I am not a fan of superhero movies but I am an activist for Todd Phillips’ Joker. As one of the frontrunners this year, it is the most well-written, well-acted and experimental choice from the major film companies. Joaquin Phoenix showed a role few could properly pull off, the tortured psychotic left out of whacky antics of the comic books and showcasing modern gritty realism, without losing that important interest. This is hard!
Last year Black Panther was a weak nomination for Best Picture for its reliance on action and conservative shots that the superhero formula has rigorously enforced up to now. This time however, it’s hard to find a competitor to Jokers cinematic beauty and experimentation, perhaps its closest rival being Once Upon A Time….In Hollywood.
It should win because an endorsement to a film like this could prevent the growth of the stale superhero which many studios are committed to producing. Marvel and DC are finding more acclaim for films outside their cinematic universes but the high profits of their safe movies could cause them to ignore experimentation. Avengers Endgame, a movie that cashed in twice as much as Joker, has been snubbed for all major awards as it fails to have significance in any aspect outside CGI. It could be vital to many groups in film that a movie linked to the superhero studios wins the awards soon, with the possibility of a crash of profit if they cannot show to be worthy of such. If Joker were to fail best picture it’s unlikely DC would invest in a new campaign. The other films are basic Oscar bait ideas, none would fall out of the list to be a massive staple in cinematic history. Joker would be that. And behind closed doors that is what Hollywood is looking for.