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The Joker Coming October.

ALEX FARBA


 

Alex Farba Deleon is a filmfestivals.com ambassador

MY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEWS


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Joker on Imdb has 2,946 Reviews: Alex strikes a second Joker review

     

By Alex Deleon .

With 2,946 user reviews already published within days of the release of Joker, almost all 10 star raves calling it a Masterpiece,  best film ever made, a great comic book film, and highly influenced by Scorcese, I feel compelled to respond to this avalanche of hyperbolic enthusiasm with a followup to my own earlier review. That relatively sober review was one of the first published immediately after the world premiere of Joker in Venice a little over a month ago. And I was duly impressed. (First review by Alex Deleon in Venice)

As stated then I have no quarrel with any of the raves about Joaquin Phoenix's incredible performance and will be amazed if he does not walk off with the Best Actor Oscar in February.  However, while the last section of Joker is brilliant and masterfully directed, the picture as a whole, powerful as it is, is no masterpiece.  It drags in places and could be tightened up here and there for better effect. These potholes are smoothed over by Phoenix's hypnotic performance as he is in just about every single scene and constantly rivets attention.  It is his picture all the way, while director Todd Phillips seems to be along just for the ride. One of the best movies of this  year, definitely, but "of all time"? -- Come on, give us a break. 

Calling this a "Comic book film" or a "superhero film" is utterly ridiculous. 

It is a solid straightforward psychological character study only obliquely connected with the comic book Batman. As for connection with Scorcese's Taxi Driver, again ridiculous. Arthur Fleck has much more in common with Norman Bates of Psycho (including a problematic mother) than with Travis Bickle of Taxi Driver.  In any case it is pointless to attempt to derive this unique stand alone study from similar sources.  All films have some similarities to other films and this one is what it is. Period.

In an interview Joaquin Phoenix mentioned that he modeled his fantastic dance moves in Joker on Ray Bolger's Scarecrow in The Wizard  of Oz. Does that mean these films are connected? -- Joker and Wizard of Oz!  Well, why not?

Phoenix deserves every award in sight and the movie itself will be a strong contender for Best film of the year.  But super masterpiece it is not. At least, not quite. And it may even be aced out at the finish line in Hollywood.by the likes of Q. Tarantino's "Once upon a time in Hollywood".

I am, however, pleased to see that so many viewers respond to this film so positively in spite of all kinds of negative hullabaloo by slithery moralists around the edges.  Fellini would have loved it.

                                       

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