One of TIFF 2019’s most anticipated films premiered at the Venice Film Festival over the weekend, and the audience not only ate it up, but gave the film an eight-minute standing ovation after it ended.
The Joaquin Phoenix-led film tells the origin of the Batman villain, without Batman making an appearance. In fact several of the cast members, and the director himself, have repeatedly said that the film is not a comic book movie. It tells the story of a failed stand-up comedian named Arthur Fleck who turns to a life of crime and chaos in Gotham City after a series of events slows drives him to madness.
Critics have praised the film and its star, with many believing that Phoenix is in line for another Oscar nomination. The actor has previously been nominated for 2001’s Gladiator, 2006’s Walk the Line, and 2013’s The Master. So far though he hasn’t won a trophy.
The Joker character has been previously played on the big screen by Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Jared Leto, with Ledger winning a posthumous Oscar for the role.
Joker will play at TIFF, then be released in October.