Ledger's Oscar chances are no joke

The fact that it was part of a $500 million-grossing blockbuster certainly doesn’t hurt. Neither does the fact that the actor who played the part was a star on the rise.

Speculation continues about the end-of-the-year awards chances for late Australian actor Heath Ledger’s electrifying turn as the villainous Joker in “The Dark Knight.” Many pundits believe that the performance is a shoo-in for Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination. (Although, it should be noted that Ledger gets nearly as much screen time in the film as its supposed “lead” actor, Christian Bale.)

One knock against it is that “Dark Knight” is a superhero movie, which are not held in particularly high esteem by Oscar voters. However, the film did receive almost universally positive reviews — most, if not all, of which singled out Ledger’s performance.

And so far, it’s been a pretty weak year for performances.

What do you think? Does Ledger stand a chance at Oscar gold? And, in your opinion, what performances so far this year deserve awards consideration?

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