We end our week at the Oscars considering the men nominated for their supporting actor roles. Their portrayals personify the complexities of vulnerability linked with the strength of truth.
The sad, sad story of Heath Leger's death from an overdose of prescription drugs overshadowed his posthumous Oscar win for his vivid, searing performance as The Joker in Batman: The Dark Knight. It is ironic that Robert Downey Jr. shared the same Academy Awards category with Heath Leger. Downey spent years in the haze of drugs before he was able to free himself from his dysfunctional lifestyle and face the truth of his addictions. His role in Tropic Thunder, like others in this category, highlights the tension between falsehood and reality.
While you may be in doubt about whether the priest Philip Seymour Hoffman portrayed is sexually drawn to young boys, there is no denying he personifies the multi-faceted layers of denial and truth competing within him.
Michael Stanton, the fragile mental patient on furlough in Revolutionary Road, exposes in raw emotion the bitter truth behind the facades of the 1950's. He finds an outlet for his anger in the young couple hiding from their own honest recognition in the lies they tell each other and themselves.
Josh Brolin, playing Dan White, the assassin of Harvey Milk, represents a chilling final outcome when emotional instability explodes. Depressed over his inability to regain his job, White's later 'Twinkie defense' stands as a false explanation of his behavior.
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