Must Be Present To Win


Well, the Oscar nominations are out. Most notable among them is Heath Ledger’s for his role of the Joker in the summer blockbuster, The Dark Knight.  He is nominated as Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and is only the seventh person (all men) nominated posthumously in an acting category. Only Peter Finch’s performance in Network (1976) garnered a statue, edging out Robert DeNiro’s Travis Bickle and Sly Stallone’s Rocky Balboa.

I’ve read many opinions that Mr. Ledger’s performance should win the Oscar, and nearly as many that he is a shoe-in.  I think you all know what side I’m gonna be on in this one, so here goes…

Mr. Ledger was a very popular actor.  His ability is evidenced by the fact that he was nominated by this same Academy in 2005 for his performance in Brokeback Mountain.  His death was as tragic as it was sudden.  I dispute none of these things.  But would he win, or even be nominated, if he were alive?  I can’t answer that.  No one can.

Awards are for the living.  They come with job offers, higher pay, recognition, and the opportunity to make a string of horrible movies and somehow keep landing on your feet (see Cuba Gooding Jr.) ; (man, I use semi-colons a lot,  I’m not even sure if I’m using them right) all things that Heath Ledger no longer needs.  Would an Oscar get him a better table in Heaven?  Would God have to refer to him as “Academy Award Winner, Heath Ledger?”  To me, his nomination is deserved and is a fair sign of respect and recognition for his career, but please give the Oscar to Robert Downey Jr.  If it makes you feel better, he’s died a few times.

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3 Responses to “Must Be Present To Win”

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