The Joker's marketing campaign might be the best of this year's entire crop of movies. Want to know why? Because it's turned a movie that doesn't need to exist - an origin movie for a character who works better most of the time precisely BECAUSE OF his lack of an origin - into an essential release.
Thanks to a combination of Joaquin Phoenix's irresistible performance, what looks like beautiful art direction and some truly compelling narrative choices, Joker is easily one of the most exciting movies of the year left to come. And when there were so many fears about demystification or needless prequelitis (we've all been hurt before), for it to all look THIS good is incredibly exciting.
The final trailer just released is a triumph and deserves a lot of praise - not least for bucking some annoying trends of recent trailer history (for a start, it has no TLDR tease at the front of it) - and there's a great chance it's leapt up to the very top of movie fans' lists of unmissable movies left in 2019.
Here's the trailer...
It's not quite flawless, of course, even with so many positives and it's worth looking both at where it soars and what might not be quite so good.
First the positives...
9. More Characters!
For the majority of the marketing - right up until the teaser Instagram posts that hinted at this very trailer's release - basically all we'd seen of this movie was Joaquin Phoenix's Joker. That was inevitable and entirely justified, because it's his movie and you sell your wares with your biggest assets.
But that doesn't mean it's not great to get to see more of the cast that Todd Phillips has assembled here. Even in very brief flashes we get to see Robert De Niro, Marc Maron, Zazie Beetz, Shea Whigham and Brett Cullen and their placement suggests context. While it's all well and good going in cold, familiarity and grounding for characters - even that vaguely - is a very welcome thing. Plus, who wouldn't get excited about a supporting cast like that (which also includes Frances Conroy, Bill Camp and Bryan Tyree Henry, by the way)?