Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dark Knight

I went to Batman yesterday.

It was fantastic.

A number of months ago Dafne asked me who my top five directors were. Chris Nolan was on the bubble at that time, but there is no longer any doubt in my mind. He is an outrageously talented visionary.

There are a few quibbles I have with it, but just minor things really.

The real question though is Heath Ledger. How good is he?

He is wonderful. He seems to have put it in the back of his mind that the Joker is one of the greatest arch villains of all time. The Joker has to earn that, just like anyone else - and he does. It must be a scary proposition to know that you are going to be measured against Jack Nicholson (and no less than one of Jack’s most iconic performances) and Heath is equal to the job. It is very impressive.

It’s also very creepy that at the end, the door is clearly left open for the Joker to return, when we know that he (or at least Heath) can not. It would not have been hard to re-shoot & restructure in such a way that the Joker was clearly gone for good.

But someone needs to say this…

It is NOT an Oscar worthy performance. That is being said for the sole reason that Heath has died after such a promising performance. He probably would have been a perennial had he not overdosed, but that in itself does not make this an Oscar contender. He is great as the Joker. Let me say that again. He is great as the Joker. But most of the depth is in the script (and considering how little is known about the Joker, that doesn’t in fact allow for a lot). He is scary and gross and terrifying. But Oscar noms are worth more than this. This is hype. Well supported hype for a film that hardly needs it.

There we go. Someone said it. Let the tomatoes fly.

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