Todd Phillips’ Joker Edges Roman Polanski’s An Officer And A Spy To Win Best Film At Venice Film Festival

Less than a week after the Venice Film Festival director Alberto Barbera praised Joker star Joaquin Phoenix’s turn as the titular character, Joker won the Best Film award, the Golden Lion, at the festival.

In his acceptance speech, director Todd Phillips thanked the studio for letting him make the movie.

“Warner Bros. and DC for stepping out of their comfort zone and taking such a bold swing on me and this movie,”

Phoenix also joined Phillips on stage, with Phillips adding:

“There is no movie without Joaquin Phoenix. Joaquin is the fiercest and brightest and most open-minded lion I know. Thank you for trusting me with your insane talent.”

Showcasing how self-aware the festival is, the second place Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize went to Roman Polanski’s An Officer and a Spy. Polanski pled guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor in 1978 and fled the United States shortly before sentencing. He’s been avoiding extradition ever since.

Regarding Joker, IndieWire’s review claims:

It’s also a toxic rallying cry for self-pitying incels, and a hyper-familiar origin story so indebted to “Taxi Driver” and “The King of Comedy” that Martin Scorsese probably deserves an executive producer credit. It’s possessed by the kind of provocative spirit that’s seldom found in any sort of mainstream entertainment, but also directed by a glorified edgelord who lacks the discipline or nuance to responsibly handle such hazardous material, and who reliably takes the coward’s way out of the narrative’s most critical moments.

Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix as the titular character, Robert De NiroZazie Beetz, and Frances Conroy. Directed by Todd Phillips, the R-rated movie is set to release October 4.

Check out the final trailer here.

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