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Entertainment Joaquin Phoenix and Joker Director Todd Phillips Surprise Moviegoers at NYC Screening of Film

07:35  04 october  2019
07:35  04 october  2019 Source:   people.com

'Joker' Wins Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival

'Joker' Wins Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival "Joker" from director Todd Phillips won the Golden Lion, and "J'Accuse," or "An Officer and a Spy," from director Roman Polanski has won the Grand Jury Prize, the festival's runner up prize, at the 76th edition of the Venice Film Festival. The comic book film starring Joaquin Phoenix in an origin story of the iconic Batman villain beat out a lineup that also included films such as James Gray's "Ad Astra" and Steven Soderbergh's "The Laundromat" for the top prize. Polanski's "An Officer and a Spy" stars Jean Dujardin in a film about the Dreyfus Affair.

Joaquin Phoenix surprised fans when he arrived at a New York City movie theater for a screening of his new film Joker.

Joaquin Phoenix, Todd Phillips are posing for a picture: Joaquin Phoenix and Joker Director Todd Phillips Surprise Moviegoers at NYC Screening of Film © Provided by Meredith Corporation Joaquin Phoenix and Joker Director Todd Phillips Surprise Moviegoers at NYC Screening of Film

The actor, 44, arrived at the 4:45 p.m. showtime for his movie at the IMAX Lincoln Square 13 in New York City on Thursday night. The film’s director, Todd Phillips, accompanied the star as their film made its weekend debut.

While the film has received controversy for its violence, John DeVore, the editor in chief of Humungus who was present at the screening, tells PEOPLE the crowd stood and gave the two men a standing ovation after the film finished playing.

Joker TIFF premiere cements it as a bona fide — and controversial — awards player

Joker TIFF premiere cements it as a bona fide — and controversial — awards player Joker TIFF premiere cements Joaquin Phoenix as awards contender

Phoenix looked happy as he and Phillips smiled and told the crowd it was their first screening of the night.

“The audience was thrilled to see both of them,” DeVore tells PEOPLE. “They seemed to love the movie, and I doubt Philips and Phoenix could have received a warmer welcome.”

DeVore tweeted about their presence, writing, “Todd Phillips and Jaoquin [sic] Phoenix were at my screening of Joker tonight and the nerds were PUMPED (fyi i am a jock).”

The film won the Golden Lion award at the Venice International Film Festival in late August, while Phoenix was honored at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Cars singer Ric Ocasek died of heart disease, natural causes: NYC medical examiner

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Critics have both praised the movie and criticized it for its strong language and graphic scenes of violence, which have caused some families of mass shooting victims to express worry about the Joker‘s content.

Phoenix addressed those concerns in a September press conference, telling reporters, “I think that, for most of us, you’re able to tell the difference between right and wrong.”

“And those that aren’t are capable of interpreting anything in the way that they may want to,” he continued. “People misinterpret lyrics from songs. They misinterpret passages from books. So I don’t think it’s the responsibility of a filmmaker to teach the audience morality or the difference between right or wrong. I mean, to me, I think that that’s obvious.”

After the film’s Toronto International Film Festival premiere, Collider’s Perri Nemiroff wrote, “#Joker is one of the most unnerving movies I’ve seen in years. Joaquin Phoenix is astounding – the physicality of his work is especially impressive. It’s very well made across the board but I also found it very upsetting & right now I can’t shake that. Need to sit with this more.”

'Joker' Asked to "Speak for Itself" at Premiere with No Interviews

  'Joker' Asked to Filmmaker Todd Phillips acknowledged the increased media attention during opening remarks, while the end of the night featured a heightened security presence in the Hollywood & Highland parking structure.Joker filmmaker Todd Phillips introduced the project by wryly acknowledging the intense media coverage Joker has received.

“I saw #Joker — and it is unlike anything before it,” Brandon Davis of ComicBook.com tweeted. “The movie is dark, thrilling, and chilling. An insane masterpiece. The movie absolutely transcends being a comic book film and acts as a character study which, at times, will make audiences uncomfortable in wild ways.”

Joker has a nasty, oppressive power, and it never falters in its grim, purposeful momentum,” PEOPLE’s Tom Gliatto writes. “It feels like two hours spent locked in the trunk of a moving vehicle.”

Joker is in theaters on Friday.

Related video: Happy now? Everyone is talking about 'Joker' (Provided by Associated Press)

'Joker' Takes R-Rated Box Office Record…and Possibly Another No. 1 Weekend .
Warner Bros./Village Roadshow's "Joker" is going where no R-Rated film has gone before, passing the rating record set by "Deadpool 2" this weekend as it heads for $800 million worldwide. Along the way, it might also take one more No. 1 on the domestic weekend charts. Right now, "Joker" is in a virtual tie with Disney's "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil," with both films currently projected by industry estimates to earn $19 million this weekend. "Joker" currently has the slight edge with $5.4 million grossed on Friday compared to $4.8 million for "Maleficent.

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