Todd Phillips’ critically acclaimed film Joker won the Venice Film Festival’s highest honor as the event came to a close. Joaquin Phoenix along with the film’s director were on hand to accept the award. The moment proves to be historic among festivals as this is also the first DC Comics-related feature to win.
Director Lucrecia Martel led a jury that featured a diverse mix of talent. Most notable among other members was Mary Harron—director of American Psycho and The Notorious Bettie Page. According to Deadline, Harron said about her choice of the film. “They took a comic book mythology that has been done in so many ways and overturned it and revitalized it for now.”
Awarding Joker the coveted top prize puts it well on the way to major nominations and possible wins throughout awards season. While this project remains to be seen by many, the film has already received its fair share of controversy as some social media users voiced objections to the material. In this tale of the famed villain, Phillips explores the character of Arthur Fleck. As Fleck becomes more and more disconnected from society, he begins to transition into something monstrous that cannot be controlled by the usual constraints. It’s a definitive character study that looks at the deepest recesses of a mind in chaos.