‘Joker’ Fans Will Soon Be Able to See the Oscar-Nominated Movie Like Never Before
It’s a turn of events only the Clown Prince of Crime himself could predict. Yet, Joker proved to be one of 2019’s most-talked-about and most commercially successful films. On a reported budget of $55 million, Todd Phillips’ character-focused supervillain origin story snagged more than $1 billion worldwide. Moreover, it received 11 Academy Award nominations, more than any other film at the 2020 ceremony.
Of those Oscar nods, Best Actor contender Joaquin Phoenix is the likeliest to win. But Joker is also a frontrunner for its haunting score from Hildur Guðnadóttir. Earlier this award season, Guðnadóttir made history as the first sole female composer to win a Golden Globe for Best Original Score. That victory will probably repeat at the Oscars.
But soon Joker fans will get the chance to experience the movie — and its music — in an exciting and entirely new way.
The distinctive role of music in ‘Joker’
In many ways, Guðnadóttir’s score is a character in the film itself. That sounds cliché, but consider the isolation Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck feels throughout. The only real constant that accompanies him throughout is the melancholy, chaotic score. As Arthur’s mind slips further, the music follows along with him.
Perhaps the best instance of the interaction between Phoenix’s performance and Guðnadóttir’s score is the iconic bathroom dance scene. Having just committed murder for the first time, Arthur feels a twisted sense of freedom from his bloody actions. And the Joker within is about to break free.
Guðnadóttir previously discussed how Phoenix used her score to shape his performance, especially in key scenes like the bathroom dance. Composers usually create the music to the footage, not the other way around. So Joker is the rare case where a film and its music are crafted in tandem with one another.
Fans can see the movie with a live orchestra
With this unique relationship to its music in mind, Joker fans should be excited to hear what the film has in store. Deadline reports the film is taking its twisted show on the road with an international live concert tour. Each performance will feature a full orchestra performing Guðnadóttir’s score live for attendees.
Beginning on April 30, 2020 in London, the tour will travel through the UK until July. After this point, the Joker live concert series will expand to a number of countries throughout Europe and beyond. However, dates and locations have not been confirmed just yet. So most fans will have to keep an eye out for further announcements.
In a statement, Guðnadóttir expressed her thoughts on the tour.
I’m thrilled to get to see and hear Joker in the cinema with a live orchestra. When we recorded the music, the orchestra brought such depth and detailed attention to the performances that we were all literally holding our breaths during most of the recording sessions. It was a beautiful trip. I’m so happy to get to go there again and for an audience to experience that too.
Live performances of film scores such as this have become increasingly popular over the last few years. Still, these events are normally reserved for sweeping epics like Star Wars or The Lord of the Rings. Joker then is a surprising choice for such treatment but one that makes sense with its production.
This tour stokes the flames for a sequel
In addition to providing a new revenue stream for the Joker creative team, this live tour also allows Warner Bros. to keep fans engaged. After all, the studio is absolutely going to leverage its billion-dollar success as much as it can. And until Phillips and Phoenix officially sign on for that rumored sequel, a concert tour keeps Joker relevant and top-of-mind for fans.
Likely, we’ll get some kind of update on Joker 2 after the Academy Awards take place. Perhaps Phillips and Phoenix are holding out to see how Joker performs on Oscar night before negotiating their contracts. In any case, it’s an excellent time for Joker fans. By the looks of it, Batman’s arch-nemesis isn’t going away anytime soon.