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Joker: Joaquin Phoenix movie wins top prize at Venice Film Festival

The Independent logo The Independent 08/09/2019 Roisin O'Connor
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Joker has won the top prize at this year's Venice Film Festival.

The film starring Joaquin Phoenix, which was directed by Todd Philips, took home the Golden Lion amid serious Oscars buzz.

It follows the life of Arthur Fleck, a failed comedian who faces violence while walking the streets of Gotham City dressed as a clown.

During his acceptance speech, Phillips thanked “Warner Bros. and DC for stepping out of their comfort zone and taking such a bold swing on me and this movie".

He also thanked Phoenix, who joined him on stage.

“There is no movie without Joaquin Phoenix. Joaquin is the fiercest and brightest and most open-minded lion I know. Thank you for trusting me with your insane talent,” Phillips said.

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The Joker has been portrayed by a number of actors, including Jared Leto in Suicide Squad and the late Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight.

Previous Golden Lion recipients include Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water and Alfonso Cuaron's Roma.

The Joker is released in cinemas on 4 October.

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