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  • Greetings again from the darkness. Lao Tzu wrote "The flame that burns twice as bright, burns half as long". Though the math might be a bit off, that phrase aptly describes the too-brief life and career of shooting star Heath Ledger. As a 20 year old from Australia, his talent seemed to leap from the screen in 1999's 10 Things I Hate About You. As his popularity soared, so did his commitment to avoid being typecast as the charming and handsome love interest by the desperate directors of every upcoming rom-com project.

    It seems inconceivable (that word means what you think it means) that Mr. Ledger only made 15 more movies before an overdose killed him in 2008 (at age 28). Adrian Buiterhuis and Derik Murray co-direct this portrait of the man, the artist, the friend, the father. We see the young Heath, nearly always with camera in hand, flouncing about with his buddies as he seeks his next adventure. The home videos and photos fill the screen with luminosity that we recognize from his movies … the camera loved his face, and he seemed to love everything about filmmaking.

    Interviews, often the bane of biographical documentaries, provide a real sense of the admiration and love that Ledger attracted. His father, mother, sister, childhood Aussie friends, agent Steve Alexander, former lover Naomi Watts, and close friend Ben Harper pay tribute not just to the star who burned out too soon, but also the warm-hearted man they all connected with.

    The film walks us through some of his key movies: his chance to work with his acting idol Mel Gibson in The Patriot, A Knight's Tale, his devastating performance in Monster's Ball, The Four Feathers, Ned Kelly, reminiscing with Catherine Hardwicke on Lords of Dogstown, his stunning turn in Brokeback Mountain, and his final movie The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus with his beloved director Terry Gilliam. Of course, there is also a full segment on his most famous (and his own personal favorite) role as The Joker (a guy with a plan) in The Dark Knight. The role not only won Ledger a posthumous Oscar, it became the most talked about film performance in years.

    Even more interesting than the recollections from the various movie sets are the bits and pieces we get of Ledger as guy sharing the journey with his buddies, approaching master status as a chess player, as an artist dedicated to his craft, or as a photographer honing his style (in music videos) in what surely would have been an intriguing path as a director. Director Ang Lee brings us closer to understanding what we have missed out on in regards to Ledger as an artist, and with actress Michelle Williams, the mother of his daughter Matilda, choosing not to participate in the film, we still have the distance between fan and man that allows for due respect.
  • nyzeenews6 May 2017
    I Am Heath Ledger is a great movie. It is just great. The movie has Heath Ledger's family members and friends tell their experience with Heath and his life. The film is heartwarming and sad at the same time. It goes from Heath's family talking about his experience making films such as The Patriot, Brokeback Mountain, and The Dark Knight, and his joy making them, to the sadness throughout the time of his death within their family and around the world. It is a great film. It made me cry. If you are a fan of Heath Ledger and his work, definitely check this one out. 10/10.
  • I was basically introduced to Heath Ledger via his Joker performance in "The Dark Knight", a movie that completely blew me away in large part because of that incredible acting. I was shocked and saddened just like everyone else when Heath unexpectedly passed away shortly afterwards, and was not on hand to receive his Best Supporting Actor Oscar, provide further quality work, or be a father to his child. I really didn't know much of Heath's background before his "Dark Knight" years, so "I Am Heath Ledger" was a very informative (and of course emotional) documentary for me.

    Basically, this documentary chronologically covers the years of Heath's short life, both in terms of his acting roles and family life. His love of adventure and creativeness are heavily referenced, as they made up such a large portion of his life and made him such an engaging figure. Heath's mother, father, and sisters talk about Heath from a family perspective, while noted creative luminaries & friends (Naomi Watts, Ben Mendelsohn, Dijmon Hounsou, Emile Hirsch, Ange Lee, Catherine Hardwick, & Ben Harper, to name a few) give their unique perspectives as well.

    Despite the fact that Heath's life ended in tragedy, "I Am Heath Ledger" does not revel in it or take a somber tone (until perhaps the final few minutes). Mostly, this is a positive view of Heath's life, not unlike a wake of sorts where fond memories of the departed are shared in order to heal and try to move forward. I appreciated his approach, as it allowed me as a viewer to get a much clearer picture of who Heath Ledger was pre-Batman.

    The only reason I won't give this doc the full 10-star treatment is because, in all honesty, I wish it would have discussed the circumstances of Heath's death more directly. All we get here is a brief "he had his demons" line of dialogue. I realize that directors Adrian Buitenhuis & Derik Murray wanted to keep the tone positive (and it is clear they are always striving to do that), but I wonder if more could be learned from Heath's unfortunate demise by examining it frankly. Sure, no one wants the "Ledger was a druggie" myth to perpetuate (untrue as it may or may not be), but from my knowledge Heath died because of prescription medication abuse. Sad as it was, I would rather examine the issue for what it is instead of clouding it in mystery. Perhaps a lesson can be learned for future adventurers like Heath in order to better control their specific set of problems.

