Joker is a 2019 American psychological thriller film directed and produced by Todd Phillips.
The film, based on DC Comics characters, stars Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker and provides a possible origin story for the character.
Set in 1981, it follows Arthur Fleck, a failed clown and stand-up comedian whose descent into insanity and nihilism inspires a violent counter-cultural revolution against the wealthy in a decaying Gotham City. Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Bill Camp, Shea Whigham, and Marc Maron appear in supporting roles. The film loosely adapts plot elements from Batman: The Killing Joke (1988).
Joker had its world premiere at the 76th Venice International Film Festival on August 31, 2019, where it won the Golden Lion, and was released on October 4, 2019. While Phoenix received widespread critical acclaim for his performance, and the direction, editing, musical score, cinematography were praised, the dark tone, portrayal of mental illness, and handling of violence divided opinions and generated concerns of inspiring real-life violence. Despite this, Joker was a box office success and set records for an October release. It grossed over $1 billion, the first R-rated film to do so, and became the sixth-highest-grossing film of 2019 during its theatrical run. At the 92nd Academy Awards, it earned a leading 11 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay, winning Best Actor for Phoenix and Best Original Score.