Been a little busy as you may have heard, so just now seeing this. I’ve heard every reaction, positive and negative to this film, and in a way, I think everyone is right.
First, what I liked. Joaquin is definitely different (enough) to me than what everyone else has done. So that’s a win. I don’t know how much I buy the laugh as a disability, but I did like the mental illness angle to a point. The fears of creating a new real life madman (any more than anything else) may have been a bit overblown, but watching this did make me think of ‘Fight Club’ in a good way. (I’m a fan of that movie and didn’t think this one was on that level but same ‘angry loner’ vibe.) The nods and twists to the Batman mythology we all know I really liked. Won’t spoil them here for my friends who haven’t seen it yet but I definitely liked how they took advantage of the lack of an established Joker origin. And Bob. DeNiro playing off one of his old iconic roles was a nice touch that didn’t feel overly forced to me.
On the flip side, I don’t feel like I saw a great film because it never fully committed to any of the points it was making. When I was ready to go all in on the mental health angle we had to spend time with Thomas Wayne. When we were digging deeper into the Thomas Wayne angle it became about his dream of being a stand up comedian. All interesting plots that mostly come together. Maybe too many stories?
Joaquin will probably be one of the five when nominations start rolling around. His performance wasn’t the problem. We’ll find out sooner as opposed to later.