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The Joker Prevails At Golden Globes

Baxter
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Posted January 12, 2009 - By Joseph Baxter

In a turn of events that came as a surprise to no one, even to the Inuit villagers of Burger King's "Whopper Virgins," Heath Ledger's now legendary performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight has managed to squeak out the win for "Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture" on Sunday night's Golden Globe Awards. Going against category contenders such as the hilarious in-disguise efforts of Tom Cruise and Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder, Ralph Fiennes in The Duchess, and Philip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt, the late Ledger pulled off the biggest "un-upset" in history.

The Dark Knight director, Christopher Nolan, accepted the award for Ledger and made a fitting, emotional tribute to the late actor as he said that Heath's passing represented "a hole ripped in the history of cinema." Of Ledger's body of work, Nolan remarked that it will have an "incredible place in the history of cinema that he built for himself." Concluding that, "He will be eternally missed, but he will never be forgotten."

With this Golden Globe victory, the possibility of Ledger receiving a posthumous Oscar has increased tremendously. Has his death become the 800 lb gorilla in the room? Well, DUH, it was absolutely integral to everything from the critical praise, to even the initial buzz about the film itself. However, the fact remains that he was indeed brilliant as the Joker. (I certainly live on the edge, taking risky positions, do I not?) This makes the subjectivity and political motivations behind these award picks almost a blessing in disguise. In death, Heath Ledger may be the one to open the gap in the stiff, pretentious, "artsy-fartsy" standards that have kept great performances from action films out of contention for the big awards. (I still say Jeff Speakman was robbed with his "kempo-riffic" performance in 1991's The Perfect Weapon.) One day, we will hear the words we all have longed to hear: "And the Oscar goes to...Jean-Claude Van Damme."

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Tags: Comics, Movies, TV
The Joker Prevails At Golden Globes
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