Phillips, along with Joaquin Phoenix — the actor behind the latest onscreen incarnation of the long-famed and wicked DC Comics villain — received a whopping eight-minute-long standing ovation for their work on the two-hour feature, according to Variety.
The highly anticipated Warner Bros. film takes a look at the origins of Batman’s arch-nemesis Arthur Fleck before he becomes “the Joker.”
The fictional comic book character, previously made popular by actors Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Jared Leto, has alternated between camp humour and outright sadism over the years. Here, Phoenix seems to have delivered the latter.
Following the screening, Venice Film Festival artistic director Alberto Barbera suggested that Joker will soon be on its way “straight to the Oscars.”
Thanks to his performance as the troubled menace, Phoenix, 44, already a three-time Oscar nominee (The Master, Walk the Line, Gladiator), is being hyped up as a soon-to-be Academy Award winner, too.
“I didn’t refer to any past iteration of the character,” Phoenix told Variety. “It just felt like something that was our creation in some ways.”
Michael Parks of the Geeks of Colour community said on Twitter that “Phoenix’s performance in Joker is nothing short of Oscar-worthy.”
“He fully commits to the role mentally and physically,” he added. “Todd Phillips delivered a game-changing comic book film, and I cannot wait to see it again.”
Variety further complimented Phoenix’s performance by calling him “a troublemaker so intense in his cuckoo hostility that even as you’re gawking at his violence, you still feel his pain.”
Another review from Empire called Joker “bold, devastating and utterly beautiful.”
“Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix have not just re-imagined one of the most iconic villains in cinema history, but re-imagined the comic book movie itself,” it read.
Joker will play at a screening at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) before it arrives in cinemas on Oct. 4.
Watch the final trailer in the video above.
— With files from Chris Jancelewicz
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