Joker is one of the most talked about movies to come out of 2019, and is faring very well this Awards Season. After Joaquin Phoenix took home the Golden Globe for Best Actor, Todd Phillips' dark psychological drama was given a whopping 11 nominations at this morning's Academy Awards announcement. Phoenix is a favorite to take home the Oscar as well, and he recently explained his thought process behind Arthur Fleck's iconic bathroom dance.
Arthur Fleck's descent into madness is a gradual decline throughout Joker, although things get really kickstarted when Joaquin Phoenix's character kills for the first time. After murdering three Wayne Enterprise employees who beat him up, Arthur flees to a public bathroom to gather himself. The character then begins a bizarre dance of freedom and peace. Phoenix spoke to his motivations at this moment, explaining:
I felt like the character had moved way past that and that there was the opportunity to express something else, but I didn’t know precisely what that was…I thought there was some kind of movement, some physical transformation, right? A metamorphosis.
This type of message was certainly portrayed during Joker's bathroom scene, which wasn't even originally in the script. It was the first true step to Arthur becoming The Joker, eventually resulting in the chaos of the movie's third act.
Joaquin Phoenix's comments to Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes shows how methodically the acclaimed actor approached his work on Joker. He and Todd Phillips sought to create a movie unlike any other comic book adaptation. They did just that, mostly by crafting a story that wasn't actually based on anything on the page.
As a reminder, you can check out Joker's bathroom dance scene below.
While Arthur Fleck was originally terrified after killing the trio of young professionals, his attitude changed once he was in private. Killing was a transformative experience, and that change began in that grimy public bathroom. Arthur seemed to bloom, rather than being crushed with guilt or terror.
Arthur's point of view on killing the men who attacked him was reinforced throughout Joker by unhappy denizens of Gotham City, as well as the protagonist's own delusions. He imagines a conversation with Sophie, where she praised the person who murdered those Wayne employees on the subway. What's more, he unknowingly inspires a revolution, as anarchy grips the city.
Joker is available for On Demand and DVD/Blu-ray now. Be sure to check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.