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Todd Phillips’ Joker made history last night when it won the prize for best film at the Venice Film Festival, as the first superhero movie to do so. This accolade makes the movie a strong contender for the upcoming Academy Awards.

Joaquin Phoenix’s role as the Batman villain has been lauded by critics as the driving force behind the film. According to The Hollywood Reporter, during his acceptance speech, Phillips echoed these sentiments, saying “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.”

Joker explores the origins of the Joker, Batman’s archenemy, in a dark character study that some critics have deemed potentially dangerous. Read our full critic roundup here.

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