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4th October
2019
written by Adam

Profiling the midlife de-railing of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a mentally ill man with an abused past, living with his aging mother (Frances Conroy), and working as clown for hire in Gotham city; Joker is also the origin story of Batman’s greatest nemesis. Directed by Todd Phillips and Written by Phillips and Scott Silver, this delve into the DC universe circa 1979, heavily influenced by a handful of cinematic masterpieces from the same era is a terrestrially bound mirror look to how the hard edges of society can crush a person’s sense of self and place in the world. Important to note, this isn’t a story designed to create sympathy or compassion for an evil character, rather, the focus is more so on empathy and understanding, offering insight to the whys and hows a complex individual comes to be. Shot with tender care, cinematographer Lawrence Sher captures the perfect darkening mood coupled with Art Direction from Laura Ballinger that feels truly connected to our world in a visceral and palpable way. Haunted further, score by Icelandic cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir unravels beautifully, slowly turning the screw from order to beautiful dissonance. And, with a massively nuanced and brilliant performance by Phoenix that draws deep on the physical and mental, there’s no question this kickoff to awards season is starting strong with the Joker on the top of the deck. Not to be missed, this brutal examination of where our modern day “monsters” come from will be a conversation piece to say the least, here’s to hoping that conversation is more aimed at empathy and less at inspiration. Joker is rated R…..for a reason.

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