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VOTE: Can Heath Ledger win at the Oscars for 'The Dark Knight'?

July 23, 2008 | 12:31 pm

OK, so there's Oscars buzz across the media (CLICK HERE and HERE and HERE) insisting that Heath Ledger can win an Academy Award for the Joker's diabolical clash with Batman (Christian Bale) in "The Dark Knight," but is it really true? Now it's time for you to decide.

First off, keep in mind that Heath Ledger faces tough odds considering that only one star has ever won an Oscar from the grave. And Peter Finch ("Network") had a timing advantage. Finch keeled over from a heart attack just two weeks before the Golden Globes while vigorously campaigning to stop Robert DeNiro, who swept the early awards of 1976 for "Taxi Driver." Voters were overwhelmed with shock and grief when they ditched DeNiro for Finch. Next January when the Oscar noms come out, Heath Ledger will have been gone a full year. Will that matter? Is he also cursed because he stars in a popcorn pic like "The Dark Knight"? Read more about "Is Heath Ledger Doomed at the Oscars?" — CLICK HERE!


However, "The Dark Knight" star may have a secret edge: an old Oscars IOU the ghost of Heath Ledger now may redeem for having lost best actor for "Brokeback Mountain." That could be the Joker's real wild card to trump all rivals considering how voters love to catch up with great actors after wrongly snubbing them in the past. CLICK HERE to read more — "Does Heath Ledger have an Oscar IOU for 'The Dark Knight'?"

If the Joker plays that wild card right, he should easily nab a nomination, but in which category: lead or supporting? Just because Christian Bale has the title role, doesn't automatically make Heath Ledger a supporting star. Forest Whitaker (" Last King of Scotland") had a smaller role, as measured in terms of screen time and dialogue, compared to James McAvoy in "Last King of Scotland" and Denzel Washington had less screen prominence than Ethan Hawke in "Training Day," but both managed to win best lead actor for bombastic sinister roles like Ledger's. Read more about the great debate — "What's the best Oscars strategy for Heath Ledger in 'The Dark Knight'?" — CLICK HERE .

Speaking of Oscar Batmania, check out Gold Derby's take on how "The Dark Knight" might do in other races: CLICK HERE. Plus consider how the recent accusations against Christian Bale might hurt his shot at future Oscars: READ MORE

(Warner Bros.)