Friday, April 07, 2006

Good Vs. Evil: Heath Ledger Directorial Edition

It's the last Heath Ledger post of the day. You can all breathe sighs of relief. Pretend your Naomi Watts and Heath is finally out o' yo hair. After this post that is...


Ang Lee and Mel Gibson are arguably the two moviemakers most responsible for the career of Heath Ledger. Aside from the fact that they're both double Oscar-winning directors who were born in the 1950s, could these men be any more different? Ang Lee is an enormously talented director of restrained style and superb taste. His films are quiet, nuanced, and moving. In them he looks on other types, races, and cultures with a compassionate eye and profound humanism. Mr. Gibson is an enormously well-rewarded director of showoff style and bizarre taste. His films are loud, obvious, and violent. In them he looks on other types, races, and cultures with a suspicous eye and harsh judgment.

Mel, part-time Aussie, snatched up Heath Ledger when he was just a hot young Australian actor to play his son in The Patriot (directed by Roland Emmerich) which led to multi-million dollar paychecks and billboard & magazine cover fame. Ang then rescued him from a dwindling career and guided the performance of a lifetime in Brokeback Mountain. We owe both Mel and Ang for lifting the career of this very promising actor into our sight line.

Thank you Mel. Now please go sell crazy somewhere else!
Thank you Ang. You can stay. Make lots more movies, please.

tags: Heath Ledger, Mel Gibson, Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain,celebrities, Australia

14 comments:

Nick Davis said...

When it comes to Heath, either you're eehn, or you're ouht.

I'm sorry, Mel. That means you're ouht.

(Can't forget to give due props to Naomi Watts, though, who by most accounts encouraged Heath to take the role when he was hedging about it.)

Russ said...

Aw, Ang looks so...angelic. And pure. :-D

JavierAG said...

Mel Gibson only made one movie in my world (Braveheart). The Passion of the Christ was Caleb Deschanel's film. People will realize that eventually...

Anonymous said...

uhh...didn't Ang Lee only win one Oscar? IMDb says so.

NATHANIEL R said...

he won two. for some reason IMDB never lists the foreign film under the director but from my understanding it goes to the director (unlike best picture which goes to the producer)

someone correct me if i'm wrong.

par3182 said...

didn't roland emmerich (speaking of hack directors) direct 'the patriot'?

JavierAG said...

Oh The Patriot was also Deschanel's film. hehehe.

Ang Lee won one Oscar. The Oscar for "Crouching Tiger" symbolically goes to Taiwan as a film nation, though of course, it stays with Ang Lee (because you just can't toss it somewhere in Taiwan I think. Someone may get hurt).

JavierAG said...

Oh and then there's their blatant disregard for the auteur theory. Best Picture should always go to the director, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, from my understanding, Foreign Language Oscars technically belong to their country of origin, but the director gets to keep the actual statuette by default. Then again, they always are used in promotion to say Academy Award-winning director, so I'm not positive...

- Adam

Kamikaze Camel said...

It doesn't make much sense that the producers don't get the Foreign Film statue. Maybe it's because in other countries films need to get SO much funding from other places that there ends up being about 20 producers. But it's nice to be able to say Ang is a 2 time Academy Award winner. Same for Pedro Almodovar!

Heath's awesome.

Gerry said...

The foreign-language film Oscar does indeed technically go to the country, though the director accepts it because he (or she) is the individual who most likely deserves the statuette more than anyone else. It's not like the other categories where the "director has his or her own category", leaving the producers to accept BP.

The voiceover guy on Oscar night said something to the effect of:
"this is the first Academy Award for Ang Lee on his third nomination. In 2000, he accepted the foreign-language film award on behalf of Taiwan".

So similarly, Almodovar personally has only "won" one Oscar even though he "has" two statuettes.

I think Mel has a great sense of humour about his craziness, which is at least a step up from Tom Cruise.
I just don't think he's a talented filmmaker (did we need THAT many close-up shots in PotC) and is merely "dependable" in movie star roles.

adam k. said...

Whoa, when you typed PotC, I thought you meant Pirates of the Caribbean, which was weird.

I think it's totally appropriate that the producers get the Best Pic award, since that one is clearly all about money and marketing anyway. Oscar knows who really earns those awards.

Kamikaze Camel said...

But even that is screwed up when they only allow two producers when there are obvious cases on three or four producers working extensively on a movie (see Crash last year).

adam k. said...

Well, my comment was really a veiled dig at the Crash win again, but you know.