Still days after seeing it, I’m still stunned by this film. I was lucky enough to see this film before the release with high anticipations, and I was blown away. Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as the Joker was hands down the best of the entire year. His performance reminds me why we love to watch actors play other people, why performance is such an appreciated art form. His laugh, his movements and his slow transformation from Arthur Fleck, a wannabe standup comedian to the crazy prince of thieves, the Joker, was a thing of beauty to watch. Anybody who’s watching this film has to appreciate how Phoenix committed himself to this role, you don’t see Phoenix on the screen, but the character of Joker. Joaquin Phoenix might have not topped Heath Ledgers Joker in my opinion, but damn was he close and he deserves every acting award possible. The film offers a dark look of 1970s Gotham City; a dark, giddy atmosphere where there is no joy nor happiness in this world, and in many moments, the movie gave me instant “Taxi Driver” and “King of Comedy” vibes – two of Martin Scorsese’s best films – without copying both films, but includes elements from both films like e.g. all the political tensions in the city are definitely borrowed from “Taxi Driver” and all the bits with the stand-up comedy from “The King of Comedy”. The film was a deep character study of a man with some psychological and health issues who simply want to bring laughter to this world by performing as a clown in e.g. child’s hospitals and performing as a stand-up comedian. But his mental health and this broken, sad, depressive society that doesn’t know any joy, do not let him be the way he is and all the people around him see him as too weird/different and simply want to put him down; in the streets, in his workplace, at his mother’s house etc. to the point where he simply finds a breaking point and loses his mind every day that goes by, which leads him to kill people and then become a symbol of terror and chaos towards the end. And at every moment something bad happens to Arthur Fleck – and yes, a whole lot of things happen in his life aka. to him throughout the film – you just feel sad for him, you mourn for him since he never seemed to have any intentions of harming people at first so that the audience exactly understands the things he does throughout the film. I’m not gonna go any further into plot details since the film’s not yet out and I believe – even if it wouldn’t have the name “Joker” in the title – that everybody should go and watch this film because we don’t get such deep sophisticated character study films like this every day – especially if such films get mainstream attention. I enjoyed every second watching this character slowly falling apart. Although I do think that the character of Zazie Beetz was totally useless and lead to nowhere, it could have been easily cut out. That’s probably my only negative with this film. But still; it’s a thought-provoking masterpiece that has a lot to say – about the current situation of society -beyond being just a comic book movie. It offers a completely different take on the character of the Joker with some similarities to “The Killing Joke” with lots of surprising twists (one word: Wayne) that even connects it with the Batman comics and will leave you speechless. And half the greatness of this film is thanks to the great performance of Phoenix! I’m gonna say this: the scene in the third act where the Joker appears live on TV at the Murray Franklin show – which was shown in the final trailer – blew me personally away, the tensions, the build-up, Phoenix’s greatness, and even Robert De Niro’s acting, was a heartbeat moment to me. Not spoiling it, but it’s amazing. This is undoubtedly the greatest acting performance since Heath’s joker. The directing and writing is slickly brilliant and the bleak settings and tones are palpable throughout. When this film was over the place was blown away and every audience member was awestruck that they witnessed a film that could still transport them into a character’s world and very existence. Believe the hype. This is going to be revered as a transcending masterpiece of cinema.