Archive for the ‘joker’ Tag

Best of 2019

 

joker joaquin phoenix actor movie stairs

The scene of the year

Film:

Joker

Mid90s

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Rolling Thunder Review

Booksmart

Last year: Vice, Cold War

 

Foreign-Language Film:

Parasite

Last year: The Square 

 

Documentary:

Rolling Thunder Review

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love; Knock Down the House; Apollo 11

 

Male Lead:

Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)

Sunny Suljic (Mid 90s)

Paul Walter Hauser (Richard Jewell)

Taron Egerton as Reggie Dwight/Elton John in Rocketman; Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood; Michael B. Jordan (Just Mercy)

Last year: Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody

 

Female Lead:

Elizabeth Debicki (Virginia, Vita & Virginia)

Beanie Feldstein (Molly, Booksmart)

Gemma Arterton (Vita, Vita & Virginia)

Last year: Joanna Kulig – Cold War

 

Male Support:

Robert De Niro as Murray Franklin in Joker

Al Pacino – The Irishman

Olan Prenatt as Fuckshit in Mid90s; Lucas Hedges as Ian in Mid90s; Stephen Merchant as Deertz in Jojo Rabbit; Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood; Na-Kel Smith as Ray in Mid90s

Last year: Terry Notary (The Square)

 

Female Support:

Kaitlyn Dever as Amy in Booksmart

Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Laura Rose in Motherless Brooklyn; Scarlett Johansson as Rosie in Jojo Rabbit

Last year: Amy Adams(Vice)

 

Director:

Todd Phillips (Joker)

Jonah Hill (Mid 90s)

Last year: Adam McKay (Vice)

 

Writer:

Todd Phillips & Scott Silver – Joker

Jonah Hill (Mid 90s)

Taika Waititi – Jo Jo Rabbit

Last year: Adam McKay (Vice)

 

Editing:

tbc

Last year: Vice

 

Cinematography:

Roger Deakins – 1917

Last year: Lukasz Zal (Cold War)

 

Film Music:

Rolling Thunder Review

Last year: Bohemian Rhapsody / Cold War

 

Single/Song:

Lately – Celeste

Last year: I Want You (Sam Reid & Claudia Jolly – The Girl from the North Country)

 

Album:

Ghosteen – Nick Cave

Kiwanuka – Michael Kiwanuka; Western Stars – Bruce Springsteen

Last year: The Girl from the North Country (London cast)

 

Gig:

Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets (Roundhouse)

Kamasi Washington (Brixton Academy)

Patti Smith (Westminster Central Hall)

The Midnight Special – Abbey Road anniversary (Jazz Cafe)

Abdullah Ibrahim (Cadogan Hall)

Proms: Jonny Greenwood (Albert Hall)

Last year: David Byrne – Hammersmith Odeon

 

Play:

A Taste of Honey (Trafalgar Studios)

Last year: Girl from the North Country [2nd viewing]

 

Art Exhibition:

Van Gogh in Britain (Tate B)

Preraphaelite Sisters (NPG)

Tate St Ives

Last year: Picasso: 1932 (Tate Modern)

 

Book:

A Woman of No Importance – Sonia Purnell

The Order of the Day – Eric Vuillard

The Cut-out Girl – Bart Van Es

The Quiet American, To Have & Have Not, The Catcher in the Rye, The Drowning Pool

Last year: The Leithen Stories – John Buchan

 

TV:

After Life (Netflix)

The Boys (Amazon), The Crown – S3 (Amazon)

Last year: Mrs Wilson

 

Podcast:

13 Minutes to the Moon

The Tip-Off

Sport:

England beating the All-Blacks at the Rugby World Cup, Japan

 

Dance:

The Red Shoes (Sadlers Wells)

 

Event:

150th anniversary of Girton College (including event at Trinity, Dublin)

50th anniversary of Moon Landing/Apollo 11

Mythos: The Gods – Stephen Fry

 

Dearly departed:

  • Emily Hartridge (who I made Oh Shit I’m 30! with)
  • Judith Kerr (with whom I was on Woman’s Hour)
  • Leon Kossoff
  • D.A. Pennebaker
  • Clive James
  • Jonathan Miller (who I walk with in Aldeburgh while he was having a cheeky fag)
  • Albert Finney
  • Gordon Banks (his Esso medal hangs on my wall along with his 1970 World Cup team mates)
  • Peter Fonda
  • Ginger Baker
  • Doris Day
  • Dr John
  • Mark Hollis (who I have a vague memory of meeting briefly at Solus, my first job)
  • Agnès Varda
  • Mary Warnock (Mistress of Girton in my era)
  • Jeremy Hardy (he contributed to my Omagh project at Channel 4)
  • Terry O’Neill
dylan-doc-rolling thunder review scorsese

Performance of the year

 

Best of 2018 and links to earlier Bests Of

4 reasons to go see Joker

(No spoilers)

Joaquin Phoenix Todd Phillips London screening Joker 25 September 2019 Leicester Square

This is my first BAFTA viewing of the 2019-20 season and frankly it’s likely to be all downhill from here. This is a flawless performance in a pretty much flawless film (in contrast to Dark Knight which is a flawless performance in a slightly flawed, overlong film). It’s got an unusual pacing as it is, as the director Todd Phillips said in his intro at an Imax screen on Leicester Square, a “slow-burn”. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a slow-burn that doesn’t really work (much though I enjoyed the movie) – but this one you just have to go with and it winds itself out to a more than satisfying last third where the pace takes off. It’s a detailed character study in how Arthur Fleck became Joker. Once he fully transitions to the warped clown nemesis of Batman it’s a fabulous run for home. I can’t wait to go back and watch it again. I’m not too keen on comic book movies (much though I love the comics themselves) but this is, perhaps the first, maybe second, true classic in that genre.

dc-movies-joker-joaquin-phoenix stairs dance

A stairs scene to rival Battleship Potemkin and Rocky

1. A trip back to Hollywood’s golden age in the 70s

The movie has its roots and inspiration in 70s classics, movies I truly love. There’s Taxi Driver here, and King of Comedy, the anger and madness of Network and the crazy of Cuckoo’s Nest. And making the link is a superb performance from Robert DeNiro as a TV show host.

2. The Stairs scene

I just loved the scene on the stairs above – the music, the movement, the costumes. Joker is a character with music and elegance deep in him. But he has been beat to fuck by society and his horrendous background, crippled.

3. Joaquin Phoenix’s performance

Joaquin Phoenix Todd Phillips London screening Joker 25 September 2019 Leicester Square

Joaquin Phoenix & Todd Phillips at London screening 25th September 2019

He’s in pretty much every scene. He’s somehow simultaneously hideous and handsome. Todd Phillips referred to him as the actor of his generation which is certainly arguable. Once he’s donned his red suit, yellow waistcoat and green hair-matching shirt he is frankly irresistible.

4. The music and soundtrack

At the beginning of the stairs sequence we hear Rock and Roll Part 2 by Gary Glitter. A pretty controversial choice for sure – but appropriate to the context. And for all the shame of Paul Gadd/Gary Glitter it’s a helluva song. A bit later we get White Room by the great Cream. Another spot-on, dark choice.

I’ll wait in this place where the sun never shines
Wait in this place where the shadows run from themselves

The newly composed soundtrack by Hildur Gudnadottir (Sicario, The Revenant, Chernobyl), a classically trained cellist from Iceland, is highly original and effective/affective. She composed to the script rather than the cut film so some of the key scenes were shot performed to her music rather than the (usual) other way round.

joker joaquin phoenix actor movie

The cat that got Cream (why so serious?)

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