Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) makes his living as a party clown. He lives with his mother, has serious mental health issues and dreams of being a Comedian. But a set of circumstances will set him down a different path – one that involves becoming Gotham City’s greatest villain, The Joker.
With Joker, Co-Writer/Director Todd Phillips (of The Hangover and Old School) set-out to create a dark, gritty, intense and disturbing take on the legendary character. And for the most part, he succeeds. Phillips draws on Martin Scorsese classics like Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy to visualize Gotham City and its inhabitants, building an urban dystopia so vivid you can smell the grime and filth. And instead of making just another Comic Book movie, he turns the genre and formula on its head and gives us a passionate, unapologetic and viciously violent character study. He leans too hard into Batman lore and relies a bit too much on slow motion, but this is easily his most ambitious project to date.
And at the centre of it all is a blisteringly brilliant performance from Phoenix. His physical and mental transformation into The Joker is eye-opening, and the little nuances he brings to the character are simply terrific. He is featured in practically every scene, and the way he commands that camera is a masterclass all in its own. Some have already started calling this take sympathetic, but make no mistake: this Joker is just as much of a depraved, homicidal maniac as you remember and any sympathy you may gleam at the beginning will be completely gone by the end. He is still The Joker after all.
JOKER screens during TIFF at the following times:
Monday September 9, 9:00pm @ Roy Thomson Hall
Tuesday September 10, 2:30pm @ Princess of Wales
Friday September 13, 9:45pm @ Scotiabank Theatre
Joaquin Phoenix is riveting in this new Teaser Trailer for JOKER, available now!
Synopsis: Arthur is a troubled man. Despite his mother urging him to live his life with a happy face and laughter and bring joy to others, he is subject to constant harassment and beatings. However, as he sees the world around him growing crazier and crazier, he begins to descend into madness upon the realization that his life is not a tragedy, but instead a comedy – paving the way for his transformation into Gotham’s greatest criminal, The Joker.
See the Trailer:
Warner Bros. Canada release JOKERFriday, October 4, 2019.
The Sisters Brothers is the film adaptation of Canadian author Patrick deWitt’s award-winning Western Novel about two vastly different brothers (Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly) who are sent to kill a man (Riz Ahmed) who has been accused of stealing from a crime boss. Before making its North American Premiere at TIFF in the Special Presentation Programme it screened at the Venice Film Festival to rave reviews.
Writer-Director Jacques Audiard pays homage to the western genre while offering his own dark humour twist. Thanks to the powerhouse of talent that is Audiard’s cast, which consists of Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly, JakeGyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed, this gritty and violent Film is enriched with wit and humanity.
The Sisters Brothers screens at on Saturday, September 8 at 9:30 PM at Princess Of Wales Theatre and Sunday, September 9 at 10 AM at Winter Garden Theatre.
You Were Never Really Here follows traumatized veteran Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) whose job of tracking down a missing girl goes bad and a conspiracy is uncovered.
Phoenix is a force of nature as the tormented and violent Joe. With minimal dialogue Phoenix is forced the used his expressions and body language to display what Joe is feeling. And the range he displays in this Film is a tremendous feat. From being a caring son taking care of his mother, to a broken man still traumatized from his childhood and war, and then the killing machine he becomes to save missing girls.
The character of Joe is written unapologetically by Writer-Director Lynne Ramsey who also directs the Film with fearlessness. What also makes You Were Never Really Here special is that Ramsey has crafted a Hitman Thriller that is a character study, rather than one solely about violence.
You Were Never Really Here screens at Sundance on Jan. 19 at 9:15PM at The Grand SLC, Jan. 21 at 8:30PM at The MARC PC, Jan. 23 at 11:45PM at The Egyptian PC, and Jan. 27 at 6PM at PC Library.
It’s day two here at Sundance Film Festival and the momentum is building quickly. MainStreet in Park City is buzzing with parties day and night. One of the main hotspots was the Sundance TV Kickoff Party where we spotted the likes of Terry Crews and Dominic Cooper. Moments after, a much in-the-news Ashley Judd was seen in the vicinity stopping for a Selfie.
It isn’t only the parties that are warming-up a snowy Park City, it’s also the starpower. Several Red Carpets took place including American Animals, a Heist Thriller starring EvanPeters and Barry Keoghan; Don’t Worry He Wont Get Far On Foot directed by Gus Van Sant (Milk, Elephant) and starring Jonah Hill and Joaquin Phoenix about a disabled rights Activist John Callahan who turns to drawing after becoming paralyzed;Lizzie starring Producer Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart which is said to be Beautiful Creatures-like and based on the Borden Family murders; and Mandy starring Nicolas Cage as a man hunting a religious sect which killed his wife, all premiered tonight in Park City.
See the Teaser for the new Van Sant Film below:
Wait until you get to know John Callahan.
Get your first look at Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot, starring Joaquin Phoenix, @JonahHill, Rooney Mara and Jack Black. Directed by Gus Van Sant.
Salt Lake City also is booming with that Sundance spirit! It saw a Premiere for You Were Never Really Here which stars Sundance “It Boy” Phoenix. This is the Film for which he won Best Actor at Cannes last year, premiering at The Grand Theatre. Director Lynne Ramsay was in attendance.
