January 25, 2014 at 8:25 pm #136723
I just finished watching Enough Said, which I liked. I also liked Gandolfini’s swell performance in the film, but it got me to thinking. Would his performance have been nominated for so many precursor awards had Gandolfini not died? That also got me to thinking, did Heath Ledger deserve the Oscar for The Dark Knight, or did everyone give it to him out of compassion for his death. Some nudniks would say that they only gave it to him because he died, and it really is a movie/performance that the Oscars tend to not go for. I mean a Batman film/Batman character performance winning an Oscar? But Ledger pulls it off flawlessly in the film.
What is your opinion? Do you think posthumous nominations come from them feeling sorry for their death, or do you think that if they hadn’t’ve died, they would still get the nomination.January 25, 2014 at 8:31 pm #136725
Depends on the situation, but dying never hurts one’s awards chances for the film in question.January 25, 2014 at 8:34 pm #136726
I have always thought that Ledger did deserve the win, but the academy would have overlooked his performance if he lived.January 25, 2014 at 8:39 pm #136727
Ledger and Finch both would have won anyway.
There is a posthumous nominee this year – one of the three people nominated for 20 Feet from Stardom died in Dec 2012.January 25, 2014 at 8:44 pm #136728
I don’t know about Ledger. It was a seismic impact that the performance had, but I wouldn’t even put past the academy to have snubbed him out of a nom. It seems unthinkable, but an actor being nominated for playing the Joker? The only similar nomination I can think of is Johnny Depp, but in a weird way, I think being a comedic performance rather helped him carve out sort of a nice voting support in the season. I don’t know if the immense popularity of the film and the acclaim would’ve been enough for the academy to get their head out of their asses and nominate him. I mean, it’s the Academy, they are so bad when it comes to films and performances like this. I love that Ledger won, but I have to honest. Hope that I would be wrong though, I really do.January 25, 2014 at 8:54 pm #136729
Make up award for Brokeback as wellJanuary 25, 2014 at 9:05 pm #136730
I think Ledger would’ve been fine. He was pretty much a lock for a reason. That movie was a huge hit, huge pop culture phenomenon, his villain is constantly credited as one of the reasons for the film’s success, the movie was going to hit in a lot of categories either way, it was seen as a very close candidate for Picture and specially Director and to top it all off, there really wasn’t anybody else if you go by the other four nominees, he was an actor that was nominated just three years before for a very fine performance that could’ve actually won, even though that winner was extremely deserving, Ledger could still be seen as snubbed and owed and it was an important category to reward a film that wasn’t going to win anything that important. Alive or dead, he would’ve won.
If not Ledger, who would’ve won? Was the tide going to shift eventually for Downey Jr because of his sort of comeback, the success of Iron Man, his new status, and his comedic movie stealing performance in Tropic Thunder? I think not.
Peter Finch was already in the middle of the whole thing when he died. It wasn’t as crazy as it is now with campaigning and precursors, but he didn’t die moths and months before the film’s release like Ledger did.
I don’t know much about Ralph Richardson. But it seems like he died way before the film premiered and of course way, way before his nomination was announced. He died in October 83, the movie premiered in March 84 and he was nominated in January (?) 85. Haven’t seen the film by the way.January 25, 2014 at 9:11 pm #136731
I think they would’ve gone Hoffman or Brolin if Ledger hadn’t died. Downey’s film wasn’t much to the academy’s taste either, and he got nommed more because of the comeback factor (although I can see niche support loving the performance).
I don’t think TDK being huge means it would’ve won. Johnny Depp had a huge film too, and lost for an above average performance from Sean Penn. Sometimes the populist performances breakout, sometimes they don’t. I have a feeling that even if Ledger did get nommed (although the Joker/comic book stigma would’ve been much bigger had he been alive), I think he’d have lost.
EDIT: I think Brolin would’ve won. I’m looking at how he did at the time, and he won NBR and NYFCC. The film was a huge player with eight nominations. He had just come off from starring on the BP winner of the previous year, and he had a real life role in a story about an important character/subject matter. Yeah, I’m going with the idea that Brolin would’ve won if Ledger hadn’t died. Again, I wish Ledger would’ve won either way, but I don’t think he would have.January 25, 2014 at 9:11 pm #136732
I think that it only matters in the acting categories, where the deaths in craft, music and short, documentary categories are rarely publicized enough to generate enough support to garner a nomination/win. Historically, I think the nominees would still normally get a nomination, like Spencer Tracy in Guess who’s coming to dinner or James Dean’s consecutive nominations.January 25, 2014 at 10:57 pm #136733
I think dying doesnt help as much as we sometimes give it credit for. I think it can maybe get a performance noticed that they probably wouldnt have paid much attention too before, but it it gets in it was probably going to get in anyway, and if it wins it was probably going to win anyway. If it had been more of a competition than maybe id say Ledger wouldnt have won, but that performance cleaned up the season and was the most talked about thing, I think he still wouldve won anyway. Probably same with peter finch. Honestly to me it seemed like more of a supporting performance or at least borderline, so if they liked it enough to give it win with him dead they liked it enough to give him one alive.January 25, 2014 at 11:24 pm #136734
Ledger would have won anyway. The Oscar buzz started mounting for him before his death, before anyone saw the movie. He was a recent nominee. Many thought he should have won for that previous nomination. The movie ended up being the huge critical and finanial hit it was. The character made an immediate and significant impression on pop culture. The category was weak as hell.
I also agree that being dead doesn’t mean that much at the Oscars.
Ledger’s not comparable to Johnny Depp for a few reasons. TDK was a more acclaimed movie, and it was a more acclaimed performance. Best Actor that year wasn’t incredibly weak unlike the supporting category Ledger won in. And voters are willing to get more quirky with their choices in supporting.January 25, 2014 at 11:46 pm #136735
I think Ledger would’ve won regardless. And no way would they have chosen Hoffman over Ledger TWICE in a row, especially not when Ledger’s performance was so universally acclaimed and cemented into pop-culture history. I get genuinely sad thinking about his passing… And all of the amazing performances he could’ve given us by now.January 25, 2014 at 11:50 pm #136736
There was no way Ledger was going to lose, dead or alive. He totally got that award based on merit.January 26, 2014 at 12:30 am #136737
Ralph Richardson was a real shocking nomination. He was barely even mentioned in the pre awards buildup. It was actually Richard Burton in 1984 who a lot of people thought would get a posthumous nomination (and maybe even a win since he was the record holder for most moniation without a win)January 26, 2014 at 1:37 am #136738
finch and ledger would’ve won even if they’re not dead, the buzz to award their performance and carreer is just too big
but gandolfini wouln’t have been nominated for anything if he hadn’t been dead (no offense, he was a great actor) but his role is just the straight guy from a romcom