Send in the crowns: in trumping Venice competition, Joker begins grand slam | Xan Brooks

The victory for Todd Phillipss revisionist comic book blockbuster is a credit to a festival in touch with crazed politics, contemporary paranoia and superb cinema Todd Phillips Joker spins the tale of a pathetic loser who ends up a winner, the low-class upstart who upsets the applecart and explodes the establishment. Nobody least of all Joaquin Phoenixs snivelling party entertainer believed he stood a snowballs chance in hell. But his message hit home and the voters clamoured change and we live in interesting times where the old rules dont apply. As with the man, so with the film. Since its incel vigilantes. Its been seen as left-wing; its been seen as right-wing. Its politics are so turbulent, so unrefined – …

A Batman v Joker movie could make Marvel’s Avengers look like the Powerpuff Girls

Could Warner Bros finally match Marvels box office might with a mini-verse featuring Robert Pattinsons caped crusader and Joaquin Phoenixs Arthur Fleck? Where DisneyDC seems hellbent on going in the opposite direction. After 2017s Suicide Squad slumped languidly into the shadows, Wonder Woman, Shazam! all managed to engage audiences without cramming dozens of costumed crime fighters into the same movie. Freed from the need to maintain thematic integrity across multiple episodes, Warners superhero movies have finally found their feet. So much so that it is tempting to wonder if the long-mooted DC Extended Universe, always planned as a Marvel-aping excuse to cross-pollinate the publishers entire back catalogue, has already met an untimely demise. James Gunns upcoming Suicide Squad 2 may …

Joker review Joaquin Phoenixs villain has last laugh in twisted tale

Todd Phillipss daring reboot of the DC Comics villain is brilliantly brought to life by Joaquin Phoenix Joaquin Phoenix provides a comic-book hero for the left behind with Joker, a brilliantly insurrectionist origins story that landed like a firecracker in the midst of this years Venice film festival. Playing the role of Cain to the sunny Abel of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Todd Phillipss blockbuster charts the formative years of Batmans nemesis, rewinding to his time as a failed standup in grubby Gotham City, when he was lonesome and lost and out of joint with the world. Audaciously, its a film that invites us to love the monster. Eyes rolling, jaw working, Phoenix stars as Arthur Fleck, rattling with seven …

‘Incel’ violence is horrific, but Joker is complex, and doesn’t take sides

Alarmist reactions to the rightwing film starring Joaquin Phoenix as a needy, dangerous wannabe star comic overlook its subtler points Tincel culture, or involuntary celibates men who see themselves as losers and beta males who women dont want to sleep with. Angry, misogynistic and feeling entitled to sex and attention, incels have been prone to real-world violence, as with the Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (obsessed by Betsy), he becomes romantically intrigued by Sophie (Zazie Beetz), a pretty girl he barely knows, his fantasies go into overdrive. Yet romance and sex, or lack of these, is not a major factor in Jokers move towards violence; he never expresses any particular malice toward Sophie. Rather, Arthur is driven by a ( …