1/22/09: Oscar Noms and Heath


Dear Dick Wolf:


Did you watch the Oscar nominations this morning?!  I did. I find it exciting to get up and watch them live! They come on at 5:30am here. Not the most desirable hour, but once a year I can handle it. On your end, 8:30am isn’t so bad, right? Unless you were up late last night celebrating being you or something. If that’s the case, I hope you slept in.


So, they were pretty much as expected (THE LIST). I was really hoping that Liev Schreiber would get a Supporting Actor nod for Defiance  – he was brilliant and it would have been his first.




I’m also surprised that Michael Sheen has been getting zero recognition for Frost/Nixon.




He was fantastic! Arrogant, funny, vulnerable. As an actor, I truly enjoyed watching him work. And from what I hear about David Frost (my mom has the original interviews on DVD), he nailed the man perfectly. And it’s Frost’s story as much as it is, if not more so than, Nixon’s. Langella technically should be in the supporting category, in my opinion, but he’s a veteran and he’s amazing in the role, so I’m not complaining. Glad to see him in the line-up.


Although, I’m throwing my support behind Mickey Rourke.





He’s breathtaking in The Wrestler. The best performance in that category, I believe. I’ve seen all of them, and each performance is great, but Rourke’s is beyond special. Also glad to see that Marisa Tomei was honored for her work! She was terrific, and looks AMAZING! For all the pervs reading, she’s naked A LOT in the movie. If that’s the reason you go see it, I’m glad to have helped you get there.


And hey – how about Melissa Leo getting a nomination for Frozen River?!




I’ve loved watching her on Law & Order! She’s been one of the hardest working women in Hollywood for so long and she’s finally flying above the radar – good for her! And she’s nominated alongside Meryl Streep!! I would be pissing myself, quite frankly. I attended a Q&A a few years ago for 21 Grams and Melissa Leo was there. She mentioned how scary it is to never know when your next job will come along, or even if one would. I hope this puts her mind at ease a bit.


I’m looking forward to seeing The Reader. I haven’t yet. I know there’s a lot of buzz surrounding Slumdog Millionaire, especially since its win at the Golden Globes, and it’s a good film, but I don’t see it scoring the big award. And although personally The Wrestler is my favorite movie of the year, I think The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has Best Picture written all over it. It’s well-acted, visually stunning, has a terrific and unique storyline, and just seems destined to be a “classic” by Hollywood’s standards.


And of course, Heath. The most anticipated performance of the year didn’t disappoint.




He was on another level in The Dark Knight. His performance as The Joker was…magical. And that word doesn’t even do it justice. It’s scary how good he was. And tragic, since this role may have ultimately contributed to his death. You hear stories. He wasn’t sleeping while filming, he had to go to such a dark place emotionally, he started taking more pills…I’m glad he’s nominated, he deserves to be. And on the one-year anniversary of his death. Bittersweet. I can’t imagine what those close to him are feeling today. I remember what I was feeling last year when I found out he’d died. Complete shock. It didn’t seem real. I kept thinking about all the movies he would never make. Christopher Nolan said it best when he accepted the award on Heath’s behalf at the Golden Globes. That his death had “ripped a hole in the future of cinema.” I couldn’t agree more.   


I wrote about his death last year. Here’s how I will always remember January 22, 2008.


6:24 a.m.

Oscar nominations are out. I set my alarm for 5:30am to watch them live – I do every year. Oscar season is my absolute favorite time of the year. It even beats Christmas! Sorry, Jesus.


September through December is the most exciting time to see movies. The Oscar buzz has already started but no shoo-ins have been declared, for the most part. You get to form your own opinions without hearing how so-and-so is the critics’ favorite, or that Movie X is on 18,000 Top Ten lists, and sure to be a Best Picture contender. You go, you watch, you enjoy. Or hate, because it works both ways. This year the big love-it-or-hate-it film is No Country For Old Men  from the Coen Brothers. Violent. Disturbing. Exhilarating. I loved it. Apparently the Academy voters did, too. It tied for the most nominations. My mom and dad were dying to see it. When they finally did, mom was unsure and dad hated it. But mom has mad love for Tommy Lee Jones. I don’t think she could ever hate a movie that beamed his face at her.


