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Toronto: Heath Ledger's final performance

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This morning I caught a screening of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, otherwise known as The Movie Heath Ledger Was Filming When He Died. I purposely walked into the theater knowing very little about the film and it was certainly as trippy as you’d expect a Terry Gilliam film to be. Without giving anything away, I’d suspect that for most viewers, the movie’s most indelible image will be the first glimpse we get of Ledger, dangling from a noose over the Thames River. It appears as if Ledger shot the real-world portion of the film before he died, leaving Gilliam to cast Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and, in the largest of the three roles, Colin Farrell, as Ledger’s character in fantasy sequences. From his spirited performance, it seems as if Ledger had a ball filming Parnassus; there’s little if any indication of the sleeplessness and turmoil from which he was suffering at the time. It’s certainly not a light-hearted comedy, but it’s a softer farewell than The Dark Knight.