The Joker Already Getting Oscar Buzz at Venice Film Festival

The Joker Already Getting Oscar Buzz at Venice Film Festival

The story of superheroes never grows old, and Marvel ensures that we keep enjoying them by releasing one movie or series after the other; from “Daredevil,” to “The Fantastic Four,” to “Captain America” and the list goes on. Even artists realize that humans love superhero stories with R. Kelly singing of Gotham City, while Coldplay and Chainsmokers talk about Batman and his fists. Moreover, the Scripts “Superheroes” lets us know that a hero lives inside each person. However, as much as we love how these people with superpowers always manage to save the day, they would be nothing without the villains. One notable villain that even editors refused to kill as a character is The Joker. The role has been played by so many actors, but one thing that does not change is his ruthlessness. He has always been depicted as Batman’s archenemy, but this time, a film in which he is the lead is about to be released to the US in a month. “Joker” has received so much praise upon premiering in Venice Film Festival so let’s take a look at the journey towards the standing ovation.

Preparation for the role

For Joaquin Phoenix to get so much praise for his role as the Joker, he had to put in so much work. We have heard of actors losing weight just to fit into the character with the likes of Tom Hanks, who lost 26 pounds to play an AIDs patient in “Philadelphia.” Joaquin was willing to go the extra mile to ensure his character came out as perfectly as he envisioned it. While Leonardo DiCaprio was the first choice for the role, Joaquin had been for long waiting to be part of a movie that did not fit into the definition of a studio movie. Upon learning of the film, Joaquin became excited and immediately went into developing the character. Since Arthur Fleck, the real name of the Joker, is poor and struggling to coin a successful career as a stand-up comedian, he had to look impoverished.

Joaquin reportedly lost 52 pounds which is about 24 kgs. The weight loss was so much that according to AP news, Joaquin began going mad literally. The craziness also helped shape his character since the Joker has a mental disorder which is not defined. Further, Joaquin had to read through books and earn different kinds of personalities for political assassins. By doing so, the Joker is not confined to one personality type but only identifies as a general criminal psychopath. As for the laugh, Joaquin also had to put in some work in perfecting the pathological laughter. He kept watching videos of people suffering from the disorder to ensure that his laugh sounded authentic. Matter of fact, he had to ask Todd Phillips to listen to him practicing the laugh, which speaks of the kind of dedication that Joaquin has in giving his best. Overall, it took him at least eight months to get into character.

No smooth sailing

Nothing good ever comes easy, and if you want perfection, then you must be willing to give it time. We have heard of movies that took years to make, and top of the list is “The Thief and the Cobbler” that took 28 years. However, having a script approved can also take time because unless the production house gives the script the green light, then your work will go down the drain. Todd Phillips and Scott Silver wrote the script for the Joker in the entire 2017. Todd felt that his movie “War Dogs” was not going to hit the headlines and therefore immediately after it premiered on August 2016, Todd though of making a comeback fast. His idea was to do a standalone film and have DC comics set itself apart from Marvel Studios. Warner Bros. had already experienced success with “Wonder Woman” so Todd’s idea was accepted.

Still, that was only the beginning because the content had to be approved. Further, while Warner Bros wanted to cast Leonardo DiCaprio by September 2017, Todd Philips felt that Joaquin would be the ideal fit. After overcoming that, Todd disclosed, according to Wikipedia, that there were lots of other hurdles to jump. Since the Joker is not based on the comics, the creative freedom granted to the writers had to take time to get the go-ahead to go out of the rails and give it their own spin.

Heading to the Oscars

Hard work will always pay, and the Joker stands a chance at winning an Oscar. As reported on Deadline, Alberto Barbera commented that Warner Bros risked a lot by presenting the film in the festival. However, the movie has received so many positive reviews that it will be in the running for winning an Oscar. According to Barbera, the intelligence on handling the issues surrounding mental health and other social factors puts the Joker in a class of its own based on originality. As he commended Todd and Joaquin for their outstanding work, the eight minutes standing ovation in Venice may translate to nominations and awards.

Negative reviews

You can never please everyone no matter how hard you try and the Joker has had its share of adverse reactions. While Mark Hughes of Forbes declares it as one of the best 2019 films and David Rooney of the Hollywood Reporter praises Phoenix for reinventing the Joker character, Indiwire’s David Ehrlich has negative reviews to share. According to him, Phoenix has borrowed so much from his previous works while Todd is described as a coward who cannot handle such material responsibly. Jared Leto was also not happy that the character he once played is getting diverse characters.

Financial success

The Joker may be a low budget film, but its economic potential is worth noting. Its final budget was $55 million, and according to Cinema Blend, it might surpass the record opening of $80.2 million set by “Venom” last year. Well, let us wait for its release to theaters on October 4, 2019, for us to confirm how prosperous the film is going to be.

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