It’s Crazy Out There

Joker

Director: Todd Phillips

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert de Niro, Zazie Beetz Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Shea Whigham, Glenn Fleishler, Leigh Gill

The Hangover director Todd Phillips plays a sick and twisted joke on audience members that expect Joker to be a conventional superhero origin story.

Joker won the Best Film at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival and is absolutely brilliant, diabolically clever and deeply disturbing thanks to an unbelievable onscreen performance by Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a struggling clown and stand-up comedian in a garbage ridden Gotham who transforms with nefarious elegance into Joker, the arch enemy of Bruce Wayne aka Batman.

Joaquin Phoenix has delivered some stunning film performances first in Gus Van Sant’s To Die For and then for his Oscar nominated roles as the vicious Emperor Commodus in Ridley Scott’s Roman epic Gladiator (2000) followed by his performance as musician Johnny Cash in James Mangold’s Walk the Line (2005) and more recently as Freddie Quell in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master (2012).

Phoenix’s performance in Joker is utterly phenomenal as he physically transforms into Arthur Fleck, whose sinewy body holds a promise of vicious intent as he discovers that his mother Penny who he has to wash and bathe was discarded by the wealthy Thomas Wayne played by Brett Cullen (The Dark Knight Rises).

Arthur is told by an unsympathetic counselor that Gotham is cutting social services which includes his medication while in the mean streets his clown gigs are becoming increasingly hostile. He is attacked by juvenile delinquents for holding up a sign saying Everything Must Go.

Arthur’s desire to be a stand-up comedian is ridiculed on live Television by professional Talk Show host Murray Franklin superbly played by Oscar winner Robert de Niro (Raging Bull, The Godfather Part II).

Amidst the gritty streets of Gotham, Arthur Fleck’s sanity slowly unravels, the ties that bind him to conventional behaviour prove useless as he comes off his meds and psychopathically starts killing entitled bullies on subway trains. An incessant smoker, Arthur watches the deterioration of his mother Penny played by Frances Conroy (The Tale, Shopgirl, Broken Flowers). After being invited onto Murray Franklin’s sarcastic talk show, Arthur paints on the clown make up and delivers a masterful narcissistic monologue, whereby the Joker is born. The results are riveting.

Arthur Fleck violently disregards the advice of his fellow clowns Randall played by Glenn Fleischer (Suburbicon) and Gary played by Leigh Gill (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) in a particularly disturbing scene which is both funny and scary. 

Joaquin Phoenix delivers an Oscar worthy performance as Arthur Fleck who transforms into Joker, a psychotic violent lunatic that thrives on chaos and disenchantment in a crowded Gotham overrun by ruthless men and an uncaring upper class. Not since Heath Ledger’s Oscar winning performance as The Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, has there been an equally spine-chilling performance of this perennial and chaotic comic book villain.

Joker gets a film rating of 9 out of 10 is essential viewing, a dark mirror for a 21st century society which accurately reflects just how crazy it is out there. The politics of fear reign supreme.

Comments are closed.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
October 2019
M T W T F S S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  
  • Tom Holland Will Return for Another ‘Spider-Man’ Trilogy After ‘No Way Home,’ Says Producer Amy Pascal
    It appears that “Spider-Man: No Way Home” will not be Tom Holland’s last outing as Marvel’s neighborhood web-slinger. According to longtime “Spider-Man” producer Amy Pascal, Holland is expected to return as Spider-Man for at least three more movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “This is not the last movie that we are going to make […]
    Rebecca Rubin
  • Nokia Origin Story Chronicled in Series ‘Mobile 101’: Inside the Making of a Finnish Tech Thriller (EXCLUSIVE)
    Almost anyone over 30 has owned a Nokia phone at some point in their lives, but not many people know that the iconic brand was created at a Finnish company formerly specializing in rubber boots. Once the world’s biggest mobile manufacturer at the turn of the 21st century, the company was nearly wiped out of […]
    msravindran
  • Why ‘Encanto’ and ‘House of Gucci’ Box Office Debuts Are Cause for Celebration… and Concern
    For the first time in a long while, audiences were enticed to leave the couch for new movies that didn’t involve superheroes or speedy cars. Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Disney’s animated musical fable “Encanto” collected a leading $40.3 million between Wednesday and Sunday and MGM’s star-studded crime drama “House of Gucci” brought in $20 […]
    Rebecca Rubin
  • The Best Cyber Monday TV Deals You Don’t Want to Miss
    All products and services featured by Variety are independently selected by Variety editors. However, Variety may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes. If you only buy your TV on Cyber Monday then you’re doing it right. The mega-deals holiday is […]
    atingley4
  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Steps Down, CTO Parag Agrawal Takes Reins
    Jack Dorsey resigned as CEO of Twitter, saying the social network “is ready to move on from its founders,” the company announced Monday. Dorsey, 45, also serves as CEO of payment company Square — and some investors, including hedge fund Elliott Management, had wanted Dorsey to exit as chief executive of Twitter so the social […]
    Todd Spangler
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90