Since the introduction of Red Hood in 1951 by DC Comics, the Joker has gone through many menacing, bizarre iterations. Depending on how steeped in Batman knowledge or how old you are, your favored screen version of the clown prince of crime will vary. (I personally vacillate between Cesar Romero and Heath Ledger.)
Now it is Joaquin Phoenix’s turn. Having played iconic roles (Jesus, Johnny Cash) while also making bold, choice roles his very own (Doc Sportello, Freddie Quell, himself), he is a cipher wrapped in a riddle behind a curtain of smoke. He’s out there, man. And that is the kind of stuff I want to watch over and over again. The release of this film couldn’t come sooner. So in the meanwhile, I’m going to watch Inherent Vice again while getting stoned to the bone.