Heath Ledger and Joker equals Oscar?

Jul 14, 2008 at 11:54 a.m. ET

Batman fever is spreading largely due to the heat Heath Ledger's performance (as the Joker) is garnering.

The nominated actor could earn anotherThe Dark Knight swoops into theaters Friday -- and even without the frenzy over the performance of the guy in the slimy makeup, it would be one of the summer's most anticipated films.

What sets this sequel, comic book movie, and summer tentpole apart from the rest of its kin is how -- since the first views -- the audience has been transfixed by Heath Ledger depiction of the freaky.

The actor has been on the receiving end of an incredible amount of Oscar talk. That fact is impressive given two things: First, it's a summer popcorn movie, the kind that usually makes it out of the Kodak Theatre with Oscars only for technical awards; Secondly, because Jack Nicholson's original film portrayal is the stuff of legend, the question "How do you top that?" isn't far from anyone's mind.

By all accounts, Ledger dove into the role of the deeply-disturbed Joker headfirst. Knowing how his fate would be sealed within months of his "Dark Knight" work completed, it is easy to think that this actor who personalized all his parts, may have brought his disturbed Joker home.

Heath Ledger performance as the Joker is undeniably one of the most powerful on screen not only this year, but any on memory in 2007. It is that good, extraordinary and tragic at the same time. It's Heath Ledger in his masterwork.


See our "Dark Knight" review here!

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