So I saw Dark Knight yesterday, having browbeaten a critic friend into taking me along as his "plus one". The film had slight structural problems, notably a somewhat anticlimactic ending that after an explosive middle, which made it feel a tad long. But overall, it was pretty damn great.

And what about Heath Ledger? I went in prepared to be cynical, since he's probably going to get an Oscar nomination for his role even if he was awful. And . . . he was good. Really good. Not what I would think of as an Oscar quality performance, if for no other reason than that they don't really award Oscars to summer action movies. But I wouldn't be indignant if he walked away with it.

The only movie I've ever seen him in was "10 Things I Hate About You" (yes, yes, I've never seen Brokeback Mountain). I mostly knew him for being extremely pretty. So I was surprised to see him be so good in an adult movie. And if he gets the Oscar, it would be a kind of justice, because his performance suggested that, but for an unlucky combination of pills and alcohol, he might have won one down the road.

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