Cora’s review published on Letterboxd:
I'm not a huge fan of comic books, comic book movies, or action flicks. And I love this film with everything I've got.
The script is no art-house product (though not bad either), the action sequences aren't filmed very professionally - not a surprise, given Nolan wasn't even formally trained as a director; he studied English Lit. - though other aspects of direction were pretty well done. I also really appreciated how they seemed to have stayed true to the original idea of the comics - that counts for something. Even for the Joker, they went to the very origin of the original - Conrad Veidt's Gwynplaine, from The Man who Laughs. In the novel by Hugo, the character had had a permanent smile carved in his face, and indeedy that's what we get here.
The cast is almost perfect. Maggie Gyllenhaal is kind of meh as Rachel, but she looks realistic. She looks like an average, hard working woman, though her acting was wooden. Everyone else gets 10/10 - Oldman, Freeman, Caine, Eckhart, Roberts - highly underrated - even Bale who I usually can't stand.
Heath Ledger, though, takes it to 11. He transformed himself for this role so absolutely, I can't even... His speech was completely different, so removed from his own voice, his posture was flawless, the body language, the facial expressions, small twitches that looked truly insane, and of course the lip licking and playing with the scars... It never felt like watching an actor act, it felt like watching the Joker be himself. The fact that he came up with the makeup further impresses me, and makes me so regret that we lost what was a fantastically creative artist. It's worth seeing this movie just for Ledger, especially if you've seen him in other roles and can put his versatility in context.