Director Todd Phillips
Written by Todd Phillips, Scott Silver.
Characters created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Jerry Robinson.
Joaquin Phoenix, Robert DeNiro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Shea Whigham, Bill Camp, Glenn Fleshler, Leigh Gill, Josh Pais.
In 1981 in Gotham City, the city is being mismanaged by the mayor, the city has become crime ridden, dirty with city wide strikes, and the poor are getting poorer, while the rich are getting richer.
Arthur Fleck (Phoenix) is a man who the city is letting down. Living with severe mental health issues, he works in a series of contract jobs such as a clown for kids’ hospitals, and spinning signs out the front of stores. He is also a wannabe comedian, and looks up to talk show host DeNiro as his idol.
He lives with his ill and ageing mother (Conroy) who is hung up on her past employer, billionaire Thomas Wayne (Cullen), having worked for him in her youth. Wayne is running for mayor himself, to help fix the city.
Absolutely brilliant piece of filmmaking from the usually comedic director Phillips. This film is a darker origin story of these characters, with a more psychological reasoning behind who the “Joker” is and why he is the way he is.
It is a more sinister side of Gotham that we have seen before, and Phoenix’s very well deserved Oscar shows sides of mental health that are not usually touched upon. His performance is nothing short of extraordinary, and it is he deserves every praise he received for this role.
I really can’t fault this film much in any way – each actor brings out the best in each of their characters, and it is just a simply brilliant movie that shows the origins of these characters – with even a young Bruce Wayne making an appearance.
This is a simply a brilliant film, and I hope the recently announced sequel doesn’t spoil what is done so well here. This also won an Oscar for original score.