Just in case you weren’t already excited enough about watching Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix, the early reviews should do the trick.
The final trailer was released last week, and the view count is now nearing 25 million.
Some fortunate souls at the Venice Film Festival have already watched the movie, which premiered on Saturday, and the first thing we should mention is that it received an eight-minute standing ovation.
After you’ve let that sink in, here’s an overview of some of the early reviews via VICE:
The movie is already pulling in early Oscar buzz, with Deadline calling it a “bravura piece of filmmaking that speaks to the world we are actually living in today in ways that few movies do.” Hollywood Reporter praised Phoenix’s acting and claimed that the “must-see factor of Phoenix’s riveting performance alone—it’s both unsettling and weirdly affecting—will be significant.”
A few more via Esquire:
Phoenix “delivers the kind of meticulously detailed psychotic breakdown that he does better than just about any American actor now working,” wrote The LA Times…
“Todd Phillips’ Joker is unquestionably the boldest reinvention of ‘superhero’ cinema since The Dark Knight; a true original that’s sure to be remembered as one of the most transgressive studio blockbusters of the 21st Century. It’s also a toxic rallying cry for self-pitying incels,” wrote Indiewire critic David Ehrlich. He declared Joker “a visionary, twisted, paradigm-shifting tour de force and a bar-lowering mess of moral incoherence. It’s nothing less (and nothing more) than an agent of unbridled chaos.”
Sheesh, David – take it down a notch.
To balance things out, here’s TIME with a bit of stick for Phoenix’s performance:
In Joker — playing in competition here at the Venice Film Festival — Phoenix is acting so hard you can feel the desperation throbbing in his veins. He leaves you wanting to start him a GoFundMe, so he won’t have to pour so much sweat into his job again. But the aggressive terribleness of his performance isn’t completely his fault. (He has often been, and generally remains, a superb actor. Just not here.)
Director Todd Phillips — who made frat-boy comedies like Road Trip and Old School before graduating to dude-bro comedies like The Hangover movies — bears at least some of the blame, and the aggressive and possibly irresponsible idiocy of Joker overall is his alone to answer for. Phillips may want us to think he’s giving us a movie all about the emptiness of our culture, but really, he’s just offering a prime example of it.
There are more damning takedowns to be read in that review, for those who want more.
At this point, we’ve all seen the trailer, and a bad review here and there probably won’t stop me from giving the movie a go.
Before we wrap up, let’s just plonk the trailer here:
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