Joker is dividing the heck out of audiences far and wide, including one very significant crowd: Oscar voters. The Hollywood Reporter recently spoke with a number of members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and like critics and audiences, they were largely split on the film.
First, let’s hear from the crowd that loved it. One male member of the Members at Large Branch who saw the film at the official Academy screening noted that the flick was well-received by the 500 audience members, and said,
“I think it’s brilliant. Joaquin Phoenix has never been better. […] I thought that the [director of photography], production designer and others created the look and feel of the period really well, and the fact that it has very contemporary themes of economic/class inequities felt just right. Overall, a home run.”
A female member of the same branch agreed, although she admitted that her, quote, “stomach was still churning” the day after viewing the film. She added,
“It made me uncomfortable from the very first frame to the last, but I thought the movie was extraordinary. It’s the most outstanding performance I’ve seen in many years […] It’s still early, but I can certainly see myself nominating it for best picture. And [Phoenix] has to get nominated, or the actors branch doesn’t know what it’s doing.”
A male member of the writers’ branch compared the film favorably to the last picture to score an Oscar win for an actor portraying the Joker, saying,
“I thought the filmmaking was exceptional certainly the most innovative superhero movie since The Dark Knight. […] I haven’t seen any of this season’s ‘Academy’ movies yet, but, artistically, I think this film is stronger than many of last year’s Oscar-nominated films.”
Then there was one male member of the producers’ branch who boldly predicted that Joker will deliver come February, saying,
“I loved it and it will win Best Picture. I am really bored with all the superhero movies, but here I really liked it because it’s a great movie before it’s a genre movie.”
To say that many of the Oscar voters who spoke with The Hollywood Reporter were not quite so impressed would be a massive understatement. Those who disliked the film disliked it intensely, and they didn’t hold back when discussing what they perceived to be Joker’s faults. Keep watching the video to see Oscar voters give their honest opinions about Joker!
The love | 0:16
The hate | 1:50
The middle ground | 3:21
An Oscar for Joker? | 4:11