JOKER and Cinematic Responsibility
Will JOKER get any (of the well-deserved) attention at the Academy Awards next year? Will Joaquin Phoenix get his well-deserved Oscar nomination? If not it will likely be because of politics. Stupid, overwoke, PC crybaby nonsense—or maybe not. If this article offers any realistic gauge, then even those who found the movie uncomfortable (Note: It’s SUPPOSED to be uncomfortable!) had some good things to say about it.
“I also found it to be more than a bit irresponsible, in terms of its depiction of both mental illness and violence.” That’s typical of the worst I saw. It goes without saying that I wholeheartedly disagree. I would argue that it is responsible in the extreme, as it provides a warning, a canary in a coal mine for society, about what can happen when the mentally ill and socially disaffected are ignored or mistreated.
Here is another negative viewpoint: “…the film is highly questionable morally. As a former exhibitor, I would have serious doubts about playing the film because of the message it sends. I don’t think the Academy should honor a film with such controversial elements.” Right. We should stick to puppy dogs and flowers. Safe, sanitized, saccharine fare.
“I want to see Downton Abbey (with all its lightness and pretty people, scenery and themes) three times to get Joker out of my system.” Yeah, you do that, precious.
“I haven’t seen it yet, but when I do see it I will be sitting right next to the exit! So crazy to have to think like this, but we have to.” Actually you don’t. The connection between the Aurora theater shooting and the character is false. There never was any connection.
“Only [Michelle] Pfeiffer and [Danny] DeVito in [1992’s] Batman Returns have truly balanced dark with light. This one didn’t have a point of view on politics or class, and its depiction of mental illness was irresponsible.” If this person is praising BATMAN RETURNS, that tells us all we need to know about his taste, doesn’t it?
Then there are those who think like I do:
“Joker is a dazzling, harrowing experience whose guts and artistry should be applauded, especially in an era of sanitized, shrink-wrapped cinema.” Damn. Straight.
“…forget the Academy—how many other movies in the last 10 years have successfully delivered that level of filmmaking to a mass audience?” Exactly.
“I am aware that some Academy members may not see the film or, if they do, won’t be that receptive to it, despite its critical acclaim and popularity. So what else is new? By the way, in my view the controversy appears to be mainly in the press and on social media. I doubt that many Academy members are as invested in this controversy as journos and Oscar pundits are.” I have said the same thing. The PC police whine and cry online and the “media” tries to stir up controversy to benefit from ratings bumps, but does anyone in the real world actually listen to those people?
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!