I Am Heath Ledger review — Touching memorial to late actor

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Directed by Adrian Buitenhuis and Derik Murray |Written by Hart Snider | 90 min 

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Heath Ledger was one of those Hollywood stars who seemed preordained, effortlessly talented and charismatic. This doc, narrated by the late actor’s friends and family, and, to a degree Ledger himself via home footage and interviews, makes that presumption explicit. He was the Aussie golden boy, full of energy and enthusiasm and  curiosity for everything he did.

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His career as a leading man in movies from The Patriot to A Knight’s Tale to Brokeback Mountain to The Dark Knight is reasonably well-covered here with stories from the likes of Naomi Watts, Ben Mendelsohn, Emile Hirsch, and Ang Lee. But what makes the meat of the picture are tales of his long-lasting friendships, his love for community, and his passions for art and music. Ben Harper and Mia Doi Todd speak of his generosity and how he pursued his creativity as a video director, and how encouraging he was of others.

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If there’s a dark side to his character this film isn’t interested in digging into it. Instead, it’s a loving testament to someone who “burned brighter” than most, and when the film closes with Bon Iver’s gorgeous “Perth,” evidently inspired by stories of Ledger’s youth, it’ll take a harder heart than mine not to be swept away.

About the author

flawintheiris

Carsten Knox is a massive, cheese-eating nerd. In the day he works as a journalist in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At night he stares out at the rain-slick streets, watches movies, and writes about what he's seeing.

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