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March 12, 2008

Serious contender?


Not the sunniest subject, but an interesting one nonetheless.

Could Heath Ledger be nominated posthumously for an Oscar for his role as The Joker in "The Dark Knight?" Filmmaker Christopher Nolan, who also directed the successful restart of the franchise with "Batman Begins," has raved about Ledger's inhabitation of the demented Joker character, and Ledger himself, in the weeks before his untimely death, reported loving the role despite the emotional toll it took on him.

Gold Derby's Tom O'Neil gives us the history and some insight into such a possibility. And while it's not unprecedented, it's not likely. No matter how iconic and memorable the performance, it rarely sways the Academy voters, who denied Oscars to James Dean twice (for "East of Eden" and "Giant") though he'd been posthumously nominated for both films.

The only actor to ever win posthumously: Peter Finch for "Network."


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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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