Mail from our readers
It was heartbreaking to see Heath Ledger’s name added to the list of stars who have left us too soon.
After hearing all the speculation and sensationalized gossip regarding the tragic, untimely death of Heath Ledger, I was relieved to read such a tender tribute to a gifted young actor (”Fallen Star”). Thanks, EW, for taking the high road and celebrating a young man who was a father, son, brother, friend, and idol.
Del Norte, Colo.
In 1999, my husband and I went to Sydney and, while there, took in the Heath Ledger movie Two Hands. It was a quirky, fast, and furious film that left us completely amused — and instantly smitten with Ledger. I was in NYC when the news broke of his death. I was stunned like everyone else and felt a deep connection to Ledger that stemmed from my memory of watching Two Hands.
Long Beach, Calif.
I wasn’t just a Heath Ledger fan. As an aspiring actor, I was invested in his career. When I saw 10 Things I Hate About You, I said, ”He’s one to watch.” And I did. I reveled in his Brokeback Mountain performance. I bragged about ”my boy” stepping into the Joker’s iconic shoes. It’s strange to feel so tied to someone you’ve never met — my thoughts are with those who truly knew him.
Prince of the Cinema
Thank you for your luminous look back at an icon of American film, Sidney Lumet (”Golden Opportunities”). Though he has never won a competitive Academy Award, he guided three actors to Oscar gold in Network. Now, that’s directing! As evidenced by his latest film, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, the 83-year-old hasn’t lost his touch.
I was thrilled to hear that Tommy Lee Jones received an Oscar nomination for In the Valley of Elah (”Blood, Sweat, and Cheers”). I think it’s the performance of his career, and it’s about time that the compelling but little-seen Elah got some acknowledgment.
Statuette of Limitations
I found Mark Harris’ column, about the ”grumpy old men” who judge potential nominees for Best Foreign Language Film, very insightful (The Final Cut). What a travesty it would’ve been if Pan’s Labyrinth and The Lives of Others had been ineligible for Oscar nods in 2007. The Academy is starting to seem like the electoral college: The need for change is talked about, but not enough is done.