With a little over a month to go until Joaquin Phoenix’s adaptation of Joker hits cinemas, expectations are mounting.
Critics have called it a masterpiece, the first reviews have dubbed it the ‘most terrifying one yet,’ and now the upcoming film has received an eight-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival.
Which, I think we can all agree, is a pretty darn impressive feat. Eight whole minutes of clapping; would people really be willing to put in that amount of graft unless the film was genuinely worth it? I think not.
Joker premiered at the festival yesterday (August 31), with initial reactions – that being an eight-minute-long standing ovation directed at Phoenix, director Todd Phillips, and the gripping origin story – setting the stage for potential global acclaim.
As per Variety, Phoenix and Phillips were joined in Venice by Zazie Beetz, who stars in the film as the villain’s neighbour. Robert De Niro, who plays Murray Franklin – a talk show host who plays a part in driving Phoenix’s character toward a life of crime – was not present.
Another press screening in Venice also drew a loud applause at the end, with the audience cheering when Phoenix’s name appeared in the closing credits.
Robbie Collin, film critic for the Telegraph, hinted as much when he wrote on Twitter: ‘Joker review coming this evening once the premiere’s in. In the meantime: that was a *big* round of applause.’
Joker review coming this evening once the premiere's in. In the meantime: that was a *big* round of applause.
— Robbie Collin (@robbiereviews) August 31, 2019
Telling the story of Gotham’s most infamous criminal masterminds, Joker takes on a first-of-its kind approach, focusing on the backstory and intricacies of the Joker and providing an origin story for a villain who – up until now – has not been given one.
The film – a stand-alone Warner Bros. movie – is intended to be the first in a series of DC-based movies which are separate from the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). It tells the story of Arthur Fleck (Phoenix), a failed stand-up comedian in the early 1980s who gets seduced into Gotham’s criminal underworld.
The synopsis for the show is as follows:
Failed comedian Arthur Fleck encounters violent thugs while wandering the streets of Gotham City dressed as a clown. Disregarded by society, Fleck begins a slow dissent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as the Joker.
Director Phillips described it as a ‘hard movie’ to get made, adding it was difficult ‘to convince DC and the studio at first, but we thought we would keep pushing because we thought it would be special’, as per HYPEBEAST.
And with film writer Radek Folta describing the film as ‘dark, twisted, and brutal’ and Phoenix’s character being described as ‘one of the greatest, darkest villains in cinematic history’, I think it’s fair to assume all that hard work has paid off.
I personally can’t wait to see Phoenix’s Joker come to life on the big screen, can you?
Joker hits cinemas on October 4.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).