Completely subverting the big-screen comicbook adaptation, Joaquin Phoenix gives one of the performances of the year in JOKER.
The year is 1981 and the city is in the midst of a crisis. Garbage is piling-up on the streets, the divide between rich and poor is growing, health funding is being cut and people are getting angry. Arthur Fleck, clown for hire and aspiring stand-up comedian, spends his time entertaining others, visiting his psychologist and caring for his frail mother (Frances Conroy). When circumstances cause him to lose his job, Arthur begins a downward spiral that is fueled by the unkindness and mockery of others until a chance meeting with a neighbour (Zazie Beetz) offers a glimmer of hope for the wannabe comic.
Giving a killer performance as a man on the edge, Phoenix and director Todd Phillips' vision pays homage to the gritty early films of Martin Scorsese while crafting a film for the modern age which also cleverly references the performer's own unusual career trajectory, delivering what is bound to become one of the year's most discussed films.
- "This is a truly nightmarish vision of late-era capitalism - arguably the best social horror film since Get Out - and Joaquin Phoenix is magnetic in it" (Time Out)
- "Having brazenly plundered the films of Scorsese, Phillips fashions stolen ingredients into something new, so that what began as a gleeful cosplay session turns progressively more dangerous - and somehow more relevant, too" (Guardian)
- "Joker is a thunderously powerful character study of a man with a mental illness, and a ferocious indictment of a society that doesn't treat the mentally ill with compassion" (Daily Mail)
- "Like the best of the New Hollywood classics it references, this is a film that exhilarates and unsettles while having something to say about today" (Financial Times)
- "One of the true masterpieces of the superhero cinema, and one of 2019's greatest achievements" (Forbes), "Bold, devastating and utterly beautiful, Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix have not just reimagined one of the most iconic villains in cinema history, but reimagined the comic book movie itself" (Empire)
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