Back on December 27, 2007 I did a post entitled YouTube Fun and part of that post included the first "Dark Knight" trailer. I was intrigued by Heath Ledger's Joker and was really looking forward to seeing it.
Not too long afterwards Heath was found dead as we all know.
Having sat through my second viewing of "Dark Knight" this evening I remain as I was the first time I saw this movie the weekend before last: sad. For here wrapped up in a 27 year old package was the very epitome of promise. I was so looking forward to what this wonderful actor would become after seeing him come so far in just a few years. I liked Heath very much in his earlier roles, particularly in "Knight's Tale", even though it had an odd soundtrack and was fluffy. In fact, I've owned "Knight's Tale" since it first came out on DVD. I also liked him in "10 Things I Hate About You" though I don't own that one. This movie surpassed "Knight's Tale" in its fluffiness but, dammit, there's a place in this world for fun and whimsy and Heath was doing his part to bring it to us.
When I saw "Monster's Ball" I must admit that I really enjoyed the movie until Heath's character killed himself. Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton turned in great performances, but I stopped liking the movie so much after that. I thought Heath did a great job in that performance and still think of his character's last line to his father sometimes:
Heath's character Sonny: "You hate me. Answer me. You hate me, don't you?"
Billy Bob's character Hank: "Yeah, I hate you. Always did."
Heath's character Sonny: "Well, I've always loved you."
The fact that I still think of that line after all this time on occasion is a testament to Heath's performance.
Then I had the enormous pleasure of "Brokeback Mountain" for both Heath and Jake stunned the hell out of me with their performances. Heath was phenomenal, but as I told a couple of people, we believed in that love story and without Jake we would not have have been so moved by the way these two characters loved each other.
I was so excited about the Joker. Heath's Joker looked like a completely different character altogether. He didn't disappointment at all. In fact, I can't take my eyes off him. Sure, I just spent two plus hours watching the movie again, but I came home and started watching the trailer again. I just want to see more Heath!!!
It's so sad. And wonderful. We are all very lucky to have this performance.
Next up, I go see "Dark Knight" on the IMAX screen. I know I'll really enjoy that too.