Since opening, Joker has grossed over a billion dollars and won star Joaquin Phoenix at the top of the Oscar for Best Actor. But the black thriller has also sparked controversy for its violent, villain-centric script. When Phillips addressed the aftermath of a recent episode of NPR’s “Fresh Air” podcast with Terry Gross, the director said that people just like to be outraged.
“We knew our intentions when we made the film. It disappointed us a little that it was so divisive, “he said, according to IndieWire.”To ask the studio to stop taking advantage of movies about gun violence, don’t think the director takes their concerns seriously.
“At the same time, Warner Bros. believes that one of the functions of storytelling is to provoke difficult conversations around complex questions. Make no mistake: neither the fictional character Joker nor the film is an endorsement of actual violence of any kind. It is not the intention of the film, the filmmakers or the studio to make this character a hero. ”
Phoenix also addressed the controversy at a press conference before the film’s release, saying he thinks audiences will know it’s just a movie.
“Well, I think for most of us you can tell the difference between good and bad,” he said, according to IGN. ” They misinterpret passages from books. So I don’t think it’s the responsibility of a filmmaker to teach the public about morality or the difference between good and bad. I mean, for me, I think it’s obvious. ”
Phoenix won the Golden Globe for best actor in a drama at the Golden Globes for Joker and is in the running for the best actor at the SAG and BAFTA awards. He is eagerly awaited to win an Oscar nomination, the fourth in his career, on Monday when the list is announced.