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Joker 2019 movie Joaquin Phoenix holds cigarette

Hot damn. If you thought the latest trailer for Joker looked promising, it sounds like the promise is fulfilled in the full movie. Director Todd Phillips' Joker movie, starring Joaquin Phoenix as mentally ill comedian Arthur Fleck/Joker, just premiered at the Venice Film Festival on August 31. Early reactions are in from the screening, and it sounds like viewers were completely blown away.

Let's start with CinemaBlend's own Eric Eisenberg, who tweeted a blurb from his fascinating Joker review while linking to the full piece:

I also love this reaction from film student/critic Awais Irfan:

I'm totally sold after that, but there's more. "Disturbing" comes up a lot, including here from the International Film Critique, which continued with a full thread of reactions if you want more.

Alex Billington of First Showing said he too was surprised -- in a good way -- that the DC movie even exists:

Joaquin Phoenix transformed himself for the role, and many are already pointing to him for an Oscar nomination.

Here's some early Oscar love from director/cinematographer Olivier Sarbil:

Heath Ledger set a high bar, but maybe he won't be the only one to walk away with a trophy as DC's Clown Prince of Crime? Filmmaker James Jones also called the movie a "masterpiece":

There are more early reactions out there -- and CinemaBlend has a full review up right now -- but that should give you some idea.

Joker is a DC movie, but it's not connected to the DCEU. The movie is set in 1981, following the criminal descent of failed stand-up comedian Arthur Fleck. Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, and Marc Maron co-star.

From Venice, Joker next plays at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9. The Rest Of Us get to see it when it opens in theaters here on October 4. I'm thinking, with all of this effusive praise and hype, Joker may have a better opening weekend than previously expected. Keep up with everything heading to the big screen this year with our 2019 movie release date schedule.