this was his film, a testament to his career, etc. Yet it wasn't his last performance, and we're yet to see that with The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

I know it's not popular to say these things, and don't believe for a second that I'm attacking him or his family, what this is about is the Best Supporting Actor award and the performance in that film, a performance which was built up on the strength of the rest of the film, of the way it was portrayed as a much more serious comic film than any other, the writing, directing and the score. However looking at other performances in the category in other awards ceremonies and there are definitely better performances.

Is this story from the BBC tipping the hand of the Oscar voters? Does Ledger really deserve this award for his second last performance, a film that has been winning mostly for his role and sometimes for cinematography?



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