Oscar nomination for Brokeback Mountain
Heath Ledger is considered a favourite to take home the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, USA, 2005).
This Nine News report by Christine Spiteri features short clips from Brokeback Mountain showing snippets of Ledger's heartbreakingly repressed performance as a gay cowboy unable to admit his love for a fellow cowboy, played by Jake Gyllenhaal.
Ledger's understated performance in this clip is a fine example of his desire to take on roles that extended his craft beyond simply being a heartthrob. Though the clip is short, we can see how Ledger effectively uses his voice and posture to transform himself into a character who is internally conflicted.
In order to give a flavour of what Australia's Ledger is up against we see a brief clip from Capote (Bennett Miller, USA, 2005), starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. The clip, however, is too brief to demonstrate why Hoffman went on to win the Academy Award for Best Actor.
A very short excerpt from Crash (Paul Haggis, USA, 2004) is used to illustrate Brokeback Mountain's main competition for Best Picture. Again the clip is far too short to really give us any indication as to the story’s strength and why it won Best Picture.
From the comparative length of the clips, as well as the reporting, it is clear that all of Australia's hopes for a win are pinned on Brokeback Mountain starring Ledger.
Although unsuccessful on this occasion, Ledger went on to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor at the 81st Annual Academy Awards for his performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, USA, 2008).