What Were The Makers Of “Joker” Even Upset About?
Joker’s commercial success — and now its critical success — makes the filmmakers’ persecution complex even more absurd.
I suppose the good news about this year’s Oscars is that the Academy has finally accepted, two years in a row, that perhaps this particular show doesn’t require a host. The bad news, conversely, is that the nominations still suggest a film industry much more white, male, and boring than it actually is.
This year’s Oscars nominations were announced this morning, and to nearly no one’s collective surprise, they’re dominated by white people. There’s only one black woman nominated in any acting category, Cynthia Erivo for Harriet, who’s also the only nonwhite person (unless you count Antonio Banderas, who is Spanish, as Latinx). There are no women nominated for directing. Jennifer Lopez didn’t get shit for Hustlers. They didn’t even throw Beyoncé a bone for her Lion King soundtrack. Beyoncé!!! And Joker, one of the worst movies I saw last year, a list which includes the live-action Aladdin and the acid trip known as Cats, leads the pack with 11 nominations.
Joker has already largely been criticized as a boring, uninteresting movie at best, and a dangerous incel fantasy at worst. In the New York Times, A.O. Scott wrote, “To be worth arguing about, a movie must first of all be interesting: it must have, if not a coherent point of view, at least a worked-out, thought-provoking set of themes, some kind of imaginative contact with the world as we know it. ‘Joker’ … has none of that.” Tasha Robinson at the Verge wrote that “Joker is a deliberate and fine-tuned provocation and promise: you aren’t alone, the people you hate really are awful, and it would be okay to act against them in any way you want.”