By: Kim Voynar (original publish date: January 22, 2008)
(With the Cine-staff off on a late-July mini-vacation, we thought it'd be fun to bring you some of our favorite pieces from months past. This would probably rank among our LEAST favorite stories of all time, but it certainly was a memorable one.)
Cinematical's staff would like to take a moment to share our thoughts on Heath Ledger, who passed away today after an apparent overdose.
Although Heath Ledger's best known film to date is Brokeback Mountain, my favorite of his films was Candy, in which he starred opposite fellow Australian Abbie Cornish. His performance in Candy, as an artist and heroin addict in a mutually destructive relationship with Cornish's nice middle-class girl, was so riveting and raw, and it's one of those fest films that I've thought about often since I saw it. Like most everyone who's here working Sundance, I was deeply shocked by the news of his tragic death today. He touched us through his films, and we are saddened by the loss of his life, and the films he would have made in the future. His family, especially his young daughter Matilda, will be in our thoughts and prayers.
My original feeling about Heath Ledger -- after films like The Patriot, A Knight's Tale, and 10 Things I Hate About You -- was that he was yet another handsome and likable matinee idol ... but not much more than that. But over the last several years, I was proven wrong ... several times. My favorite performance of his was the lead role in the underrated Casanova -- and I'll be giving that film a second spin as soon as I get home from Sundance. He was a very fine actor who clearly took a lot of pride in his work, and I believe that the movie world has just lost a good soul. My heart goes out to his friends, his family, his fans, and also to the departed Heath Ledger; (If his death is ruled a suicide) I'm deeply sorry that he was so unhappy. (Regardless of the reason for the actor's death, it's a stunning tragedy.)