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‘Joker’ Lauded With Eight Minute Standing Ovation at Venice Film Festival Premiere

‘Joker’ Lauded With Eight Minute Standing Ovation at Venice Film Festival Premiere

Reports are flooding out that Saturday night’s world premiere of “Joker” at the Venice Film Festival drew an eight minute standing ovation for star Joaquin Phoenix, director Todd Phillips, and the compelling super-villain origin story.

The film is part of the DC universe but stands apart from other superhero stories. Batman, for example, doesn’t make an appearance.

Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck, a downtrodden and mentally disturbed man who transforms into an icon of violent nihilism. His performance in the film, described as “Bickle-esque,” is already stirring awards talk. He has said that prior portrayals of the Joker character, such as Jack Nicholson’s or Heath Ledger’s, did not influence his take on the performance.

“I didn’t refer to any past iteration of the character,” Phoenix said. “It just felt like something that was our creation in some ways.”

Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera further stoked the awards buzz by saying that ‘Joker’ is headed “straight to the Oscars.”

Following Venice, ‘Joker’ heads to the Toronto International Film Festival before opening in the U.S. October 4th.

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.

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