Joker star Joaquin Phoenix won the best actor of the year recognition from New York Film Critics Online. Phoenix’s performance has been generating awards buzz since the film debuted. In the film, Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill stand-up comedian living in poverty while caring for his sick mother. Over the course of the film, the abuse Fleck receives transforms him into the Joker, a nihilistic criminal who incites a riot in Gotham. Warner Bros. is pushing the movie in multiple Academy Awards categories, with Phoenix seeming to be a strong candidate for a nomination in the Academy’s best actor category.
Reviewer Harvey Karten founded NYFCO, founded in 2000. The group met in Lincoln Center's Furman Gallery at the Walter Reade Theatre on Saturday for its 20th annual gathering, where it voted on its favorites of the year.
The group named Parasite the year’s best film and its director, Bong Joon-Ho, the best director. The film’s screenplay, written by Bong and Han Jin-Won, won Best Screenplay. Lupita Nyong’o won Best Actress for her performance in Us. Here’s the full list of honors:
- Picture: Parasite
- Director: Bong Joon-Ho (Parasite)
- Actor: Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)
- Actress: Lupita Nyong'o (Us)
- Supporting Actor: Joe Pesci (The Irishman)
- Supporting Actress: Laura Dern (Marriage Story)
- Screenplay: Parasite (Bong Joon-Ho, Han Jin-Won)
- Cinematography: 1917 (Roger Deakins)
- Documentary: Apollo 11 (NEON)
- Foreign Language: Portrait of a Lady on Fire (NEON)
- Ensemble Cast: Knives Out (Casting director: Mary Vernieu)
- Breakthrough Performer: Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Waves, Luce)
- Debut as Director: Lila Aviles (The Chambermaid)
- Use of Music: Rocketman (Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Giles Martin, Matthew Margeson)
- Animated Feature: I Lost My Body (Netflix)
The group also named Joker one of the top 10 films of the year. Here's the complete list (in alphabetical order):
- 1917 (Universal Pictures)
- The Farewell (A24)
- Hustlers (STX Films)
- The Irishman (Netflix)
- Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight)
- Joker (Warner Brothers)
- Marriage Story (Netflix)
- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony Pictures)
- Parasite (NEON)
- The Two Popes (Netflix)
Joker has made more than $1 billion worldwide, becoming the first R-rated film to achieve that level of box office success. The film also stars Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Bill Camp, Shea Whigham, and Marc Maron.
ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis called it a masterpiece is his 5-star review, writing, "Whether or not Joker is a social commentary on issues such as poverty or mental illness, a new and mysterious take on the best known DC Comics villain, or just another unforgettable piece of cinema which producer Martin Scorsese is attached to, you’ll need to see to believe it and, even then, you still might not believe it."