I mean, the lead performance is excellent and if it weren't, the film would not have been able to make it to the finish line because aside from De Niro and the mother character, there aren't that many fully-fleshed out side characters in this. The cinematography and soundtrack are both excellent, lots of great colour contrasts and sounds. The film feels more like a character piece than a comicbook movie tbh. However, the influences of Taxi Driver and King of Comedy are rather obvious but even then it's not like the film is a 1:1 copy of either one of them.
What is sure to cause a lot of discussion is whether the film glorifies Fleck's behaviour or not.
I think the film portrays the man as somewhat unhinged from the moment we meet him, although he is not murderous just yet and is presented as a rather pathetic and profoundly unhappy individual. As the film progresses, the unfortunate events in this guy's life are starting to pile up and increase in impact, all the while the film seemingly puts him in a position of powerlessness to withstand the tragedies in his life....until there comes a point where I realized that he had moved into the position of deliberate perpetrator and the film made sure you knew how deliberate that crime was that he committed on the subway train where it seemingly starts out as self-defense but goes to premeditated murder in an instant. To me, he was no longer a sympathetic figure at that stage. He proceeds to commit terrible acts of violence against people who the film portrays as terrible but mainly because they directly or indirectly contributed to Fleck's misery. He uses his shitty life as a justification, although he does not frame it in those terms directly and still gets called out on this by De Niro's character who is a douchebag but not a criminal by any stretch. The second-to-final scene in the streets is genuinely terrifying as I realized how truly deranged that character had become and yet he was being cheered on by thugs in clown masks who see themselves as taking on rich and powerful people while not two blocks away Bruce Wayne loses his parents. I can see the concerns other people might have with how much the film does or does not take the character to task for what he does.
I might need to revisit the film to see how I feel about it.
Nah, that's just Phoenix being Phoenix and Kimmel being Kimmel. Phoenix is a bit surprised and his usual uncomfortable self and Kimmel was a bit of a dope to play that footage but it wasn't *that* awkward or big of a deal.
As for Phillips and Co. yeah perhaps a bit shitty but who knows.
Phoenix's emotions are caught off guard to me. Dude looks genuinely upset, but like he's being forced to play it off like a joke because it's too late. The guy doesn't seem like the kind to not like seeing himself act, and seeing that was possibly genuinely uncomfortable for him.
When Phoenix "joked" about his publicist handling it the next day, that genuinely happened today. He said it was a hoax and said it was totally fake, but I'm not entirely convinced.