Let the battle begin.
With the arrival of director Todd Phillips'long-awaited Joker movie, a new challenger has entered the arena in hopes of becomingthe new Best Joker Actor Ever.
His name? Joaquin Phoenix.
His game? Well, doing his job and delivering the chillingkind of performance he knows is required of him, but possibly also dethroning the lateHeath Ledger in the process.
Since the announcement of Joker, fans havepit Phoenix and Ledger against one another, placing bets on whether or not the newcomercould shock and scare audiences as the failed-comedian-turned-crazed-killer Arthur Fleck as much as Ledger did throughhis turn in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight.
The debate over Phoenix and Ledger as theJoker began months ago, but with the world finally able to see Phoenix strut his stuffin clown makeup and a tattered suit, the fight is no longer theoretical.
So, now that Joker has landed in theaters, who played the character better: Joaquin Phoenix or Heath Ledger? Plenty of people were totally floored by thework Phoenix did in Joker, so much so that they now consider him better in the role thanthe late Ledger.
Some even think Phoenix is the best Jokeractor point blank.
“Are you having any negative thoughts?” “All I have are negative thoughts.
” One Twitter user wrote: “With all due respect to previous Jokers andto the great Heath Ledger, Joaquin Phoenix is the best Joker.
He has everything it needs.
We finally have a proper actor playing thecharacter in a very unfamiliar new shape.
If Ledger's a straight flush, Phoenix's afull deck.
” Another fan tweeted: “I thought it would take a long time beforesomeone delivers Joker better than Heath Ledger.
As it turned out it only took 11 years anda certain Joaquin Phoenix.
” This fan continued to gush over Phoenix'sperformance in another tweet, writing, “Joaquin Phoenix should get an Oscar, a goldenglobe, an Olympic gold medal, a Nobel prize, a ballon d'or, Knighthood, a champions leaguewinner medal and a presidential medal of freedom for his performance as the joker.
” Bollywood news & gossip site KoiMoi.
com aimedto settle the debate once and for all.
Their breathless verdict? Phoenix wins, hands down: “Phoenix's portrayal of Arthur Fleck is goingto be remembered for a lifetime.
His portrayal is so powerful that after thefilm was over I was so sucked into his world that I felt like I needed a good sleep.
Phoenix's performance makes you feel sorryfor being a part of this society and hence I say…Joaquin Phoenix'[s] Joker makes HeathLedger's Joker even more badass than he was!” But, alas, there can be no Phoenix-Joker-loverswithout Phoenix-Joker-detractors.
In the outlet's comprehensive ranking of everyJoker, Polygon placed Ledger several spots higher than Phoenix, with Ledger coming insecond place behind Mark Hamill, who voiced the Ace of Knaves on Batman: The AnimatedSeries, and Phoenix coming in fifth just ahead of Suicide Squad actor Jared Leto.
Polygon's Susana Polo said of Phoenix's turnas the iconic comic villain: “His Arthur Fleck is impossible to look awayfrom, even when you desperately want to.
Phoenix sways, grimaces, shuffles, and deliversterrible, involuntary paroxysms of laughter even as he openly weeps.
He just does it in service of a characterwho isn't particularly Joker-like, other than in the most superficial ways.
” Comparatively, Polygon's Patrick Willems wrotethat Ledger delivered a performance, quote, “so good it's worth forgiving it for all theterrible Halloween costumes and cosplays it inspired.
” “Wanna see a magic trick? I'm gonna make a pencil.
” On a different note, Jesse Hassenger of TheWeek wrote that Phoenix's version of the Joker falls short of not only the magnitude of Ledger'siteration, but also that of the power of every Joker actor who preceded him.
Hassenger wrote: “Even an actor as gifted as Joaquin Phoenixstruggles with this.
Todd Phillips' new Joker is a vastly morefocused, disciplined undertaking than something like Suicide Squad, with a committed and oftenmesmerizing performance from Phoenix.
Yet it still often feels more like a compositeof influences than a real original.
This is all very well-performed by Phoenix; it'salso more indebted to Jokers past than the movie seems to understand.
The movie wants desperately to make the Jokerfeel real and resonant, and Phoenix does his best.
But ultimately, this may mark another transitionfor the Joker: a turning point from prestige role to party trick.
” With so many different versions of the Jokerin existence, no singular take on the iconic villain can be universally heralded as thebest.
There really is no “best” Joker actor, it'sentirely subjective.
That said, being able to find even a littlebit of greatness in each of them just shows how iconic the Clown Prince of Crime reallyis.
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