Let's face facts. Heath Ledger's going to the win the oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Not only does he deserve it for his performance, but it will be a tribute to a great actor that we lost far too early.
But the guy's screwing all the other nominees, who have no shot at being recognized for their great performances.
If for some reason any of the other actors win, they'll be viewed as that A-hole who deprived Heath of the posthumous honor. Say Phil Hoffman takes home the Oscar: A-hole. The guy's already got one. Great actor he may be, but no matter what his Heath-praising acceptance speech says, the audience will hear "I'm a dick. I'm a dick. I'm a dick. See you next year when I deprive another dead guy of an award that the world wanted him to win." What an A-hole.
Imagine if Robert Downey Jr. beat out Heath Ledger and then couldn't even be there to accept the award? That would be the ultimate slap in the face, sending a pre-recorded message saying "sorry I couldn't be there, but at least I'm alive to accept my award." Via-satelite A-hole.
What if Josh Brolin won? Oh, I bet he really wants to win. I bet he'd love it. He'd say "I'm honored to even be associated with great actors like Heath" and maybe he'd even shed a tear. Pulling-at-our-heart-strings A-hole.
I don't know who Michael Shannon is. Was he the guy from that depressing movie about people being depressed about how good looking they are? Who-the-eff-are-you A-hole.
Luckily none of this will happen. Heath will win. And he should. Even if he had not died, he deserves the award. His Joker was mind-blowingly good. In an A-hole way.