JOKER Is Dividing Oscar Voters, But It Stands A Strong Chance Of Picking Up Some Key Nominations

JOKER Is Dividing Oscar Voters, But It Stands A Strong Chance Of Picking Up Some Key Nominations

JOKER Is Dividing Oscar Voters, But It Stands A Strong Chance Of Picking Up Some Key Nominations

Joker hasn't been without its fair share of controversy, but a new report delves into what Oscar voters think about the DC Comics adaptation and it sounds like it could receive serious awards attention...

The Hollywood Reporter has shared a very interesting story in which they reach out to a number of Academy members in order to find out what they thought of Todd Phillips' Joker.

Well, just like with fans and critics, there seems to be something of a divide here as well. While some of them praise it as one of the best films of the year, others write it off as being an inferior rehash of iconic movies like The King of Comedy and Taxi Driver. As you might expect, Joaquin Phoenix is almost unanimously praised for his performance as Arthur Fleck.

Composer Hildur Guðnadóttir and cinematographer Lawrence Sher are also hailed for their work on Joker, even from those who didn't particularly enjoy the movie. 

"I have seen the film — and on the big screen, which makes a big difference for this movie," says one male producer. "I loved it and it will win best picture. I am really bored with all the superhero movies, but here I really liked it because it’s a great movie before it's a genre movie."
 
Time will tell whether that prediction comes to pass, but it's easy to imagine Joker receiving its fair share of nominations, even if it doesn't ultimately win any of the major prizes.

What do you guys think? 

Hit the "View List" button to check out the 10 shocking Joker
moments we can't believe made it into a DC Comics movie!

Arthur's Horrible History

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After his mother makes some bold claims about Arthur being Thomas Wayne's son, he tracks down her medical records and learns some horrible and shocking truths about his past. 

It turns out that Penny allowed her boyfriends to abuse Arthur and by the time the authorities got involved, he was found chained to a radiator with serious injuries and head trauma, which goes some way to explaining why he's ended up with that uncontrollable laugh. 

Child abuse is never a nice subject to broach, and the fact that it's the root of some of Arthur's issues will really stick with you. It's also the darkest take on this character's history to date. 
 

Penny Fleck's Death

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Shortly after these revelations, Arthur visits his mother in the hospital (she suffered a stroke after being questioned by police when they suspect that he may be responsible for some killings we'll address a little later in this post). 

Things take a very dark turn, though, when he pulls the pillow from beneath Penny's head and proceeds to smother her to death as she weakly tries to fight him off. Given how close they're portrayed as being, it's clear he's completely cracked at this point, and the ease with which her murders her is downright staggering. 
 

What Happens To Sophie?

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This...this is really dark. While the reveal that Arthur's dates with Sophie were all in his head aren't massively shocking, him letting himself into her apartment and taking a seat is a tense and frightening scene, especially when she's clearly terrified to find her oddball neighbour sitting there. 

As he slowly turns to look at her, he puts his fingers to his head and mock shoots himself (something she jokingly did when they first met in the elevator). 

The next thing we see is him leaving, but sirens are ominously heard outside by the time he returns to his apartment and it's hard to escape the feeling that he's done something horrible to the woman he's clearly obsessed with. Alas, we're left to wonder what that is for ourselves. 
 

Finishing The Job

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With a gun in his pocket, Arthur defends himself during a subway attack from three Wall Street guys by gunning them down. That leads to some pretty violent imagery, but the darker side of Arthur's psyche becomes clear when he follows one of the men he wounded out on to the platform.

Stalking his prey, he shoots the man in the back before walking up to him and putting one final bullet in him. Despite being mentally ill, Arthur clearly knows that he needs to cover his tracks and is willing to go to some pretty shocking lengths in order to do so, as is evident by this bloody scene.
 

Arthur Meets His "Brother"

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Convinced that Thomas Wayne is his father, Arthur catches a train to Wayne Manor where he crosses paths with the young Bruce. While it all starts off innocently enough, things get weird when he puts his fingers in the youngster's mouth and forces him to smile. "That's better," he says before being interrupted by Joker's take on Alfred Pennyworth. 

Despite being told that there's no way he's Thomas' son, Arthur doesn't take "no" for an answer and starts choking Alfred through the gate. Given how many times the comic book version of the character has targeted Batman's loyal butler, this clash isn't overly surprising, but it is a lot more violent that what we've seen in the past. 
 

Cold-Blooded Killer

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After learning that his mother has died, a couple of Arthur's co-workers pay him a visit. One of them is clearly worried as he gave Arthur the gun he used to kill those Wall Street guys. There seems to be something a little sinister about their relationship, but that's never really elaborated on. 

Either way, when they come face to face again, Arthur stabs him in the neck with a scissors before shoving it straight into his eye. He then grabs his head and repeatedly smashes it into the wall. 

Covered in blood, he allows his other co-worker (a little person) to leave, but things get darkly comic when he's unable to reach the lock on the door and Arthur pauses to say thanks for always being nice to him in a scene you will almost certainly expect to end with more bloodshed.
 

Riots In Gotham City

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Inspired by the clown who killed the three men on the subway, Gotham City's oppressed rise up and start rioting. As he's being pursued by the cops, Arthur inadvertently causes another riot to begin which culminates with those detectives being dragged to the floor and brutally attacked. 

Considering the fact we're used to seeing Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock as the heroes, it makes for uncomfortable viewing to see what happens to these two, and we later learn that they're in critical condition, something Arthur can't help but crack a smile about when he hears. 
 

Meeting Murray Franklin

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Now known as "Joker," Arthur finally gets to meet his idol. However, he's only there to be ridiculed and as the tension increases, this early version of the Clown Prince of Crime pulls out his gun and shoots Robert DeNiro's talk show host in the head. 

It's a bloody and violent end to the character, and one that's emphasised when Joker empties the rest of the bullets in the chamber into Franklin's chest. All of this is broadcast live on television and while we've only had a handful of comic book movies about bad guys, not even Venom eating some poor sucker was as gory as this very real moment. 
 

A Haunting Smile

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In the leaked screenplay for Joker, Arthur was going to cut his face open and create a smile. However, that was probably deemed a little too similar to the version of the character we saw in The Dark Knight, and some moviegoers may have assumed that this movie was meant to serve as an origin story for Heath Ledger's iconic take.

Instead, Arthur paints on his smile with blood, and it's every bit as memorable and haunting. 

Honestly, it's hard to imagine a visual like this making it into a PG-13 comic book movie, and it's way more disturbing that the weird smile Jared Leto's Joker had in 2016's Suicide Squad.
 

One Final Kill

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The movie ends with Joker locked up, but he's clearly grown used to killing as we see him walk out of a meeting with his psychiatrist leaving bloody footprints in his wake. 

It's strongly implied that Arthur has murdered (or seriously injured at the very least) this woman, and while we're probably not going to get a sequel, this definitely feels like it could be setting the stage for The Joker to return and square off with Batman. That's probably never going to happen, but it's interesting to think about what a clash like that might look like, isn't it? 
 
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