Yeah, I think everyone is going to grade your review on a bit of a curve, after reading your IMAX experience. Let’s face, it mood alters perception.
I didn’t mention it above, probably because I was tired but I was definitely iffy on the China stuff, and I thought the pacing was off in a few bits of the movie. It felt long a few times. A little more trimming to tighten up a few scenes wouldn’t have been bad.
I’ve gotta point out that the scars thing was to make it apparent that he’s making it up, just to fuck with people. That’s his thing. He tells these stories, and each time the story is designed to get a particular reaction from the person he is telling it to. This is supposed to go together with the lack of Joker backstory to make him a bigger mystery. I actually liked that.
So, let’s get down to it… Ledger: good, great or Oscar? Let me tell you why I think it’s Oscar worthy, even if half a year from now, I’m not rooting for the win: 1) the Joker is not a character you really need to see range from. To make him who he is you need less than 1/5 of an actual personality for a 2.5 hour view of life in their world. That goes for just about anyone unless their character arc requires a transformation (Two Face). So in that narrow space, Ledger managed to give this guy acres of presence, loads of personality all while still seeming fucked up enough to be a scary guy. And he did it without the usual Hollywood villain props; scary voice, special fighting skills or abilities, or mindless guys that are already afraid of him. The thing that makes this Joker great is that he actually builds his position as the “new class of criminal” right here on screen in front of you -believably in 2.5 hours. Good writing or not, to be convincing; to become that person 100% without the viewer thinking about the actor is what makes it great acting. Oldman does it, Eckart does it and Ledger damn sure does it in my opinion. To me, THAT’S what makes this fantastic.