‘Joker’ Just Beat Every MCU Movie in This Stunning Way

There was kind of a collective gasp in the movie world the morning when the 2020 Oscar nominations were read January 13. Finding out Joker had 11 nominations wasn’t really predicted by any Oscar soothsayer.

If maybe it reflects the kind of voters the Oscars still have (older and white), it’s now in the record books DC has beaten Marvel for most Oscar nominations. The seven nominations Black Panther gained last year was thought to be a new standard.

What does it say now that Joker has taken a big bite out of Marvel ever gaining more Oscar recognition?

Arguments are still ensuing on whether Joker is really a comic book movie anyway. If it isn’t, what is it exactly? And is it the beginning of more movies exploring areas of mental illness never explored?

What’s really behind ‘Joker’ being nominated across the board?

Joaquin Phoenix in 'Joker'
Joaquin Phoenix in ‘Joker’

It’s still a given Joaquin Phoenix will win Best Actor at the Oscar ceremony on February 9. Beyond this, it’s possible the film will be shut out of any other significant wins.

Those eleven nominations Joker received might have been a curse as well since movies that top out at the most nominations frequently have few wins if any. Two prominent movies in history had such a thing happen: The Color Purple and Bugsy. Most others had at least a few awards, though they were clearly shut out in favor of spreading the love to other movies.

This is often how it works at the Academy Awards lately with so many great movies now being made. Almost every Best Picture nominee this year were stunning achievements, making it all the harder to choose a single winner to represent. Conversely, far too many were shut out in favor of Joker being nestled in.

Deciding whether Joker was really the best picture of 2019 goes by one’s impression of whether it was a transparent look at mental illness or a deranged film possibly influencing others to be like Arthur Fleck.

Fans think it can’t be designated a comic book film

On Reddit, fans are torn on whether to designate the major nominations for Joker a major victory for comic book films. Other than Joker being from comic book lore, there was nothing in the film to suggest it had anything to do with the comic book world.

The version of Gotham seen there could have been New York City in the early ’80s (or any real-life metropolis of the time), taking it closer to reality than any movie as it has gone. Perhaps it’s this alone making it so haunting for those who saw it, not including Phoenix’s uninhibited performance into the mind of madness.

A good chunk of replies on Reddit think Phoenix carried all the other ten nominations the film received and maybe didn’t deserve, proving the actor may be the only win for the film in the end.

Some precedents might have been set, though, in gaining so many nominations. Deeper cinematic dives into disturbed minds may be an emerging genre, which goes far beyond comic books.

Wanting to understand mental illness

With mental illnesses in our world being numerous and likely many non-diagnosed, audiences probably want movies to extract some understanding of what’s going on. What drives insanity in America nowadays where so many young white men go on violent rampages, hence leading to mass shootings in our real world?

Joker opened the door to mentally exploring incels if worrying many critics it merely created more copycats than teaching audiences anything. From the perspective of the film’s creatives, they wanted to give insight into a disturbed mind. Regardless, they were arguably just guessing the pathology rather than knowing the reality.

Not that films shouldn’t arguably explore these issues more, perhaps outside the realms of comic books and in reality. As mental illness frequently takes a back seat to other issues in America, the film could still do better service in recognizing what’s really going on mentally with the most deranged in our society.

Consulting with real experts would lend more credibility and bring real Oscar wins rather than meaningless nods through award nominations.