Thursday, January 24, 2008

A.O. Scott's tender and intelligent obituary of Heath Ledger

In today's New York Times. Probably the best thing to read as an antitode to creepy and cruel speculation, but not an antitode to grief. An excerpt:

The dismaying sense of loss and waste at Mr. Ledger’s death at 28 comes not only because he was so young, but also because his talent was large and as yet largely unmapped. It seems inevitable that he will now be inscribed in the cult of the beautiful stars who died too young, alongside James Dean, Montgomery Clift and Marilyn Monroe. Even before his death he had been ensnared in a pathological gossip culture that chews up the private lives of celebrities, and Tuesday’s news unleashed the usual rituals of media cannibalism.

Mr. Ledger’s work will outlast the frenzy. But there should have been more. Instead of being preserved as a young star eclipsed in his prime, he should have had time to outgrow his early promise and become the strange, surprising, era-defining actor he always had the potential to be.