Joker's Oscar campaign includes pushes for best picture, director and actor. The controversial Todd Phillips film has had a lengthy road to its current box office glory, and with Oscar season starting to gear up, it remains a strong awards favorite for many. Having taken home its first award after a premiere at the Venice Film Festival earlier this past summer, Joker proved it wasn’t just another comic book movie. The film won the Italian festival’s Golden Lion – an award for best film which had previously gone to numerous other high profile films destined for Oscar glory, like Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma as well as Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water.
Since then, Joker’s progress has been anything but smooth, with controversy after controversy plaguing it. Many cinemas in America feared the film could inspire mass shootings, like the one which occurred in Colorado during a screening of The Dark Knight in 2012. At one point during Joker’s press junket, Joaquin Phoenix - who plays Arthur Fleck/the Joker walked out of an interview after being asked if he thought the film might end up inspiring the kind of people it’s about. Yet through all its battles with media and critics, Joker has persevered in a big way.
As the race for Oscar glory now begins to heat up, Warner Bros. has revealed Joker’s For Your Consideration campaign on its website. The film is being put up for consideration in all categories, including best picture, director and actor. This likely won’t surprise many who have been following Joker since it first began to be screened in public, but the entire process is now official and the film will undergo the often laborious process of winning over Oscar voters.
It has previously been estimated (as recently as 2016) Hollywood studios typically spend anywhere from $3 million to $10 million in order to lobby Oscar voters. In the case of Joker, the film has arguably one of the greatest advantages going for it - a solid surrounding narrative. Love it or hate it, Joker has captured the public’s attention in a very big way, and that sort of attention does not easily escape those who vote for Hollywood’s biggest awards. This isn’t to say Joker will necessarily be successful in its attempts to bring home awards as highly revered as best picture, director and actor, but it does put the film in a rather advantageous spot.
On the flip side, however, there are still those who feel the film glorifies a particularly repugnant view of society and humanity. The controversies surrounding Joker may have died down somewhat, but the fact they existed in the first place could still pose problems. On one hand, if Joker is awarded best picture or director, the Academy risks siding with subject matter which some still believe encourages anti-social (and potentially lethal) behavior. Whether or not this is true in this case isn’t really the issue, either – a best picture win for Joker could mean more films of a similar nature in the future, leaving the Academy to look as though supports such subject matter. Ultimately, Joker should be considered for its worth as a film and not some imagined impact it could have on the public. But as we all know, there’s always more to any film’s popularity than what we see on the big screen.
Source: Warner Bros.