The Outrage-Filled Reception To Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘Joker’ Has Become The Butt Of Jokes And Memes

Via Warner Bros.

The Todd Phillips-directed Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Robert De Niro, premiered at the 76th Annual Venice Film Festival over the weekend, and (spoiler alert) film nerds seem to frigging love it — if the subsequent buzz online has been any indication. The film takes a diversion from your typical comic book fare, as Phoenix tackles the supervillain as a character study of a man named Arthur Fleck.

A so-called “clown-for-hire by day,” Fleck (as the film’s synopsis reveals) aspires to be a stand-up comedian on a late night talk show hosted by Murray Franklin (De Niro), however he finds that “the joke always seems to be on him.” As a result, Fleck “turns to a life of crime and chaos,” set in 1981, in the gritty, fictional Gotham City.

As it currently stands, Joker is boasting an impressive 87 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but people are pointing out the problematic nature of the film. For instance, while Phoenix’s performance is presumably indeed worthy of the early Oscar buzz, a film featuring the plight of a marginalized, failed white man acting out violently at a society that doesn’t understand him feels … I don’t know … a little tone deaf in 2019?

One way or another, people have Serious Opinions, despite the exhausting fact that it will be over a month before the film is released nationwide.

Others had jokes about a reports that the film received an insane, eight-minute-long standing ovation:

The outrage has also led to cooler heads making attempts to defend the new Joker, whether they be serious or tongue-in-cheek.

And even days after the premiere, people still have plenty of jokes and memes:

But if there’s one thing we can all agree on — regardless of what happens a month from now, Phoenix’s take on the Joker still won’t even be close to the most disliked Joker of all time.