Batman: the Dark Knight hasn’t premiered yet and Heath Ledger’s performance is already garnering high praise. The word Oscar was thrown into the ring by Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers.
It’s typical of Ledger’s total commitment to films as diverse as Brokeback Mountain and I’m Not There that he does nothing out of vanity or the need to be liked. If there’s a movement to get him the first posthumous Oscar since Peter Finch won for 1976′s Network, sign me up. Ledger’s Joker has no gray areas — he’s all rampaging id.
In fact the entire movie review is about Ledger, not the main character Batman. Bale’s portrayal of the black masked hero has taken a back seat to the pure brilliance and flat out talent that Heath radiates in the new thriller. Former “Batman” movies were, in my opinion, cheesy at best. Gotham city was a playground for neon encrusted villains who turned a superhero thriller into a hokey dramedy. There is reportedly nothing funny about the darker and deeper version that Christopher Nolan has brought to life. The new addition to the superhero hype has fast become one of the most anticipated movies of the summer.
Christian Bale, who plays Batman, spoke with Parade about his work with Heath. He sang his co-star’s praises and hopes that Heath’s work as the Joker will be celebrated and be given the respect it deserves.
“I hope in a small way that The Dark Knight can be a celebration of his work,” he says. “Not like the hideous circus after he died, which I felt was an invasion of a private life. This movie is not a personal home video. This is what he did. I hope people will embrace that in the correct fashion.”
[From Parade Magazine via People.com]
Judging from the trailers and reviews for the film, his performance will speak for itself. When I first heard Heath was cast as the Joker, I immediately thought “Really? That scrawny pretty man is going to be the ham sandwich-crazy Joker?” I stand corrected.
The Dark Knight is out in the US on July 18.
Here are two trailers: