Jokermania: How Joker Will Inflict Chaos This Awards Season

Joker Movie Joaquin Phoenix

The award for the “Most Divisive Film of 2019” is set stone. This film will certainly spawn hundreds of reviews, think pieces (including this one), and tweets about whether this film is good or bad for society. The most divisive and controversial movie of 2019 is Joker.

Based on the DC Comics character of the same name, Joker, which stars Joaquin Phoenix, premiered at the Venice Film Festival this past weekend to a widespread critical reaction and thunderous applause including an eight-minute standing ovation. If you thought a comic book movie didn’t belong at a serious film festival, think again. Venice Film Festival director Alberto Barbera said, “Joaquin Phoenix’s performance is outstanding and Todd Phillips did a great job,” and that the film should be in the running for multiple Oscars including Best Picture.

Joker stars Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a failed, mentally ill stand up comedian who turns to a life of crime and chaos due to his lack of success in Gotham City in 1981. Joker shows the rise of Fleck and the events that would shape him into the Joker, one of Batman’s biggest foes.

Based off early reviews, Phoenix gives a masterful performance that could be considered his magnum opus. In the trailers, Phoenix’s physical over-the-top acting and willing to go “all-in” are on full display. Phoenix’s ribs and shoulder blades are protruding due to his 52-pound weight loss. His laugh is based on people suffering from pathological laughter. Phoenix’s Fleck looks like a man who has been beaten and cast off by society, only to rise when he embraces his inner demons.

Ever since a movie about the Joker was announced in 2017, fans have been divided on the character. On one hand, a Joker origin story is something that is interesting and has never been done before. Having an ensemble cast which includes the great Robert De Niro makes this film feel important. It even garnered the interest of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo Dicaprio in the developmental process. On the other hand, seeing anyone play the Joker besides the late Heath Ledger, who gave the greatest performance in a comic book movie of all time, would be disappointing. Jared Leto gave it his all in Suicide Squad, but his Joker could never live up to the performance that Heath gave in The Dark Knight.

As previously stated, Joker will stir the pot and cause a lot of controversy upon its release. As much praise as Phoenix’s performance and Phillips’ direction have received, there have been plenty of negative remarks. Robbie Collin of the Telegraph compared Joker to Fight Club, saying, “Make no mistake, this is a film that is going to stir up trouble – in the consciences of everyone who watches it, and almost certainly in the outside world as well.” Expect a lot of opinion pieces, whether fair or unjust, on issues over mental health, violence, and the potential for “copycat” crimes.

With that being said, Joker has a release date of October 4, which is a prime awards season date. Can Joker become a serious player this awards season? If Phoenix continues to receive universal acclaim, his chances of receiving a Best Actor nomination are very high. Best Picture is a more interesting debate. Will the Academy vote for a comic book movie for a Best Picture nomination for the second straight year? If Joker is a box office hit and a critical success, it will be hard to leave Joker off the Best Picture ballot.

Joker is a film that will portray violence, brutality, and chaos that will send a chill down your spine. Since it’s based on one of the most sinister and cruel villains in comic book history, would you expect anything less?

Are you excited to see Joaquin Phoenix in Joker? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us @unafraidshow.

Betting On The 2019 Oscars: Best Bets To Make

2019 Oscars Avengers Black Panther A Star is Born

The Oscars have arrived! After months of buildup, the Academy Awards will finally air live on Sunday night. The Oscars are the Super Bowl for movies. I, along with millions of other fans, will tune in to have our dreams crushed when A Star Is Born loses almost every major category. That’s the way the cookie crumbles, folks. […]

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Five Ways To Fix The Oscars and Increase Viewership

the oscars academy awards black panther a star is born

The Oscars will always be the most prestigious ceremony for films. The actual ceremony will never be in trouble. However, it’s the television broadcast that needs to be fixed. Movie fans will always tune into the show no matter what the circumstances are surrounding the length of the broadcast or the host of the show. The challenge is figuring out how to attract the average viewer to tune into the show.

Last year’s ceremony had its lowest ratings in the modern era with 26.5 million viewers. To fix the ratings problem, the Academy decided to implement new changes to the broadcast, but the upcoming ceremony has been plagued with problems for months now ever since the Academy announced and later, scrapped the proposed award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film. Then, the entire Kevin Hart controversy left the show without a host. Now, the Academy announced it will hand out a few awards such as cinematography and film editing during commercials as a way to keep the broadcast under 3 hours. Much to the surprise of no one, it has been met with serious blowback.

Luckily, I have a few ideas on how to fix the Oscars.

1. Start Earlier

Why does the ceremony have to start at 8 PM EST? The Super Bowl, which is usually the highest watched program in the United States ever year, starts at 6:30 EST. Why can’t the Oscars start earlier as well? The average length of Oscar ceremonies since 2010 has been 215 minutes, with telecasts ending between 11:43 PM and 12:19 AM. That’s ridiculous for any telecast. Most viewers are in bed by then on the East Coast. Starting the ceremony at 7 PM EST and ending at 11 PM would be ideal for all viewers.

2. Stream The Ceremony Globally

We are currently living in the digital streaming age. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon produce critically acclaimed films and television while livestreams on social media skyrocket in popularity. Why not take advantage of the digital age? Imagine if the ceremony was streaming on a platform like Twitter or Instagram in addition to ABC. This would encourage more interaction between viewers on social media. Television ads would still sell. Money would still come in. This would be just another way to view the show.

3. Introduce New Rising Star Categories

The popular film category was an example of “right idea, terrible execution.” Popular films can get nominated for Oscars cc: Black Panther. Adding popular, box office hits to the ceremony is smart, but there are better ways to implement them into a ceremony. Take the BAFTAs (England’s Academy Awards) for example. Two categories featured on the show are Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer and the EE Rising Star Award (voted for by the public). If the writing category were added to include all writers, popular stars like Bradley Cooper or Bo Burnham might receive their Oscar moment. The rising star award at the BAFTAs was won by Letitia Wright for playing Shuri in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. If Wright won that award at the Oscars, it would give Black Panther a monumental Oscar win and leave many fans happy.

4. Announce Every Category On The Broadcast

As mentioned above, the ceremony will air categories during commercials. This is not a good idea. This is the Super Bowl for the film community. Although these categories are lesser known to the public, they are extremely respected positions in the film community. By not airing certain categories on the show, the Academy is stating that these awards do not matter. Ask anyone who has ever made a film. Cinematography and editing are two of the most important aspects of a film. Reward these gifted men and women with the ability to have their moment in the sun on live television.

5. Raise Salary For Host

Hosting the Oscars used to be a highly-sought out job. Now, it seems as if everyone far and wide are running from it. The pressure to succeed and deliver ratings as well as the low-pay for a huge workload has led to many entertainers avoiding the gig entirely. Jimmy Kimmel said that he made $15,000 to host last year’s ceremony despite ABC charging millions for a 30-second commercial. The Academy should work with ABC to significantly increase the salary for the host, which my lead to more entertainers saying “yes” to the gig. Months of work and insane stress should be counteracted with a fair, 6-figure payday.

Tune in on February 24 at 8 PM EST to see if any of my rules are implemented into the broadcast!