Yesterday’s News

Quite a day. The Academy announces the Oscar nominations, and Heath Ledger dies in what looks like a suicide.

I first saw Ledger in The Patriot and Monster’s Ball. Both performances impressed me, but they left me wondering if I would ever see this young man alive in a final fade-out. I finally did, of course, in Brokeback Mountain; alive, but very sad, standing both literally and figuratively in a closet. I finally saw him in a happy ending with Casanova.

But there was no happy ending for Ledger himself. We still don’t know why.

Should we care more about Ledger than about the many other people who must have died before their time that day–including, I’m sure, others who left young children behind? I suppose not. Yet we do, because we’ve all lost something: the chance to watch a talented young artist mature and improve with age.

And what about the Oscar nominations?

I have yet to see There Will Be Blood, which seems to have momentum behind it. I’ll have to rectify that. I liked the other four Best Picture nominees, although only Juno made my top ten (and topped it). I’m rooting for Juno, but I don’t think it will win. It’s not the sort of movie that does.

On the animation front, I loved both Persepolis and Ratatouille, although I don’t think of Persepolisas a 2007 film because it didn’t open in the Bay Area before 2008. And, of course, I’m hoping No End in Sight makes Best Feature-Length Documentary.

But we’ll have to wait until February 24 to answer the big question: What is an Oscar ceremony like during a writer’s strike?