For me, the most stand-out love-it-or-hate-it movie (the Academy members loved it, I HATED it) was the 2001 film In the Bedroom. Ugh! GAG. I saw it with a friend and our analysis leaving the theatre went something like this:


Me: “Are they SERIOUS?!”

Friend: “That was awful.”

Me: “No, seriously. They’re serious?”

Friend: “Totally awful.”

Me: “Whoa. I’m stunned.”

Friend: “The critics should have their birthdays taken away.”

Me: “If that thing beats A Beautiful Mind for best picture, I’m going to kill myself.”

Friend: “Well, get it on tape. It’ll be a front-runner next year.”


An hour later at Fuddruckers:


Me: “They can’t be serious.”

Friend: “Yeah, that was pretty bad.”

Me: “Totally depressing.”

Friend: “Awful.”

Me: “Tom Wilkinson was good.”

Friend: “Yeah.”

Me: “I’m not going to kill myself anymore.”

Friend: “That’s cool.”


2:10 p.m.

I came home for lunch. I hopped on the computer to see if I had an email from what’s-his-name. Instead, I found this from CNN: “Actor Heath Ledger has been found dead in a Manhattan apartment, New York police tell CNN.”


20 minutes ago the news broke. I am in utter shock. I can’t believe this is real. They’re saying it might me an overdose…I know we get ridiculously attached to celebrities we admire. I love (loved, wow) Heath. His performance in Brokeback Mountain was one of the best in the history of cinema, as far as I’m concerned. When he didn’t win the Oscar, I was enraged, crushed. He should have. He deserved it. Maybe voters thought he was young and had plenty of time. It’s unbelievable how things can turn on a dime. Life is fleeting indeed, as they say.


I wonder if the Academy Award announcements this morning triggered something. Who knows. All I can say is that we just lost one of the greatest young actors of this era. And a darling two-year-old girl named Matilda has just lost her father. My heart goes out to his loved ones. This is a sad day for Hollywood, but a far more tragic one for them.


8:55 p.m.

Still in shock over Heath. It’s been all over the news today. It does seem to be drug-related but nothing has been confirmed. Possible suicide. Incredibly sad. There’s a verse from a country song that goes: “How do you get that lonely? How do you hurt that bad? To make you make the call, that having no life at is, is better than the life that you had?” I can’t believe that with a two-year-old daughter, he’d take his own life. I hope not.


“We were the first to actually break the news…There was actually pills by his bedside so we’re the first to report the story…” You know, f*ck Page Six. F*ck Sean Borg. A man is DEAD. A father. A mother’s son. A person who was loved by family, friends, fans…Who the hell with a grain of decency cares who got “the scoop”?! If this is what your pride is based on, Mr. Big Shot Journalist, I feel sorry for you. People are mourning. Have some class.


10:18 p.m.

I’m going to end this day. Maybe when I wake up tomorrow, it will all have been a bad dream.


I can hope, right?




Heath Andrew Ledger

April 4, 1979 – January 22, 2008

Published in: on January 22, 2009 at 8:47 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hey Gina, I can’t argue with most of the nominations, although Bobbi and I need to see “Milk” and “The Wrestler”. Those are the only ones we haven’t seen yet. It is interesting to note that Viola Davis’ nomination is based on one scene, but it is by far the most single powerful scene I have seen in any movie in years.

    Take care and keep on bloggin’.

  2. Two scenes, actually, but YES!! Powerful!! Not only does she hold her own against Meryl, but she OUTSHINES her. My money is on Davis for the trophy.

    Evan Rachel Wood has a similarly powerful scene in “The Wrestler” but Marisa was the better choice. I’m happy with the picks.

    Miss you! XOXO

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