‘Joker,’ Phoenix deserve Oscar awards

Dillan Schorfheide

Ever since I took a film class here at Eastern over a year ago, I have come to appreciate the finer things in films.

Everything from sweeping camera angles to the symbolism behind colors and objects on screen, I have found a new appreciation for the finer details that most people do not notice.

Because I recently watched “Joker” (finally, I know), and because the Oscar nominations were announced Monday morning, I feel the need to throw my votes in for the categories Joker is part of.

Specifically, I want to explain why “Joker” should win best picture, and why Joaquin Phoenix deserves to win the award for best actor.

Beware, there are spoilers ahead.

To be fair and honest with you, I have seen literally none of the other films up for best picture, so my knowledge of those movies is nonexistent.

But “Joker” simply took my breath away.

What stood out to me was the symbolism in the film.

The Joker character used the symbol of shooting himself in the head throughout the film, to show that he was upset, dissatisfied or depressed, etc.

Arguably the main theme of the film is revenge, as is the main motivation for a lot of superheroes and villains.

But “Joker” can be passed off as a movie to promote the villain, and Joker’s revenge goes hand-in-hand with the symbolism of shooting himself.

Later in the movie, Joker starts killing off those who had done him wrong, even his own mother.

With each killing, he starts to get “happier,” and he starts to show his personality more. At the end of the movie, when he is heralded as the savior for the downtrodden, he puts his hands in his mouth to pretend to shoot himself.

Instead, he used the pistol hands to make a smile appear.

Brilliant symbolism to complete the character’s arc throughout the movie.

Now, for Joaquin Phoenix.

To be fair, I am not well versed in a lot of classic movies and movie performances, but I will boldly state the Phoenix’s performance is the best of any actor I have watched.


He lost so much weight to look like a sickly, weak person.

His laugh is spot on for the classic staple of the Joker as a general character, and his dancing in the film is very technical and fun to watch.

But everything from the way he can change the tone of his voice with the snap of a finger to the way he can use his face superbly to display a full range of emotions is tremendous.

If “Joker” and Joaquin Phoenix both walk away from the Oscars with no awards, I will be personally offended (not too much, but it really is a great movie).

Dillan Schorfheide is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]