Good luck finding a movie in 2019 that's sparked more public discussion than Todd Phillips' Joker.
Set in 1981, Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a mentally-ill, failed stand-up comedian who turns to a life of crime and chaos in Gotham City. Despite the film spawning debates on mental health, mass shootings, and the value of comic book movies, Joker is a box office smash, becoming the highest earning R-rated movie ever.
One thing isn't up for debate, and that's the dancing ability of Joker. Honestly, Phoenix's dancing is downright impressive. While The Joker displays dark, sadistic, and creepy intentions, Phoenix's moves are dazzling, sophisticated, and majestic. NY Times dance critic Gia Kourlas said Phoenix is a "great dancer" and "moves with uncultivated finesse — dreamily, animalistic, like a rock star."
In Joker, Phoenix has two memorable dance numbers: One takes place in the bathroom and the other on a set of now iconic stairs. The bathroom scene takes place after Arthur kills three men on the subway. While in his faded clown makeup, Arthur runs into a disgusting public bathroom, embraces his inner demons, and celebrates his new love for chaos with a spell-binding dance routine.
Watch Joaquin Phoenix Do a Creepy Dance in 'Joker' | Anatomy of a Scene www.youtube.com
If you've been on the Internet in the past month, you've probably already seen the second dance number, which takes place on a set of now infamous Bronx stairs. Fresh off another kill, Arthur celebrates his new love of violence by chaotically dancing down the stairs on his way to guest star on his favorite late-night talk show.
Joker - Dance On Stairs Scene (HD) www.youtube.com
Both dances are expertly crafted, but where do they stand among cinema's most memorable dance scenes?
Dirty Dancing, Final Dance
Nobody puts Baby in a corner, and nobody out dances Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. Joker's dance scenes might be memorable, but Dirty Dancing has an enrapturing dance number that culminates with the iconic lift during "(I've Had) The Time of My Life." In regards to the lift, New York City-based choreographer Sydnie Mosley said to not try it at home because of the difficulty in "finding that point of balance in the air." Good luck trying to mimic Swayze and Grey. Edge: Dirty Dancing