“Joker” Got An 8-Minute Standing Ovation At The Venice Film Festival, And There’s Oscar Buzz For Joaquin Phoenix

September 1, 2019 / Posted by:

Joker looks like the antidote for people who hate today’s ever-present superhero movies. From the trailers alone, it comes off as a gritty Scorcese-type 70s movie with a tortured wackjob embracing the futility of life and a couple of Batman details thrown in to make the nerds happy. Like in real life! And before people started arguing over whether or not Joker is white male terrorist propaganda, the audience at the Venice Film Festival loved it so much that they gave it an eight-minute standing “O,” according to Variety.

Either the movie must have been good or everyone just wanted to get their cardio in for the day, because clapping for eight minutes while standing is a lot of effort.

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. Both press screenings were packed, with the second one also drawing loud applause at the end and cheers when Phoenix’s name appeared in the closing credits.

Most of the critics are rhapsodizing over Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in the film, which also stars Robert De Niro as the Jerry Lewis role in King of Comedy and Zazie Beetz as Joker’s neighbor.

Joaquin did that thing where he lost a ton of weight for that Oscar. At least Variety’s Owen Glieberman thinks so.

“He appears to have lost weight for the role, so that his ribs and shoulder blades protrude, and the leanness burns his face down to its expressive essence: black eyebrows, sallow cheeks sunk in gloom, a mouth so rubbery it seems to be snarking at the very notion of expression, all set off by a greasy mop of hair,” he wrote. “Phoenix is playing a geek with an unhinged mind, yet he’s so controlled that he’s mesmerizing. He stays true to the desperate logic of Arthur’s unhappiness.”

Here’s some other reactions

And blame the guy who runs the film festival with the canals for the Oscar talk.

Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera has stoked the awards buzz, saying that “Joker” is headed “straight to the Oscars.”

Joaquin Phoenix says he didn’t base his performance on previous Joker turns by Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning performance, or (egads) Jared Leto’s. I guess, the Joker is the friggin’ cinematic equivalent of Hamlet for these guys.

Pic: Warner Bros.

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