Jan 28, 2008

There Will Be Speech

I did not watch the SAG awards last night because I was busy watching a very sad and interesting Chinese film called Still Life at the IFC. But I did learn through the blogs today of Daniel Day Lewis' winner's speech at the awards. It was a gracious, if a tad rambling, speech in sincere admiration of his fellow nominees, and the power of other actors to "regenerate" him and us. So far, so good. And then he mentioned that Heath Ledger regenerated him and quoted a couple of the movies in which he thought Ledger was great. I saw the Ledger part out of context and I thought, please don't shoot me, that my beloved D.D.L., whom I have pined for ever since My Beautiful Launderette and A Room with a View, who I forgave even despite Last of the Mohicans, was accruing brownie points for his Oscar. How cynical of me. But then looking at the whole speech, it seems that he wanted to acknowledge the sad loss of the young actor. So I take it back.
But, and now please refrain from sending a lynch mob to my door, I don't think that poor Heath Ledger was that great. I thought he had great moments here and there, like yes, in Brokeback Mountain, even though he mumbled through the entire movie. I don't think he was as great as Ryan Gosling is great, (since they are more or less the same age, it is an apt comparison). I think he probably was on his way to becoming a very interesting actor, a Brandoey kind of actor, with a lot of intensity, poor thing, but I really object to disproportionate cheesy praise doled out just because he died.

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