New from A Reel of One’s Own by Andrea Thompson: TIFF 2019 Movie Review: Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker is the Anti-Hero We Never Needed

By Andrea Thompson

After Joker, is there any way Joaquin Phoenix could shock more with a performance? Probably only by playing a healthy, well-adjusted person. To say he has made a career out of playing darker, complicated characters is like saying tornadoes have windy dispositions. His latest transformation into Arthur Fleck, the man who will become the villain who has plagued Batman since the beginning (literally, as the Joker made his first appearance in Batman #1 in 1940), might just be the best yet in a career defined by one jaw-dropping portrayal after another. Combine that with his powerful Hollywood connections, and it’s probably why he’s mostly evaded accountability for allegations of harassment.

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