How INHERENT VICE has remained off our radars this long is a bit of a mystery, but brilliant Director Paul Thomas Anderson‘s latest effort is about to be seen next month at the New York Film Festival, where it is set to debut. Seen in this just-released still is a barely-recognizable Reese who must be applauded for re-inventing herself. Fall 2014 is slated with a triple-punch from the Oscar Winner with WILD, THE GOOD LIE and now THIS! Joaquin Phoenix always makes our day and it’s awesome seeing him in something more on the comedic side here.
When private eye Doc Sportello’s ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend whom she just happens to be in love with, and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in a loony bin…well, easy for her to say.
It’s the tail end of the psychedelic `60s and paranoia is running the day and Doc knows that “love” is another of those words going around at the moment, like “trip” or “groovy,” that’s being way too overused—except this one usually leads to trouble.
With a cast of characters that includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, LAPD Detectives, a tenor sax player working undercover, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists… Part surf noir, part psychedelic romp—all Thomas Pynchon (who wrote the Novel which the Film is based upon).
First of all, did we read right? ERIC ROBERTS?! Who not too long ago was in Toronto filming Suits?!? Can we say career resurgence??! This looks positively too good to be true.
Secondly, can we name the Cast? Look at this: Joaquin Phoenix, Katherine Waterston, Reese Witherspoon, Jena Malone, Owen Wilson, Benicio Del Toro, Eric Roberts, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short and Josh Brolin. The last time we see Phoenix and Witherspoon on-screen together, Oscars got handed out…
See the brand-new Trailer:
Was that Josh Brolin ordering a Pancake in Japanese? That’s how you know you’ve found a Winner!
Warner Bros. releases INHERENT VICE on Friday, December 12, 2014.
You can just sense how bittersweet this is going to be. Spike Jonze writes and directs HER, a Rom-Com starring Joaquin Phoenix, about about a Man who falls in love with an Operating System designed to cater to his every need. Rooney Mara, Amy Adams, Chris Pratt, Portia Doubleday and Scarlett Johansson also star, the latter who voices the Operating System, Samantha. I’ve heard of people loving their Computers, but this is beyond.
Some of you might recall that my dear Friend Jonathan Godfrey, a fellow Film Aficionado has pitched-in a few Reviews here of late. He thought of the brilliant idea of us combining our perspectives together for you all to read right in time for the 85th annual Academy Awards. As it turns out, we have rather different opinions on how we feel the Oscars will unfold. We both live for Oscars Day and these would be our choices if we were given Ballots by the Academy…
SUPPORTING ACTRESS & ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Jonathan Godfrey: Ladies first, I am a Gentleman after all. And when it comes to the fairer sex I must admit my fondness for Anne Hathaway, however when it comes to this year’s Best Supporting Actress, she is not my Flagbearer. Helen Hunt is, and the sexuality she exudes in The Sessions makes her so.
Mr. Will: Although I would agree that the brazen and physically-correct Helen Hunt was superb in The Sessions, it was Hathaway who devastated me most as Fantine in Les Misérables. In fact her performance was so good that if the Academy would allow it, she could well have won Actress in a Leading Role this year. The last two-thirds ofLes Misérables never could match that level of intensity it had when she was on-screen. Mark my words, it will be a Hathaway Sweep this Awards season, completed by an Oscar win here. Anne, I’m still on for Soy Lattes and Salon Day some time. Text me, A-Hath!
Jonathan Godfrey: As for Actress in a Leading Role, my choice is far more mainstream. Jennifer Lawrence is unforgettable in Silver Linings Playbook, and such an impression should be adequately awarded.
Mr. Will: Inasmuch as I love J-Law – and I really do – I really just don’t think she’s earned it yet. When you measure her performance here against recent Winners like Natalie Portman in Black Swan, Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby/Boys Don’t Cry, Charlize Theron in Monster or Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady, her Silver Linings Playbook work just doesn’t stack-up to that caliber. I’m so sorry to say it – don’t Katniss me with a Crossbow! I also would hate to see her peak this early in her career as I think her best work is still ahead of her. The Oscars Curse can be detrimental, ask Mira Sorvino. Therefore, my vote goes to the effervescent Jessica Chastain. Her stone-cold performance as Maya in Zero Dark Thirty in my opinion, dug that extra layer deeper and left an impression with me long after I left the theatre. Kudos also to a then six-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis who wowed me in Beasts of the Southern Wild, a born natural. NaomiWatts I adore, starting off so strong in The Impossible, but alas it is her role which didn’t give her as much to work with after she fell ill for most of the Film.
SUPPORTING ACTOR & ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Jonathan Godrey: My choices here are for the pair of Chaps who star opposite each other in The Master. Yes, I was one of those Oddballs impressed by that haunting theological treatise. And so I believe Philip Seymour Hoffman to be Supporting Actor, and Joaquin Phoenix the Actor in a Leading Role. Color me crazy (a suitable shade), for that Film drove me to madness (its own indelible mark).
