Oscar For Joker No Trick

When Heath Ledger died of an overdose last January, their were almost immediate calls for him to receive a posthumous Oscar nod for his work as the Joker in The Dark Knight. It all seemed premature and a little bit exploitative, as only a few had seen the film

The calls came again when the film was released in January, from his co-stars:
Michael Caine: "Heath will surely get a posthumous nomination for an Academy Award"
Maggie Gyllenhaal: "In a way I feel funny thinking about the Oscars when he isn't alive, but at the same time I'm a member of the Academy and I would vote for him."
Gary Oldman: "He may be the first actor since Peter Finch. He may even win the damn thing." Finch being the only person to win posthumously, earning the best-actor prize for 1976's Network two months after he died.

Critics have also praised Ledger's work as Oscar-worthy and having seen the film, I can't disagree. Still, it seemed unlikely. For all its dark reality, it's still a summer blockbuster, the kind of popcorn film the Academy rarely gets behind.

But perhaps we are going to witness one of those occasional moments in time where the most popular movie of the year intersects with the Oscars. Warner Brothers obviously believes its possible and has launched a For Your Consideration campaign, looking for nods in 15 different categories (including best picture), but mostly focusing on Ledger's performance.

I'm beginning to think it might just happen.

(Link via Ampersand)


  1. I think it could happen too. Warner Brothers had the luck of having not only the most popular movie of the year, but one that was critically acclaimed. Heath Ledger's performance created a lot of that acclaim. And it would not be the first time an actor received a posthumous Oscar.

  2. I think Ledger has it locked, as evidenced by today's Golden Globe nods, but I'm not so sure about the Dark Knight now.