Joker debuted at the Venice International Film Festival, where it scooped up the prestigious Golden Lion, the festival's top prize Screenings rolled out at TIFF this week, to another round of acclaim and heated debate, and the conversation has noticeably shifted in the Oscar direction.
"Watching those clips, I thought about my family, my sisters Rain and Liberty and Summer, who are still my best friends". But his director disagreed.
"I think that it's really an empathy toward isolation and kind of what is our duty as a society I suppose to address people who slip through the cracks in a way", she told Variety.
It's been reported that this extreme weight loss had a psychological impact on his performance, which also counted dancing, greasepaint application, and joke-journaling among its many preparatory activities. And he said, "You're going to start acting again, this is what you're going to do".
"You tell me if any of this is bullsh-" Dafoe said to Phoenix, before continuing his speech with a particularly pertinent message: "The point is he's always surprising us, and himself". "And I am indebted to him for that because acting has given me such an incredible life", the actor recalled in an emotional speech. But it's not like he was overly hard for his co-stars. "Joaquin was very intense in what he was doing, as it should be, as he should be", De Niro said, and called Phoenix a consummate professional. "He never liked saying the name Thomas Wayne", Phillips said.
Joker writer and director Todd Phillips has revealed that the film was written for Joaquin Phoenix and no other actors were sought for the role of the classic DC comic villain. "But in the long run, I think he got it and appreciated it".
Will fans appreciate Phoenix's sacrifice and Phillips' vision of the infamous character? Or will Phoenix's idea of the villain, heavy and unusual, go unfulfilled?