TIFF Artistic Director Cameron Bailey touted Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker as a film he believes awards bodies will pay attention to this fall.
Yesterday, the Toronto International Film Festival announced Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker will hold its North American premiere at the annual event as one of the Gala Presentations. While the decision to include Joker was part of the TIFF line-up marks the rare, if not unprecedented, inclusion of a comic book-based movie at a prestigious film festival, artistic director Cameron Bailey noted the project is unlike most superhero features and praised Joaquin Phoenix for a “career-best” performance as the Clown Prince of Crime:
“It’s an original story, not part of the existing canon. It does take the character and a lot of the elements that we know from Joker’s backstory. But it’s an original story that allows the filmmakers to go in an original direction. It’s got some real dark tones to it, but it’s just grounded in this career-best career performance by Joaquin Phoenix. I think all the awards bodies will be taking notice.”
Showtimes for Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker will be announced when the full TIFF schedule is released on August 20.
“Joker” centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck (Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.
Directed by Todd Phillips from a script he co-wrote with Scott Silver, Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais, and Shea Whigham.
Joker will be released in theaters on October 4, 2019.