Last week, we talked about how Joker received a massive eight-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival. Alongside Cannes and the Berlin International Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. It is also the oldest. So, the very fact that Joker received cheers and applauds from the audience is already a huge deal.
However, in an unprecedented move, the festival’s top award, known as the Golden Lion, went to director Todd Phillips’ DC Comics adaptation, Joker. This is crazy because no film based (loosely or otherwise) on comic books have ever received this award, not even The Dark Knight and Logan. Past winners of this award include Roma (which later went on to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination and also won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar), Best Picture Oscar winner The Shape of Water, and The Wrestler.
This comes at the heels of the film getting picked to be screened at the ‘Gala Presentations’ of the Toronto International Film Festival, the first for a comic book movie in the festival’s four-decade-long history.
Official synopsis of Joker:
Director Todd Phillips Joker centres around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night…but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study.
Joker is set to hit Malaysian cinemas on 3 October 2019.