It just picked up the top prize at the Venice Film Festival, where it got an eight-minute (!) standing ovation. The five-star reviews have been rolling in, and the accolades are wild: “a gloriously daring and explosive film” says the Guardian, “Bold, devastating and utterly beautiful” according to Empire, and here’s what Forbes had to say about it: “If you thought The Dark Knight and Logan pushed the boundaries of adult storytelling and Oscar quality for these types of films, Joker is about to up the ante.” Sold.
Spot the film referenceFilm buffs have been in their element at early screenings, likening Joker’s Gotham to Scorsese’s grimy New York of the ‘80s. Not only is Arthur Fleck eerily similar to Robert De Niro’s Taxi Driver, actual Robert De Niro makes an appearance.
But did you know that the original comic book character was actually inspired by a film? 1928 silent film The Man Who Laughs, an adaptation of a Victor Hugo novel, is a story about a man disfigured with a permanent grin. Director Tod Phillips says the classic was a big influence for the new film.
Joaquin Phoenix is gunning for that OscarIt is a truth universally acknowledged that if an actor loses loads of weight for a role, people will assume he’s going for an Oscar; Joaquin Phoenix actually lost 52 pounds for this. But aside from the astonishing physical transformation, we can’t wait to see how Phoenix brings the unhinged loner Arthur Fleck to life on his journey to clown-dom. Variety reckons his performance is “astonishing,” while the Independent says he manages to be “both sympathetic and very creepy.” All this praise is even more impressive when you think about how incredibly high Heath Ledger set the bar for Joker depictions.
It all sounds scarily familiar...It might be a superhero film of sorts but the themes in Joker will be familiar to anyone who’s recently watched the news - political extremism, the 1% versus the 99% (guess which one billionaire Bruce Wayne is), domestic terrorism. The gritty, grounded vibe feels like it’ll make the whole thing even more eerie.
It’s dark. Like, really dark.The cinematography looks stunningly bleak, but Joker’s set to be dark in more than just colour palette. Super twisted and explosive, we’re not sure we’ll have seen anything like it before. Which makes us feel a bit this emoji: 😬
Basically: reviews have been amazing and we are excitedDid we mention the reviews yet?
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