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'Joker' Is Probably Headed to the Oscars After That Venice Win

Joaquin Phoenix's gritty comic book origin story just won the Venice Film Festival's top honor.

by River Donaghey
Sep 8 2019, 3:55pm

screenshot via trailer

Joaquin Phoenix's Joker movie just won the coveted Golden Lion award at the 2019 Venice Film Festival—and between this and all those gushing early reviews, this one seems destined for the Oscars.

It's no huge surprise that Joker took home the festival's top honor. The film was apparently met with an eight-minute standing ovation after its premiere last weekend, and audience members immediately hailed the thing as "a masterpiece," but if anyone still isn't convinced that Joker could be a hit with the Academy, too, the Golden Lion win should do the trick.

The past two Golden Lion winners absolutely cleaned up at the Oscars. In 2017, the award went to The Shape of Water, which went on to win Best Picture. And last year's winner, Roma, pulled in a ton of statues at the Oscars, too, even if it somehow lost the Best Picture to Green Book (that one still hurts). Let's see if Joker can follow suit. The movie is destined at least for a Best Actor nomination for Joaquin Phoenix, since the film has already been dubbed a "must-see" based on "Phoenix's riveting performance alone."

The Todd Phillips-directed movie stars Zazie Beetz and Robert De Niro alongside Phoenix, and is set to hit theaters on October 4. Get ready for this one, everybody.