An intimate and moving documentary on the late actor, I Am Heath Ledger draws the viewer in by using footage shot by Heath Ledger himself and then adds emotional commentary by his friends (Including Ben Mendelsohn, Naomi Watts, Djimon Hounsou and Ang Lee) and family. There’s a tremendous amount of heart on display here, but the 2017 film’s main short-coming is that it doesn’t delve deep enough into the actor’s (oft mentioned) darkness and demons which ultimately led to his death in 2008 at the age of 28.
Sanctioned by Ledger’s estate, I Am Heath Ledger makes the actor seem like a great guy who loved life. His thrill at achieving cinematic success and his struggle with stardom feels honest – but nobody has anything bad to say about him. We all look at people fondly when they die, but there’s nothing negative said about Ledger at all – nothing about his relationship break-up with Michelle Williams, the mother of his daughter. Having said that, directors Adrian Buitenhuis and Derik Murray mange to fill the film with enough human stories and heart-felt comments to make you over-look these flaws. However, deep down you know you’re not getting a full look at his true character.
There might be another film that delves deeper into Heath Ledger’s life and into the darker recesses of his psyche, but until then I Am Heath Ledger is as good as you could can get. Fans will be taken by the intimate look at his home movies, while others will be fascinated by an actor who never quite managed to achieve the greatness he fully deserved during his own lifetime.