Opened: October 4, 2019
Directed by: Todd Phillips
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Hannah Gross, Brett Cullen, Carrie Louise Putrello, Douglas Hodge, Dante Pereira-Olson, Glenn Fleshler, Leigh Gill, Bill Camp, Shea Whigham, Marc Maron, Josh Pais & Brian Tyree Henry
An origin story for the popular DC Comics supervillain, Joker is a deeply disturbing film that you need to see once but then probably won’t want to see again.
Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is a mentally ill man who works as a party clown but wants to be a famous stand-up comedian. He dreams of appearing on Murray Franklin’s (Robert De Niro) talk show. But he’s constantly disregarded by society for his peculiarities, including his pathological laughter.
In a stellar performance, Phoenix shows a different side of the Joker. He’s not the sharp psychopath as portrayed in former films, but a truly disturbed person.
The latter half of the film will make you feel anxious and there are several great twists – some of which leads directly into Batman’s origin story.
Final say: Nerve-wracking but a great lead performance. ★★★★☆