As much as I love Network, Peter Finch as the first and only posthumous Oscar doesn't really set the bar that high. He was fun to watch, but a bit over the tippy-top for me. And I'm usually on board with Travers as a critic, although I'm still burning over his claim that Gangs Of New York was one of the best films of 2002.
My money has been on The Dark Knight as the summer breakout for quite some time, and I have yet to witness Nolan take a wrong turn, so I'm not surprised by the great review. But a posthumous Oscar for Ledger? As the Joker? It's entirely possible that if he does receive a nomination, it's more because the Academy is making nice for not giving him the Oscar for Brokeback Mountain.
But here's my question. Actually I have a series of questions. Does Travers write that same statement if Ledger is alive? Does he even mention Oscar if Ledger is alive? Or if Travers does make that statement, does it get sent into such a whirlwind of gossipy madness being picked up by such illustrious blogs such as this if Ledger is still alive? Meaning, did Travers really even intend for that statement to be taken as it is? The Internet is just frothing at the mouth for this kind of stuff and they're pouncing on it just as to be expected, taking Travers quote out of context and making it bolder than it actually is. But does the fact that Ledger is dead make this even sweeter? I think I know the answer to that already. But I've watched enough of Hollywood to know that they get all misty eyed over things like this. A perfect example is Crash getting the best picture Oscar because it "had a message." Never mind that that message was painfully obvious and about 10 years old.
So I don't mean to be the cynical old bastard here that calls bullshit, especially since I haven't seen the movie, but Ledger better be really frickin' good. Either that or Travers should temper his enthusiasm a bit. It's not like he writes for some stupid ass movie blog or something where he can throw out any crazy old shit and not have it stick. Or stink. Last time I checked, Rolling Stone magazine still had a pretty good circulation. Because if Ledger is good, but not great and all this is talk is due to sympathy for him, for Michelle, for his family, for not getting the Oscar for Brokeback Mountain, then shame on Travers and I guess shame on me for helping continue this story.