The Patriot Resource - The Patriot


The Patriot Film Cast: Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger
Character Portrayed in The Patriot: Gabriel Martin

Born: April 4, 1979; Perth, Western Australia
died: January 22, 2008; Manhattan, New York

Notable Awards and Nominations:
Academy Awards:
- 2006 Best Lead Actor Nomination for Brokeback Mountain
- 2009 Best Supporting Actor Award for The Dark Knight
Australian Film Institute:
- 1999 Best Lead Actor Nomination for Two Hands
- 2003 Best Lead Actor Nomination for Ned Kelly
- 2006 Best Lead Actor Nomination for Candy
- 2006 Best Actor Award for Brokeback Mountain
- 2009 Best Actor Award for The Dark Knight
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards (BAFTA):
- 2006 Best Lead Actor Nomination for Brokeback Mountain
- 2009 Best Supporting Actor Award for The Dark Knight
Golden Globes:
- 2006 Best Actor in a Drama Nomination for Brokeback Mountain
- 2009 Best Supporting Actor Award for The Dark Knight


In The Patriot
Heath Ledger acquits himself well as Mel Gibson's onscreen son. Critical comparisons between the young Aussie and Gibson's own film beginnings were inevitable and Ledger lives up to them. His Gabriel Martin moves from teenager to idealistic young man who is THE PATRIOT of the film's title. His early awkward flirtatious scenes with Lisa Brenner's Anne Howard are believably stilted as the start of a courtship often can be.

The film then moves to several years later and Gabriel is now a young man tempered by war. Ledger shows much of the same combination of charm and grit that Mel Gibson has long been known for. The chemistry between the onscreen father and son is natural and great to watch. Gabriel begins the film as brash enough to stand up to his father, but later he grows to understand his father's motivations as his own experiences grow.

Gabriel is THE Patriot for whom the movie is named and Heath Ledger easily succeeds in convincing the audience of this. Ledger infuses Gabriel with the belief in the "cause", a depth of maturity and confidence that stands out even through the aura of Mel Gibson's own magnetic screen presence. With this role, Heath Ledger positioned himself to break out in Hollywood much like Gibson himself had been in the early 1980's. Unlike Gibson, Ledger chose to take a variety of roles which included critical acclaim for turns in Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight.





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