One News Page Staff Monday, 7 October 2019
MOVIE REVIEW: Jokerby 👨‍💻 Graham Pierrepoint



Dir: Todd Phillips

Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy

starstarstarstarstar    4.5 STARS (out of 5)

DISCLAIMER: While I am reviewing this movie for the purpose of sharing an opinion, I am not in a position where I can recommend it to viewers. This is as a result of soundtrack choice – specifically, ‘Rock and Roll (Part Two)’, by Gary Glitter, who is fully credited and presumably remunerated for his contribution. Though Glitter is incarcerated for his crimes, I cannot conscionably support a movie – in any shape or form – which directly funds his estate. I encourage other would-be viewers to consider the same.

This is a difficult one. This is the first movie I have ever reviewed, regardless of the disclaimer above, where I haven’t been able to give a full score. On one hand, it is a relentless, intense, riveting ride – and on the other, it offers up a lot of troubling questions. Running right down the middle, there is an odd banality to the picture which only really hits home once you’ve left the cinema. What did this movie achieve? If it was to disturb and confound, its mission is complete – but I’m not sure if it was trying to convey specific messages, nor whether or not it truly succeeds.

In short – Joker is a re-imagining of the famous Batman villain with his first-ever backstory. Brought to life by the fantastic Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, we are given a no-holds barred look at an emotionally disturbed man who finds himself falling further and further into misery, eventually descending into chaos. From the synopsis you already know this isn’t going to be particularly pleasant – though that’s pretty much what viewers are heading to see, I can presume.

Joker: Movie ReviewJoker (Warner Bros. Pictures)

First things first – as a comic book movie, if we can call it that, Joker is unique. It is relentlessly murky and disturbing, uncomfortable in each and every scene. That’s an effort – and a lot of it is thanks to Phoenix, who I dare say may clinch an Oscar nod at the very least for his career-defining performance here. The cinematography is pounding and pulsating, unavoidable – utterly unique in many ways. The story is roughshod – though I feel that there was a good balance where you initially feel sad for Fleck, before slowly realising his descent into monsterdom. My main issue with this aspect is that I don’t think that it’s truly enough.

There doesn’t need to be a ‘good’ balance – you need to feel that Fleck is a monster, not just someone who’s pitiable and has gone off the rails. I’m unsure if the point was to go for grey morality here – and I’m assuming the film-makers wanted viewers to feel uncomfortable with feeling good about Fleck’s rise to infamy – and I’m further torn on whether or not that was a good idea.

There has been all manner of talk over whether or not Joker is going to be harmful in the sense that it glorifies violence. I don’t feel that’s the major issue at stake. I think there are potentially harmful statements made here with regard to abuse and with regard to mental illness. Fleck is constantly held back as a result of his illness – and yes, we’re meant to hate the state for cutting his treatments – but it’s more than a little discomforting that his rise to villainhood appears to be pinned on his mental condition.

Joker - Final Official Trailer (Warner Bros. Pictures)

I understand that the Joker was always meant to be psychotic – but this is just a little bit too sad to behold, in places. There are people like Fleck who are genuinely out there, suffering under system restraints – and are they following the same route? No – this is fantasy, of course, but I feel there was an unfair portion of blame levelled at Fleck’s mental condition – not just the events he goes through to finally break down. I’m not sure what you’d need to do to redress this issue, however, it does sit fairly uncomfortably.

And that’s what this movie is – deeply uncomfortable. I understand that this was the point – but it does make it very difficult to watch. On one hand, I enjoyed it, on the other, I didn’t.

That brings me back, full circle, to my disclaimer. Was including music by a convicted molester – possibly one of the highest-profile in UK history – truly necessary? Why was Glitter’s music included? I am all for artistic choice – however, there comes a point where we have to consider actual decency. I am not seeing much talk about this topic online – however, I still can’t afford this movie a score, or a recommendation on this basis. A film that touches on abuse shouldn’t include music from an actual abuser – it’s perhaps worse if this choice was intentional – it’s in abhorrent taste.

Joker is a movie which will be burned into the memories of everyone who sees it, and it’s likely we’ve not heard the last from it.


💡 One News Page Knowledge: Other News Mentions

Joker (character) Joker (character) Fictional character in the DC Universe

Joaquin Phoenix: The 60 Minutes Interview

Anderson Cooper gets the actor to open up about his childhood, his nervousness on set, and how he felt about his "Joker" character.
CBS News

Whom does Joaquin Phoenix credit for his performance in "Joker?"

In an unaired portion of his 60 Minutes interview Joaquin Phoenix tells Anderson Cooper who deserves the credit for his Oscar-winning performance in "Joker."
CBS News

Massive Bar Fight at Joker's Bar in Las Vegas

This fight proves beyond a shadow of a doubt ... the Joker's wild. Check out the insane brawl at Joker's Bar and Grill in Vegas, where COVID didn't get its ass..

Warner Bros. Warner Bros. American entertainment company

Wonder Woman 1984 Pushed Again [Video]

Wonder Woman 1984 Pushed Again

Wonder Woman 1984 won’t be flying into theaters anytime soon. Warner Bros. has announced that the latest DC superhero flick has been delayed again, this time set to come out in late December. As reported by Variety and Deadline, Wonder Woman 1984 has been moved from its previous release date of October 2 and will now come out on December 25—more than a year after its original release date.

Credit: Wochit News    Duration: 00:32Published

Wonder Woman 1984 delayed again, this time to Christmas

Warner Bros. has delayed Wonder Woman 1984 once again, moving Patty Jenkins’ sequel to December 25th, according to Variety.

“Patty is an..

