Test screenings for Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix as a new incarnation — Arthur Fleck — are commencing with details starting to leak out ahead of the film’s October release. Most of it is unverified but one Twitter user gave a reaction, the first from someone who claims to have seen the movie.
The Daily Express reported Thursday the literal “gut” reaction by anonymous Twitterer ViewerAnon to a cut of Joker. After stewing on it for a little while, they shared these thoughts:
“Wanted to chew on this for a couple hours before saying anything: JOKER screened tonight. It’s a movie that is casual in its nastiness, a series of continual punches to the gut. If you’re into that sort of thing, you’ll love it. If not… (I am)”
The Express also passed along ViewerAnon’s original tweet which added Phoenix’s initials and a flame emoticon, signaling the immersive actor’s performance has some fire.
Wanted to chew on this for a couple hours before saying anything: JOKER screened tonight. It’s a movie that is casual in its nastiness, a series of continual punches to the gut. If you’re into that sort of thing, you’ll love it. If not… (I am)
— ViewerAnon (@ViewerAnon) June 12, 2019
I’m guessing ViewerAnon really liked it.
Based on alleged plot details from the film, this first reaction to Joker sounds accurate. If the plentiful unconfirmed spoilers are true, it will be one grim litany of lies, betrayal, murder, violence, and eventually class warfare. Between his mom and mental ills plaguing his dead-end existence, Arthur Fleck is one sad, tortured person.
To say Joker is “casual in its nastiness” is true to the character even if those same words could be used by the average critic to vilify it. And The Clown Prince would merely add the clippings to his scrapbook.
He might add an Oscar to his mantle while he’s at it. Given the timing of its release, Joker seems primed for award season. And onlookers are naturally talking Oscar, as the Express notes. Mr. J is an Oscar-winning character; Heath Ledger received a nod posthumously for The Dark Knight.
We’ll find out if Joaquin Phoenix has the same resonance in a few months. Joker hits theaters Oct. 4th.