Joker has been a standout film this awards season. Heading into the Oscars, the film's star, Joaquin Phoenix, has swept the awards season in the Lead Actor category. The film itself received a total of 11 nominations at the 2020 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor.
Joker is a standalone film that exists separately from the earlier and forthcoming "Batman" film series (though a Joker sequel is still a possibility). The film explores the origins of the "Joker" character in "Arthur Fleck," a party clown and stand-up comedian who struggles with mental health difficulties.
Watch the trailer for Joker
What you need to know about Joker
Joker is far from a conventional superhero movie. The film functions more as a dark psychological thriller, exploring the mind of Phoenix's "Arthur Fleck" - who later becomes known as "Joker" in the film.
Joker is a film from director Todd Phillips. For Phillips, the film is a departure from his earlier work directing comedies like Old School, Starsky & Hutch, and The Hangover. Joker also stars Zazie Beetz as well as Robert De Niro - who earlier appeared in the New York City films of director Martin Scorsese, which are noted influences on Joker.
Joker first made waves when it won the prestigious Golden Lion prize at the Venice Film Festival in 2019. The film went on to become a critical and commercial success. It did divide viewers though, with some criticizing its portrayal of violence, mental illness, and social issues.
Joker at the 2020 Oscars
Joker is nominated for 11 awards at the Oscars this Sunday, February 9. Joaquin Phoenix is considered the heavy favourite to win the Academy Award for Best Actor.
The film will also compete for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Score, Best Adapted Screenplay, and several more accolades in the technical categories.
Tune in for the Oscars this Sunday to see if Joaquin Phoenix wins once again for his chilling role in "Joker"! His earlier speeches have touched on Heath Ledger, and diversity in the film industry and awards shows.