Oscar for Ledger? You Must Be High

'Pretty good actor who did away with himself' doesn't deserve award
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2008 1:04 PM CDT
This image provided by Focus Features shows actor Heath Ledger portraying the character Ennis Del Mar in the movie "Brokeback Mountain."    (AP Photo/Focus Features)
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(Newser) – It’s time to put an end to the inane campaign to give Heath Ledger an Oscar for The Dark Knight, writes Eric Lucas in the LA Times. Ledger’s much-fawned-over performance “ultimately devolves into a can-can dance of snuffling pseudo-psychopathia,” Lucas writes. “It has all the subtlety of a hangover—exactly what I'd expect from someone who headed home every night to a pill party.”

Ledger wasn’t a saint, he was merely “a pretty good actor who did away with himself.” Like Jimi Hendrix, James Dean, and many others, he is being romanticized thanks to a death he brought on himself. But over 100,000 Americans die of alcohol and drug abuse every year, and there’s nothing romantic about that. “It would be madness,” Lucas concludes, “to commemorate one such death with the greatest honor in cinema.”