Joker opened to mixed audience and critical reception. Some hailed the film for its chilling origin story and dark, unsettling approach to the comic realm. Others found the film cynical and trite — reverting to cliche victim tropes and succeeding on the back of a talented actor (Joaquin Phoenix) who can work with a shallow script.
Boasting only a 69% critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s one the lowest-reviewed contenders for Best Picture. So, just how many of the nominations can the film win? Based on previous award shows and qualities inherent to the competition, we can predict where this film will emerge triumphantly — and where it will fail to snag the win — come Oscar night. Let’s eliminate the awards that, as of now, Joker seems bound to lose.
The awards that ‘Joker’ will probably lose
As for best picture and best director, 1917 and Sam Mendes currently have the best shot at snagging these awards. Mendes won the Golden Globe for 1917, which is usually a strong indicator of what’s to come at the Oscars. However, Tarantino is running a close second for Best Director and Best Picture with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
While The Irishman is being hailed as Martin Scorses’s swan song, the film has failed to land the top prize at the other significant award shows. However, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and The Irishman are all more likely to snag these major awards based on current trends. 1917 is also expected to win best cinematography, as well as some of the more technical awards in the sound design and editing space.
Joker will also likely lose out in the costume design and makeup and hairstyling categories. Joker is not necessarily flashy in these categories, nor is the film impressive for transforming a face, accounting for a time gone by, or creating a specific feel. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will likely snag the award for costume design, yet Jojo Rabbit has a shot. And, if Bombshell doesn’t receive the best makeup award for transforming Charlize Theron, many fans will be shocked.
The awards that ‘Joker’ will probably win
While Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in Joker was quite controversial, many presume that he will win the award for best actor come Oscar night; however, seeing Robert De Niro snag the award for The Irishman would be a pleasant surprise for many.
While Phoenix’s acting is the core focus when discussing this movie, the film is also slated to take home best original score. Icelandic cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir already won the Golden Globe and the Critics Choice Award for her work on the movie.
In short, while nominated for 11 Oscars, Joker seems less likely than other films with multiple nominations to actually bring home the awards. However, no one will deny that Phoenix is the clear frontrunner for Best Actor; its screenplay and technical qualities are simply subpar when comparing the comic book movie to its competition. However, all remains to be seen.