The Verge

Warner Bros. is now selling bottled Butterbeer. But Harry Potter fans in the US may be out of luck

Warner Bros. launched a new bottled Butterbeer that will be sold online and in select UK stores. But will it be available in the U.S.?
Ellen's Talk Show Sets Return Date [Video]

Ellen's Talk Show Sets Return Date

"The Ellen Show" will return to the airwaves on September 21st, 2020. Tiffany Haddish is set to help DeGeneres kick off the new season. The show will be filmed in-studio on the Warner Bros. lot in Los Angeles but not in front of an audience, the studio said in a release. CNN reports that other premiere week guests will include Kerry Washington, Alec Baldwin and Chrissy Teigen. Ellen and her show have been under fire for creating a toxic work environment.

Credit: Wochit News    Duration: 00:32Published
Jason Momoa backs Ray Fisher amid Warner Bros. Justice League disagreement [Video]

Jason Momoa backs Ray Fisher amid Warner Bros. Justice League disagreement

Jason Momoa has weighed in on the side of fellow Justice League cast

Credit: Cover Video STUDIO    Duration: 01:06Published

Joaquin Phoenix Joaquin Phoenix American actor and producer

Mr. Woodward? The President, Spilling Across the Border, Joaquin Phoenix

Donald Trump's conversations with Bob Woodward; Then, a different kind of border crisis: toxic waste in the Tijuana River spilling into California; Joaquin..
CBS News

Joaquin Phoenix: The 60 Minutes interview

Ten years ago, 60 Minutes met a team of scientists at Carnegie Mellon University who had begun to decode simple thoughts inside the brain. Now they've moved on..
CBS News

Why do awards make Joaquin Phoenix uncomfortable?

Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix reveals why awards make him slightly uncomfortable.
CBS News

Joaquin Phoenix and family on River Phoenix's legacy and influence

In an interview with 60 Minutes, the Oscar winner and his family say they still feel River's presence in their lives.
CBS News

Zazie Beetz Zazie Beetz German-American actress

Zazie Beetz, Lakeith Stanfield, Regina King and Delroy Lindo to Star in 'The Harder They Fall,' Harry Styles Joins 'Don’t Worr [Video]

Zazie Beetz, Lakeith Stanfield, Regina King and Delroy Lindo to Star in 'The Harder They Fall,' Harry Styles Joins 'Don’t Worr

Harry Styles is headed back to the big screen for 'Don't Worry Darling,' 'Wonder Woman 1984' is delaying its release (again) to December 25th and Zazie Beetz, Lakeith Stanfield, Regina King and Delroy Lindo are set to star in 'The Harder They Fall.'

Credit: The Hollywood Reporter    Duration: 01:38Published

Robert De Niro Robert De Niro American actor, director, and producer

'Way too soon': Robert De Niro mourns Nick Cordero in Broadway star-studded tribute

More than 100 Broadway stars honored Nick Cordero in a virtual memorial tribute two months after the actor died from complications of coronavirus.
Mickey Rourke reignites feud with Robert De Niro [Video]

Mickey Rourke reignites feud with Robert De Niro

Mickey Rourke has reignited his three-decade long feud with Robert De Niro.

Credit: Cover Video STUDIO    Duration: 00:43Published

Phoenix, Arizona Phoenix, Arizona State capital city of Arizona, United States

Conservative group used a bunch of teens to evade Twitter and Facebook moderation

Artist: Alex Castro

One way to avoid having your repetitive pro-Trump posts tagged as belonging to a bot is to hire teenagers in Arizona to behave..

The Verge

Angels owner Arte Moreno says it's 'very necessary' to vote for Donald Trump

Moreno was among the speakers at the president's "Latinos For Trump" event in Phoenix on Monday.

Electric trucking startup Nikola defends itself from short-seller fraud allegations

Photo: Nikola Corporation

Nikola Corp., the buzzy electric trucking company, is defending itself against charges of fraud that were made by..

The Verge

Trump campaign courts Latino voters in Arizona, historically Democrats. Here's what that looks like

The Latinos for Trump office in Phoenix is adorned with values the Trump campaign hopes will attract this group of voters: faith, family, opportunity.
Sister Of Murdered Teen Sees Justice Nearly Twenty Years Later With Arrest Of Stepfather [Video]

Sister Of Murdered Teen Sees Justice Nearly Twenty Years Later With Arrest Of Stepfather

In Phoenix, Arizona, high school junior Alissa Turney disappeared on her last day of school. Now, nearly twenty years later, there's been an arrest in the cold case. Newser reports Alissa's stepfather, Michael Turney, was arrested in Mesa, Arizona on Thursday. He's been charged with second-degree murder. Newser reports when Alissa disappeared, Turney told police he'd argued with her because she wanted more freedom, then Alissa ran away.

Credit: Wochit News    Duration: 00:38Published

You Might Like

Tweets about this


Deseret News A flight passenger hit an @AmericanAir gate agent after she was denied the chance to board for not wearing a face m… 4 days ago


SouthsideZapata RT @thehill: Passenger allegedly hits American Airlines gate agent after boarding denied for not wearing a mask htt… 4 days ago


Do McK RT @Divinity11: American Airlines passenger hits gate agent in Phoenix after being denied boarding for not wearing a mask… 5 days ago


Travelogiq American Airlines passenger hits gate agent in Phoenix after being denied boarding for not wearing a mask - The Pro… 5 days ago


The Hill Passenger allegedly hits American Airlines gate agent after boarding denied for not wearing a mask… 5 days ago


elvisjj Seriously American Airlines all this NONSENSE OVER A FACE MASK there's no Scientific Medica… 5 days ago

•More original news reports from One News Page