    Overall, though, "I Am Heath Ledger" is an excellent documentary that gives a very well-rounded picture of Heath's acting, relationships, and life in general. Fans of him specifically or just actor stories in general will be satisfied (as well as emotionally touched) by the final product here.
  • The film is good and it satisfies it's title as it center is ledger.And is very well hats off!!!.secondly fulfills the meaning of a documentary.Good sequences and the movie goes like a smooth ride and eventually gets to its peak and had a good ending leaving fans surprised.
  • donal-rob25 May 2017
    I believe with this piece of work, we finally have taken off heaths mask that he portrayed himself as the Joker. We now see a side to heath that the world had to see. I believe it leaves the light on who he was as a artist and just how he was able to tackle and perfect not only the joker in dark knight, but also how he was a father, a friend loved by many and a creative individual who shocked the 21st century with what method acting was really about. The devastating and sudden death that rocked the world just around ten years ago had a huge impact on many. I found this project as an interesting and insightful one. Right from the beginning there is close personal creative genius from this guy. If you think Heath ledger-the actor? Incorrect. The love of film and photography is evident throughout, along with home videos of heath turning the camera on himself and friends. Footage of Heath acting along the best actors in the business, we see the humanity in Heath and just how he was human, he did suffer from the constant overwhelming fame, and in my opinion enjoyed his work rather than his benefits from it. Creating film was heaths love. Also we see a insight into how heath found his wife and love in his tender years that he did live. I believe this documentary went to a place that needed to be searched when we think about the guy that was Heath Ledger. Heath was a guy who lived life to the fullest and never really took a break because of his love for film. Alongside Dean, Brando and Day-Lewis, Heath Ledger was an iconic method actor, that held qualities of a rare breed and should be a image for young actors today. The ethos of this entire documentary holds this idea I believe.
  • I'm one who does not have the best knowledge of Heath Ledger. I know some of his movies and think he was very good at both Brookeback Mountain and The Dark Knight. I have not seen all the movies he played in. This documentary gives real insight into his life, motivation, his wonderful attitude to life, his love for friends and pride for the family. Unlike other documentaries I've seen about celebrities, this is much closer and personal. It is full of feedback and reflections from his good friends, family and business partners. This makes the film credible and strong. We also see many private recordings that Heath did, either by himself or by others. We also get insight into his deep interests for other forms of art such as music and art. Overall, a deep dive in the life of an exciting, talented and inspiring man who died too soon.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "I am Heath Ledger", the story of the astonishing actor who was and always will be the greatest inspiration for all who dreams. A great documentary\biography as the film is in a way that it take us near to his thoughts, his ways and himself. The movie mostly is on footages he had filmed as it is said that he always had a camera with him. Well its the best movie that can be shown to all the one who dreams to become.................. .
  • I am a huge fan of Heath. I actually discovered him when he was already dead. He struck me and enchanted me, and I suffered a Heath's fever that lasted more than a year. I bought all his (16) films, and saw all his TV series. I also spent more than 3 months writing an article about him. Today, my obsession is gone, but the admiration will always be there. So, I was eagerly waiting for that new documentary about him. I watched it with my husband (who fell asleep) on our cinema projector, and, although the documentary is beautiful and touching, I must say I was a bit disappointed. I wanted more of Heath the actor. I think that the documentary tends to forget why do we all love Heath. We love him because of his movies. We love him because of his art. Also, the image we get from Heath is not multidimensional. Heath was human, and, as amazing as he was, I am sure he also had many flows, like all of us, but nobody dares to mention any of them.

    I.A.H.L. has a very personal touch. Heath's friends, ex-girlfriends, parents, and sisters talk about him with love and admiration, but, in my opinion, other angles are missing. I missed more directors & actors taking about Heath's art. I would have loved to see and hear Jake Gyllenhaall, Nolan, Bale, Rose Byrne, Bryan Brown, Gregor Jordan, Stiles, Gordon-Levitt, Haynes, Cornish, Rush, Gilliam, and Damon taking about Heath. Also, many of Heath's films are simply missing: Two Hands, The Sin Eater, The Brothers Grimm, Casanova, and Candy are just not there. Why? It's not that Heath made 100 films and you can easily omit 5 of them. He only made 16 films, some better than others, OK, but I definitely think that they all should have been there.

