The media is abuzz with Batman. While the comic book blockbuster broke box office records by raking in more than $155 million in its first weekend, the even bigger talk is Heath Ledger’s chilling portrayal of the Joker. The actor, who died in January just before the film wrapped, is being touted by many for a posthumous Oscar nod. Some experts are saying he could be the first to win one since Peter Finch won for “Network” more than two decades ago.
The question here is whether Ledger’s performance was that good or if the media and fans are just being swayed by nostalgia and what would make a great story. We know that Americans love their tragic heroes. Whether it’s James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain or even JFK for that matter; it’s difficult to distinguish how great their achievements were, from how much they have been embellished or glamorized in the wake of their untimely deaths. For some, it seems that the untimely death was the biggest achievement.
So was Ledger’s performance the greatest of the year and the capper to a career cut short; or was it a very good job being viewed through the media’s rose colored glasses? Does it really matter? The media has something to write about, the public has something to debate and Warner Brothers is jokering all the way to bank.