Mr. Will: Odd, indeed! The Master was this year’s Tree of Life for me. Although sartorially exquisite, it went completely over my head. I appreciate Phoenix‘s daringness and Hoffman‘s conviction here, but it is Christoph Waltz who lit-up the Screen for me in Django Unchained, giving us a performance equally brilliant to the one he gave us in 2009’s Inglourious Basterds. This Man fascinates me: his range, his ability to command a scene and his working chemistry with Quentin Tarantino is just explosive. And can I say what an injustice it is that Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t get recognized?
As for Actor in a Leading Role I begrudgingly have to say the incomparable Daniel Day-Lewis is the odds-on choice. And I say “begrudgingly” because I know how Hugh Jackman gave it his all in Les Misérables, finally getting that long-overdue Academy acknowledgment. In any other year it could’ve been him.
COSTUME DESIGN, PRODUCTION DESIGN & ORIGINAL SCORE
Jonathan Godfrey: Though I do not believe I am qualified to comment on every Technical category, I do wish to talk about a few. It may be Paul Delgado’s first nomination, but he is deserving of the gold for Costume Design nonetheless. The Wardrobe he stitched for Les Misérables is inspiring, so is Sarah Greenwood & Katie Spencer’s work on Anna Karenina. To them the aesthetic award of Best Production Design is given easily. They made the stage a character of its own, a truth too often overlooked. Lastly, may Mychael Danna take the Oscar for Original Score in Life of Pi. We Torontonians must stick together.
Mr. Will: I tend to agree with you Jonathan, despite our v. different opinions in the Acting categories. In any given year there are several Nominees in categories such as Short Film – Animated or Short Film – Live Action which we unfortunately don’t get an opportunity to evaluate. In terms of Costume Design, Colleen Atwood has built her own legacy and her work for Snow White and The Huntsman cannot be overlooked as a possible Dark Horse, but yes, the Costumes in Anna Karenina were stunning – a Film defined by its Fashion. I do think though that Les Misérables has more fuel in its tank at this point in Awards Season. I’d give the upper hand to Delgado here for his work in the Musical.
As for Production Design, I’m inclined to say that the Duo of Eve Stewart & Anna Lynch-Robinson for Les Misérables also will be awarded. Hard to believe they made us believe we were amidst the June Rebellion in France all within the confines of a few Soundstages. As for Original Score, I love John Williams as does the Academy making him the choice, although Thomas Newman for Skyfall might give him a run for his money.
I also would like to commend the phenomenal Makeup and Hairstyling in the under-appreciated Hitchcock. You go, Howard Berger, Peter Montagna & Martin Samuel! Anyone who can turn Sir Anthony Hopkins so believably into such a widely-recognizable Icon deserves a round of applause in my books.
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY, ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY & DIRECTING
Jonathan Godfrey: Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin cannot go unmentioned for Adapted Screenplay. Theirs is a story of life, its beauty and opposing struggle. Beasts of the Southern Wild is absolutely brilliant and so is Amour. Thus, for Original Screenplay the statue goes to Michael Haneke. However, as much as I am torn in denying Haneke the Award for Directing, it nevertheless goes to a worthy Opponent. Benh Zeitlin took home the honours at Sundance for Beasts, and here he shall have them again. His Film reminds the World that life is in the living.
Mr. Will: Argo was my fave Film of 2012, so I am pretty much rooting for Chris Terrio to be awarded Adapted Screenplay for his enthralling, humanistic and detailed work. For Original Screenplay, my heart is with Tarantino for Django Unchained; an unparalleled Storyteller, in a league of his own.
As for Directing, it still to this day does not sit well with me that Ben Affleck so cruelly was overlooked for Argo. The Golden Globes, BAFTAs, DGAs and Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards got it right. The Academy, not so much. That being said, the legendary Steven Spielberg is as deserving as he’s ever been for Lincoln, drawing phenomenal performances all around from his superior-caliber Cast, paying a fitting tribute to a Man who changed our World.
Jonathan Godfrey: Beasts of the Southern Wild is my selection for Best Picture. All of the Nominees are deserving of the honour this year, and I believe Les Misérables and Amour to be especially so. That said, Beasts remains my choice, one I have been debating for weeks on-end. In time, I shall see if the Academy agrees with me, and I do not worry if they don’t. I’m happy to have seen all of the nominated Films, and to have enjoyed them in turn. I hope those interested do the same, and come to their own honest conclusions.
Mr. Will: Although I walked away from Zero Dark Thirty thinking for sure it was this year’s Best Picture, I’ve seen both Silver Linings Playbook and Argo gain a huge amount of momentum over the past few weeks, particularly the latter. To be honest, I think Argo is peaking at the right moment to take it all, especially with Affleck‘s snubbing reminding the Academy how badly they’ve messed-up failing to recognize his work as a Director. Argo, it is.
And thank you so much Jonathan for generously sharing your thoughts with us. You definitely have a unique perspective and offer a refreshing take! I do think you’re terribly wrong about Hathaway though and you know it!
ABC airs the 85th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 7:00 PM EST.