    Also, I.A.H.L. does not even mention the roles Heath took in some TV series, and his uncredited appearances in some movies. Before his first big role for the big screen (Two Hands), Heath appeared in 1992 (at the age of 13) in the movie Clowning Around as an orphan clown (uncredited) and in 1993–1994 in 3 episodes of the TV series Ship to Shore as a cyclist and as an actor. In 1996 he appeared in 26 episodes of the TV series Sweat as Snowy Bowles, a gay cyclist (yes, gay!), and, in 1997, in 11 episodes of the TV series Home and Away as Scott Irwin, and small roles in Blackrock (as Toby) and in Paws (as Oberon). The documentary only mentions Roar (an American production –13 episode TV series– shot in Australia) where Heath stars as Conor (which is a quite bad series, despite Heath's smile).

    And, what about Heath's death? That is mentioned only by passing. Well, we don't have to get stuck on his death, we don't have to see again those horrible photos of Heath's body covered by a black sheet carried by policemen out of his apartment that the media loved to show time and again the days after he died... but to talk a bit about his death, to through some light about his sudden end, would not have hurt, don't you agree? The only thing we can feel in the documentary is the fact that Heath was not depressed the days prior to his death, that he was full of projects and wishes, but that already was said by Terry Gilliam and others years ago.

    Heath died at the age of 28 due to an accidental overdose of prescription pills –a combination of 6 different painkillers, sleeping pills and anti- anxiety pills. A real lethal cocktail indeed. Today he would be 38 years old. Although his life wasn't easy by the time of his death, Heath had a strong love for life and was full of projects. Heath suffered from insomnia. In addition, he had a strong backache and a chest infection the days prior to his death that didn't allow him to sleep. Heath had several types of pills prescribed by doctors from different countries. Although no pill taken on its own was extremely dangerous, the combination of all together proved to be lethal. He took 6 pills (which is a lot), but he didn't take 30, which is common in suicides. Heath died probably without suffering. He just stopped breathing. His death was purely accidental.

    A missing figure in the documentary is the mother of Heath's daughter. That did not surprised me, because I never found Ms. Williams generous to share anything about Heath with Heath's fans (but, still, she didn't have anything nice to say about him? Weird). Not that she was more special than all the others girlfriends of Heath, but she is the mother of his daughter. Heath had many girlfriends and none lasted more than 2 years. To fall in love is not difficult. What it is difficult is to keep the love, year after year, and that was something that Heath didn't know to do or didn't want to do, because he kept having short relationships one after the other. There are two ex- girlfriends of Heath who are generous enough to talk in the documentary about Heath, which are Cauchi and Watts.

    A nice thing about I.A.H.L. is that the documentary finally puts emphasis in the creative side of Heath as a photographer, video camera man, and director of video clips. Heath also created a music label called Masses Music Co. (known as The Masses) and directed several music videos.

    The worst: the lack of directors and actors taking about Heath, the one-dimensional view, the missing movies and TV series, and the fact that the DVD does not have English subtitles (so deaf people are punished without being able to enjoy it). The best: the unseen footage, and the human and personal touch.
  • videorama-759-85939112 September 2017
    In the sea of young upcoming actors, Heath Ledger was unique. Like Patrick Swayze, I remember where I was when I heard about his passing. It was a bombshell, let me tell ya. I honestly thought my ears were that January summer day, on the way to the beach. This excellent top form documentary recounts his life, and his real self, away from the camera, catching those truest of moments. We are introduced to a variety of other close friends, U.S. and of course more Australian, all mostly actors, where we learn't this multi talented artist dabbled in other things, including song writing, directing and etc. We of course hear a little bit of his method acting approaches as well as snippets, from an impressive C.V of films in a less than ten year span, his joker, his greatest and unbelievably brilliant feat. If still alive, I know we would of seen much great acting work and accolades, awards, what have you,from him. It would of been good to see younger work from this actor, like his five day Home And Away stint, but I think more actors who have risen high about that, don't want to visit original territory, and put their H a A days way behind em'. Ledger himself, said, "you won't learn much about acting, spending 5 days on Home And Away". I solely agree, for here is an actor, a role model, for accepting challenges, and going all out to achieve your dream. The greatest inspiration to budding actors, this guy is, who like James Dean, lived fast and died young, a waste of what was so much more to come. Absorbing, and involving viewing from start to finish. For H L fans, a must see, and a trifle bit, memorably sad, in it's final minutes, as in the actor's short lived life himself.
  • Friends and family of Heath Ledger look back over his life and talk about their interactions with him. It's a glossy memorial retrospective full of light hearted stories about Heath that focus on the positives in his life. I can't help but notice that Michelle Williams was not interviewed, possibly by her choice. The ending they encapsulate by referencing that he took drugs only because he had trouble sleeping... I don't know that I fully buy that. You dance with the devil, you run the risk of getting burned. No doubt his flame was extinguished far too soon.
  • A documentary to see absolutely for the lovers of this great actor who left us too early and who still had so much to say and so much to give in the cinema and beyond. A story of his life, mainly artistic, which immediately makes it clear that its purpose is not to focus on feelings and make everything extremely dramatic so as to push the tears of the viewer; but instead it wants to introduce him and let us know him not only as an actor but as a 360 degree artist, because he was also a videomaker, a photographer, a musician, a creator, a designer but above all a person who has been able to use all the opportunities that life has given him, the same life that he loved so much and that he has practically worn out constantly looking for new challenges, adventures and different ways of living and seeing life. In short, a person regrets but also to be admired with respect and pride. The documentary makes us part of his brief but at the same time extremely intense, and pushes us to want to be like him and want to do even half of the things he did because he really knew how to live well, despite the demons that accompanied him in his path. Of course it is not the most articulated or original that can be seen, moreover, more interviews would have been useful but above all more interviewed, above all characters from the entertainment world; but it is still full of heart, a true hymn to life, in this case his one.
  • 'I AM HEATH LEDGER': Three Stars (Out of Five)

