A weird case where winning the Best Picture Oscar forever scarred a film rather than rewarded it - and it's a shame, because this is a lovely yarn. Warm and funny, beautifully acted, featuring one of Hans Zimmer's great early unconventional character scores - and, at times, quite insightful. It's a shame it's mostly remembered for winning an Oscar it probably shouldn't have even been up for in the year that "Do the Right Thing" and "Glory" got snubbed; it's a good drama, well worth a watch.
Plot Twist: The Movie
Funny, sexy, atmospheric noir that throws a new plot twist every ten minutes, continually upending its story and sympathies in ways that are great fun -- and which ultimately turns out to be less hedonistically immoral than it appears. Sleazy fun that's actually clever without being full of itself for it.
Exceedingly well made technically - the atmosphere of a decayed, dying 1981 Gotham is almost suffocating. Phoenix is admirably committed 10,000%. Shame about the script. Thematically self-contradictory and immensely unpleasant to no purpose. Finally, as a Joker film, it's not funny. At all. This is also a problem just a film, really, making it pretentions all the more unbearable. An admirable, initially absorbing, but utter failure.