The DC superhero origin movie “Joker” has been earning raves at film festivals left and right. Starring Joaquin Phoenix as the legendary Batman villain, the dark and daring film is already earning a lot of Oscar buzz.
“Joker” follows Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a failed stand-up comedian who becomes driven to be the Clown Prince of Crime. Currently running at the Venice Film Festival before it hits theaters across the U.S. and the world this October, the critics can’t quite stop commending the film and its lead actor. In fact, “Joker” received an eight-minute long standing ovation after screening at the said tilt.
“Joker” is DC’s standalone, original film c0-written and directed by Todd Philips. Its connection to the source material, the Batman comic books, is remotely present but the movie hugely ambitious and has been compared to a Scorsese classic.
Phoenix said that he lost 52 pounds to play the Joker and said in jest that the weight loss has affected his psyche. He also spent months vocalizing the Joker laugh.
“I think for Joker it’s a part of him that wants to emerge. I think we all kind of assume what a Joker laugh is and it felt like a new, fresh way of looking at it… It was really uncomfortable. It took me a long time,” the actor told The Hollywood Reporter.
The hard work to portray the character effectively has paid off given the reviews.
IGN said that Phoenix deserves an Oscar for his “riveting, fully realized [and] fully committed” portrayal of the Batman villain. The London Evening Standard concurs that the actor could win his first Oscar after having been nominated for films like Gladiator, Walk the Line and The Master.
IndieWire’s review, on the other hand, cited that this the movie that even the Joker villain would want as his origin story. First Showing’s review pondered whether the world is ready for this film but it’s been unstoppable at the festival round.
“Joker is a bold, bodacious love letter to Scorsese’s The King of Comedy, told through the lens of DC’s most iconic villain. Dark, disturbing, brutal and sad, it’s about an abused man who doesn’t start living until he’s dead inside. Joaquin Phoenix is so damn good,” the Fandango review stated.