' ' Cinema Romantico: 5 More Actors Who Could Win Their Oscar for Playing Joker

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

5 More Actors Who Could Win Their Oscar for Playing Joker


Now that Joaquin Phoenix has won his first Oscar for playing the Joker, eleven years after the late Heath Ledger posthumously won his first Oscar for playing the Joker, it’s become clear that embodying the crazed D.C. Comic villain is as much a surefire avenue to Academy Award glory as taking the lead role in a musician biopic. And so, a year after Rami Malek for playing Freddie Mercury led us to wondering what non-Oscar winning actors could earn their first one by playing a famous singer, we now wonder what non-Oscar winning actors could earn their first one by playing the Joker too. Joker movies for everybody!

5 More Actors Who Could Win Their Oscar for Playing Joker


Liam Neeson. Remember the “Extras” episode where Liam Neeson plays himself as a frighteningly serious man trying, with no success whatsoever, to be funny, only more terrifying, even creepy? I mean, there’s your Joker, people.


Richard E. Grant. His Joker would be like Jack Nicholson’s version crossed with Hugh Grant’s Phoenix Buchanan, meaning we could maybe Bring Together comic book nerds – sorry, aficionados – and hoity-toity critics who adored “Paddington 2.”


Sam Elliott. As a rodeo clown who ages out of the business, he goes rogue, reimagining Joker as the anti-hero of a revisionist western, or something.

Harrison Ford. He would be great, I think, except that his Joker performance would be the same one, more or less, that Tina Fey already gave in the immortal 2012 “30 Rock” episode where she essentially morphed into the Joker by way of transforming into the most cranky misanthrope imaginable. No disrespect to Joaquin or Heath or Jack or Cesar Romero but on Cinema Romantico’s scorecard, Fey’s Joker remains the singular reading. Next.

Edward Norton. Reimagines the Joker as a Silicon Valley tech bro who uses an app to infiltrate the nation’s preeminent biennial electoral event in order to sow the seeds of...no, too soon. Next.

Willem Dafoe. Except I don’t want him winning his overdue Oscar on a technicality. Next.


Tom Cruise. What about that madman’s grin and psychotic’s cackle doesn’t scream sadistic prankster?


Michael Shannon. Well, it was always going to end here, wasn’t it? And speaking of which, I think Michael Shannon’s “Joker” should be about Michael Shannon as a single guy in the city who, with nothing else to do on Halloween, gets dressed up as the Joker and goes to the corner bar and sits on the corner stool. The bar is empty, of course, aside from the philosophical bartender (Kevin Corrigan), who’s really more of Marvel guy, and the woman sitting on the completely opposite end of the bar who refuses to movie down since, hey, he’s a guy in a Joker costume and so she just shouts her dialogue from 16 stools over the entire movie (Abbi Jacobson), a device amplified by how she will never be seen in close-up, just long shots from Shannon’s side of the bar. Marisa Tomei, of course, cameos as a woman who shows up midway through dressed in a Catwoman costume to buy cigarettes.

This will win Michael Shannon the Oscar, right?

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