Joaquin Phoenix's Joker Gets Standing Ovation At Venice Film Festival

Carla Harmon
September 1, 2019

The Joke gets as much as hype as Batman would get.

Screen Daily's Tim Grierson said the film may not have the same massive box office success as other comic book movies, but it predicted "rave reviews for Phoenix's unnerving portrayal should entice viewers who are exhausted of superhero films but might be open to something a little more character-driven and psychologically complex". This criminal mastermind never fails to surprise us. Despite not strictly adhering to the rules of a comic book movie or adapting a story from one of the many comics arcs involving DC Comics' Clown Prince of Crime, Joker does attempt to tell an origin story about one man's transformation into a menacing villain terrorizing a city.

We all know that the Joker is one character who has been played by so many incredible actors that it's hard to pin down which one gave the best performance.

Instantly identifiable for his green shock of hair, white face paint and unnaturally stretched grin, the Joker has been played by a host of Hollywood stars including Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger, who won a posthumous Oscar for the role in 2009. Now, this first wave of reactions from critics and festival-goers will give the rest of us a better idea of how to receive Joker. There have been reports that the film is being called a masterpiece and people are loving what Phoenix has done with the character. It is slated for release in the United States on October 4.

Preparing for the role of Joker also required Joaquin Phoenix an intense physical preparation, entailing a strong loss of weight. Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, and Marc Maron co-star.

Buzz in Venice had been growing steadily around the Warner Bros. movie, from the time of its unveiling last month as part of the lineup to the climax of the two press screenings and red-carpet premiere Saturday.

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