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He who laughs last, laughs best, right? That’s probably the case for director Todd Phillips, whose much-anticipated “Joker” had perhaps the most contentious film festival premiere in recent memory. While comic book fans were excited to see an infamous—and, let’s face it, beloved—character receive a prestige treatment, not everyone regarded “Joker” as a joyful combination of populist and auteurist filmmaking. Our own Jessica Kiang was a little skeptical, praising the film while also half-seriously noting that it’s the kind of movie that may inspire “background checks and a mandatory three-day waiting period” at movie theaters across the country.
But if you’ve been wondering just how seriously to take “Joker” as both a prestige movie and an award season contender, things just got a little more complicated. The Venice Film Festival announced this afternoon that “Joker” had received the prestigious Leone d’Oro, or the Golden Lion for Best Film, from the Venice jury. Finishing in second with...
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