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Joker Fans Are Seriously Outraged Over This One Big Thing

Some Joker fans are putting on a not-so-happy face.

Reacting to the Best Picture victory of Bong Joon-ho's brilliant dark comedy Parasite, many aficionados of director Todd Phillips' insane take on the iconic DC villain took to Twitter to cry foul — not necessarily due to any problems with Parasite, but because they thought Joker should have taken the top prize.

It's worth noting that Joker, which is indeed based on a comic book character despite having all the trappings of a grim and gritty '70s character study along the lines of Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver, was nominated for more Oscars than any other 2019 film. The flick scored 11 nods, and took home two statues: one for lead actor Joaquin Phoenix (a win which, honestly, was kind of a foregone conclusion), and another for Hildur Guðnadóttir's haunting score.

These achievements, though, weren't enough for some of the film's more vocal fans — such as Twitterer @TheMightyRJ28, who wrote, "This is Rubbish. The movie doesn't look like the best picture material. It should have [been] given to #JokerMovie." (We'd like to point out that the phrasing here implies that this user hasn't actually seen Parasite, so make of that what you will.)

Other fans were just a bit more accepting, considering Joaquin's win. "Joker was robbed so hard," wrote @roomthirteens, "but at least Joaquin got best actor... I love him so much."

Of course, more than a few users also chose to express their disappointment through memes, and still others... perhaps should have. Take, for example, this tweet from user @swfhomes_aida: "The Joker gets robbed. Parasite was best Foreign, why best Movie. A movie nobody has watched."

Did Parasite deserve its Best Picture win?

We submit that this is a breathtakingly wrongheaded statement to make about the highest-grossing film in the history of South Korea, and that even if the tweet were asserting that Parasite is a movie that no Americans have watched, it would still be wrong. It's worth asking, though: in a Best Picture field crowded with deserving nominees such as 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Little Women, The Irishman (which was shut out completely despite garnering a whopping ten nominations), and, yes, Joker, did Parasite really deserve its win?

Well, let's go to the tape. The film may have been a foreign production in a language other than English, but Bong is indisputably a master filmmaker, and virtually every critic who viewed Parasite agreed that it saw him operating at the absolute peak of his powers. In his distinguished, two decade-plus career, he has fielded two flicks which should be familiar to American audiences: 2006's The Host, a jaw-droppingly excellent monster movie, and 2013's Snowpiercer, a Chris Evans-starring graphic novel adaptation which is his sole English language credit.

Bong is an immensely gifted writer and director who never compromises his vision; he was aware, for example, that titling his film Parasite was a potential turn-off to audiences both foreign and domestic (via IGN), and yet here we are, discussing its Best Picture win. The film is a scathing satire, a blistering commentary on class divisions and social inequality — all descriptors which could easily be applied to Joker, now that we think of it.

Even among its distinguished competition, Parasite stands out as a thought-provoking, at times profoundly uncomfortable, amazingly relevant and satisfying film. Heck, Parasite and Joker would make excellent companion pieces to each other — and yes, in our humble opinion, the movie's win was richly deserved.

Will a comic book movie ever win Best Picture?

Truth be told, though, if Joker had managed to take home the big prize, we would be arguing just as forcefully in its favor. Phillips and Phoenix crafted one of the most affecting, artfully constructed character studies ever put to film, and its failure to win Best Picture is enough to make us wonder if any comic book film will ever have a shot at filmdom's most highly coveted prize.

Well, it was only a year ago that we were talking about the first-ever comic movie to be nominated for the honor: Marvel Studios' Black Panther, which ended up scoring trophies for its costume design, score, and production design. As flicks based on comic properties become more and more ingrained into our popular culture, it only stands to reason that filmmakers will continue to find new and interesting ways to approach said properties — and as they do, more frequent and significant accolades are sure to follow.

Having said that, it's tough to picture another comic movie having as clear a shot at Best Picture as Joker did. Of course, there's a fair chance that Phillips and Phoenix will follow up their smash hit with Joker 2, and we already know that Marvel has a Black Panther sequel in the works — so just maybe, for one or both of those properties, the second time will be the charm.