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Venice Film Festival Director Says 'Joker' Will 'For Sure' Be an Oscar Contender

VENICE, ITALY - AUGUST 31: Joaquin Phoenix and Director Todd Phillips walk the red carpet ahead of the "Joker" screening during the 76th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on August 31, 2019 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Joker debuted at the Venice Film Festival this past weekend to absolute awe and amazement. Many have called the film a masterpiece, celebrating the talented direction from Todd Phillips and the star performance by Joaquin Phoenix. And Venice Film Festival Chief Alberto Barbera even went so far as to say that the DC flick would be making waves during awards season, according to ScreenRant.

Barbera spoke with Deadline to discuss his reaction to Joker and its potential at the Academy Awards. "They’re very good [Joker's chances]. Absolutely, it will be in the running... It’s so unpredictable and there’s a long way to go. Joker for sure," he shared. "Noah Baumbach’s film Marriage Story had a very warm response from the press. I think it’s his best film so far."

It was not just Phoenix's performance that's wowing audiences. The film itself transcends the comic book genre with its psychological study of Arthur Fleck, the man who ultimately becomes the infamous Gotham villain. With an R-rating, Joker has also reportedly caused a stir due to its violence and disturbing content.

Despite its departure from traditional comic book films, audiences were curious about its ability to break into the world of Oscar nominations. However, other films of the genre such as Logan and Black Panther have already paved the way in earning attention from the Academy.

Apparently Warner Bros. had a strong feeling that Joker would be a critical hit, which is why they were so adamant about showing it in the film festival circuit, rather than at Comic-Con or straight to theaters. Joker will also play at the Toronto Film Festival this month, and will premiere in cinemas on Oct. 4.