‘Heat’ Director Michael Mann Praises Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘Joker’

Michael Mann Joaquin Phoenix Joker

One of the biggest fans of Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker is one of the biggest influences on Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy: Michael Mann.

As revealed by IndieWire, Michael Mann has penned a letter praising Joker as an artistic achievement in its own right. Michael Mann was previously scheduled to speak to director Todd Phillips in an interview, but he had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. So, to make up for it, he put his high praise for the movie, and Joaquin Phoenix’s performance, into a letter.

You can read excerpts of Michael Mann’s letter below:

“I love this movie. I think it’s brilliant and not only Todd’s best film but it’s exciting because it’s on a frontier. And that’s usually where very good things happen. Todd and Scott [Silver’s] screenplay has that relevance that occurs when work is authentic and not derivative. We find Arthur disturbing and poignant simultaneously. He’s both child victim and adult perpetrator. Both are true, as is the case with most schizophrenics. That both are true is uncomfortable. We find ourselves in a fugue state. It’s counterpoint. It’s why Arthur and the film’s impact sustains so strongly in memory. To build on all of this, and for Joaquin, Todd, and Scott, to impact upon on this powerfully is a difficult accomplishment. Congratulations, Todd!”

Michael Mann’s filmography as a director includes the likes of ManhunterThe Last of the MohicansHeat, and Collateral. Currently, Michael Mann is working on the HBO Max series Tokyo Vice as a director and an executive producer.

Here is the official synopsis for Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker:

Director Todd Phillips’ Joker centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night…but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study.

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. The movie is not part of the DC Extended Universe, and seems to play into Warner Bros.’s interests of making creator-driven superhero movies over necessarily building a hyper-connected shared universe… At least for the time being.

Joker is now playing in theaters.

Source: IndieWire