Did something a bit crazy last night - or to be exact, very early today, which is sort of the point. Anyway, Ben, Shalom and I went to a 12:02 am showing of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight. We didn't get home until about 3:00 am, so I'm a more than a bit sleepy today.
Without giving away any plot points, I'll say two things about TDK. Firstly, it was, by a comfortable margin, the best superhero movie I've ever seen - and there's some reasonably stiff competition for that title. Secondly - and I say this in full disclosure of the fact that in any given year, I have rarely seen more than one or two of the five Academy Award nominated films in any major category. But be that as may, this year's best actor Oscar should unquestionably be given - posthumously - to Heath Ledger. His ecstatically psychotic Joker not only exceeded the worthy rendition of that role given by Jack Nicholson two decades ago, and not only completely stole the show from the movie's marginally less insane title character. It was a compelling, riveting, and I'd even say utterly flawless acting performance. I literally found myself in awe, and see new plausibility to the rumors that Ledger's - officially accidental - drug-overdose death in January was somehow connected with his over-absorption into the twisted psyche of his final cinematic role.
To end on a happier note, besides seeing a great movie, one positive result of last night's cinematic expedition was an uncharacteristic role that I got to play. All us parents know that we wear many hats, some more commonly than others. I'm quite used to being the "service provider" dad, the "fountain of knowledge" dad, the "conflict resolution" dad, and unfortunately all-too-often, the "disciplinarian" dad. But I rarely get to be the "cool" dad, the dad your kids always claim all their friends have. Last night, for once, I was that dad - and it felt good.