A fire has erupted, my crops have been watered. Joker did not take home the top prize from the Toronto International Film Festival. Instead, that title went to Jojo Rabbit. Finally, a movie about a boy who talks to an imaginary Adolf Hitler took down the Joker, something Bruce Wayne often struggled with.
Who is a better superhero than Bruce Wayne? Who can defeat the Joker? Apparently, a small boy named Jojo and his imaginary friend, Taika Waititi as Hitler.
The Grolsch People’s Choice Award is the top prize at TIFF, and while Joker was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival, it wasn’t even in the top three at TIFF. Sometimes, you just have to laugh. With Jojo Rabbit winning out overall, second went to Marriage Story and rounding out the category in third was Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite. Sorry, none for you Joker.
Maybe the Golden Lion went to Joker because, at the time, neither Marriage Story nor Jojo Rabbit were in the running. Or maybe the people of TIFF just know that Taika Waititi mocking Hitler is a wonderfully fun way to round out 2019. Whatever the case may be, I find such joy in the fact that Joker did not take home the prize. Is that mean of me? Probably, but I don’t care; I’m tired of being told that it’s a revolutionary film when Heath Ledger literally won an Oscar for playing the same character.
Jojo’s director, Taika Waititi, shared his excitement over the win in a very Taika Waititi way.
— Taika Waititi (@TaikaWaititi) September 15, 2019
Now, to be fair, I don’t hate the idea of Joker. I’m a DC fan, and I love watching these villains find their footing in the world. I’m just frankly tired of watching the Joker be the token Batman villain time and time again when he has much more interesting foes that we could focus on. A white man who fails as a comedian and becomes a neurotic murderer? No thanks, I see that on Twitter every day. Poison Ivy is right there, and she’s an environmentalist terrorist whose morality is actually interesting. Give me that origin story in 2019.
So, I’m here for all the praise of Jojo Rabbit, getting excited about it, and supporting a movie that is unique, fun, and heart-wrenching. That’s way more interesting—to me, at least—than Joker, a movie that is selling itself as the first superhero movie to ever exist, apparently. (I swear to God, if I see one more tweet about how this movie is going to win Oscars and is a “serious” superhero movie, I’m going to throw the entire Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy at the Academy.)
(via ComicBookMovie.com, image: Kimberley French/Twentieth Century Fox)
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