    A documentary remembering the life, and career, of actor Heath Ledger; through interviews with his family and friends. It was directed by Adrian Buitenhuis and Derik Murray, while Hart Snider wrote the screenplay. Interviews include Naomi Watts, Ang Lee, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Emile Hirsch, Catherine Hardwicke, Ben Harper and many others. Considering the subject matter, I was hoping for a lot more. Still the movie isn't a complete waste of time.

    The film chronicles the acting career of Heath Ledger, and his life during that time, through interviews with his friends and family. Most of his friends interviewed are other people in the film (or music) industry, that he worked with. There's also video that Heath filmed of himself, with his own personal camera. The movie centers on his life from the time he first got into the movie business, until his death.

    The stories that Heath's friends and family tell about him are interesting, and you can definitely tell he was greatly loved, but I don't think this movie really gives you a strong idea of what Heath was really like. It's all told from other people's perspectives, and the video he filmed of himself is not very insightful at all. I wish there was more video of Heath doing some of the things described by his friends, that actually gives the viewer more of an idea of who he actually was. I also wish some more intimate people in his life (like Michelle Williams, their daughter, or Jake Gyllenhaal) would have participated in this documentary as well. The film is at least never boring though.

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  • Those are the main 3 feelings I experienced when watching it. And at the end I asked myself "How did he do it?". When you hear about a biography or a documentary, the trick that helps you to decide if it's worth watching is answering the question "Does the subject feels interesting?". If you have no idea who is the subject of this movie then just spend an hour and half watching it, if you have then you choose. Most times a movie can't capture a person fully, films have limits, but in this case it captures enough of his energy to mesmerize. "I am Heath Ledger" is worth the time.
  • This movie was so amazing it showed everything great about heath ledger and who he truly was and it went above and beyond a few things in this movie i actually didn't know about heath and heath is one of my favorite actors of all time and it surprised me how much i didn't know but this movie definitely is worth the watch it shows his amazing acting in the dark knight my second favorite movie of all time and a bunch of others he has played in and where he started this movie shows heaths life and its amazing i love this documentary movie so much I'm absolutely going to buy this on blu-ray for everyone to know how much i love this movie and its well worth the blu-ray or the DVD to buy i absolutely recommend buying it and watching it but i just want to say this movie is outstanding and my favorite documentary movie of all time and i want to say that heath ledger will always be one of the most amazing actors in this whole world. Thank you heath ledger for everything.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'm not too familiar with Heath's movies, the only one I've seen with him in it was "The Dark Knight", but I've always been curious about other things he did in his very short life. This documentary is great, it shows the life of someone very full of energy and passion from the people who knew him best. It's sad how someone with that much heart, and soul, and creativity had to go out so early, but he left a great legacy behind. I'm also glad it showed other movies Heath had been a part of, instead of just his last one. It's inspiring at one end, but sad on the other. It does what it was made for, invoke emotion and celebrate someone who filled so many people with happiness.

    R.I.P. Heath Ledger
  • 8/25/17. Sadly, this biopic came out much too late. While it was a wonderful documentary highlighting his talent and creativity, and giving voice to those who loved him, any astute viewer would be able to see a troubled soul. That very last shot as the film ends is so telling that he was dealing with demons. It will actually haunt you with "what- if" and "what could have been." But then, who could have guessed that his life would end so soon? In the end, this biopic, aside from his movies, will be all we have to remember Heath. What a sad loss, indeed! Worth catching.