Watch Joaquin Phoenix Do a Creepy Dance in ‘Joker’ | Anatomy of a Scene

  • Published: 07 October 2019
  • A run-down bathroom with a flickering fluorescent light, a swooning piece of music and some slow, deliberate moves. Those spare ingredients go into crafting this downbeat but memorable moment from “Joker.”

    When the scene begins, Arthur Fleck (a.k.a. the Joker, played by Joaquin Phoenix) has just had an intense, life-defining moment and finds a bathroom to collect and calm himself. He does so with a dance that the director Todd Phillips said Phoenix came up with on the day of the shoot. In his narration, Phillips discusses the music (by Hildur Gudnadottir), and how he and Phoenix came to change the scene from what was in the script.

    Read the NYT review:
    More from The New York Times Video:
    Whether it's reporting on conflicts abroad and political divisions at home, or covering the latest style trends and scientific developments, New York Times video journalists provide a revealing and unforgettable view of the world. It's all the news that's fit to watch.
  • Entertainment Entertainment

Comments • 3 995

  • Jenny Sheekey
    Jenny Sheekey  36 minutes back

    This scene was Amazing

    • Luciano
      Luciano  2 hours back

      What a masterpiece in Acting. Such a Sad story. Is probably one of the most disturbing movies I have ever watched.

      • Eric Thompson
        Eric Thompson  5 hours back

        this scene was amazing

        • José Luis Fuentes Manrique

          I didn't cry with any particular scene but, jeez... Let me tell for sure that it gave me chills and goosebumps all movie long.

          Beautiful feeling to the unexpected reaction of the character to the situations presented.

          • Nat Bite
            Nat Bite  15 hours back

            This scene was so beautiful and dark. Incredible movement and score ❤

            • ThePsychopompos1
              ThePsychopompos1  20 hours back

              Most amazing movie this century.

              • James Gatsby
                James Gatsby  20 hours back

                It was beautiful.

                • Joker Motorcycle
                  Joker Motorcycle  20 hours back

                  Best joker movie 🎥 👏🌹

                  • strom trooper
                    strom trooper  22 hours back

                    If you want to see a realife Joker, you should Google for Iqram Dinzly

                    • Avalanche
                      Avalanche  1 days back

                      I cannot describe how much I loved this movie. Thanks to the whole crew; and sad to see the PC police is trying hard to bash this extraordinary movie

                      • Judy Blaha
                        Judy Blaha  2 days back

                        Great performance beautiful man

                        • badopinionsrighthere
                          badopinionsrighthere  2 days back

                          This scene and characterization was brilliant. Arthur uses dance as a form of control- control of himself, control of the situation. When you watch the movie, you'll notice he dances when he feels confident in himself and his actions. Spoilery examples in my reply

                          • Cerulean Sealpup
                            Cerulean Sealpup  2 days back

                            This scene did creep me out..i dont know why.

                            • Juan Cortez
                              Juan Cortez  2 days back

                              Like Apocalypse Now.

                              • Gold
                                Gold  2 days back

                                Am I the only one who cried during this scene? It was so emotional...

                                • Kräuterseuche
                                  Kräuterseuche  2 days back

                                  This doesn't feel creepy to me. It gets this special feeling of " Oh wow, this is some deep ship."

                                  • Vince E
                                    Vince E  2 days back

                                    Imagine Jared Leto doing this scene. lol

                                    • task master
                                      task master  15 hours back

                                      @Vince E how old are you? Never seen his old movies before? He is not that bad

                                    • Vince E
                                      Vince E  16 hours back

                                      @task master so this is a good movie with a good writer. You're telling me Jared Leto would do well in this scene? Lol. Jared Leto is trash and the DC franchise let him know.

                                    • task master
                                      task master  1 days back

                                      He's a good actor with bad writer and movie. Stop being a sheep

                                  • Stas
                                    Stas  2 days back

                                    The movie is a masterpiece - bewitching and overwhelming!

                                    • Stas
                                      Stas  3 hours back

                                      @Francesca Mezzi 100% agree! :)

                                    • Francesca Mezzi
                                      Francesca Mezzi  3 hours back

                                      100% agree. Outstanding in every way a movie can be.

                                  • Azimin Shafie
                                    Azimin Shafie  2 days back

                                    Honestly, any actor who can play batman and win an oscar will be the best actor of all time.

                                    • MM M
                                      MM M  2 days back

                                      This is my favorite scene in the entire movie! You can taste the power, glory, & satisfaction of his actions. Arthur's pain of his trauma becomes justified! I had tears in my eyes & chills over my whole body!!!

                                      • skyly02
                                        skyly02  2 days back

                                        Joker is good.

                                        • Task Don
                                          Task Don  2 days back

                                          The dance fit so well into Joker's characteristic because after tasting blood for the first time in his life that he wants to celebrate by dancing. This moment is not the birth of Joker, this is the moment of rebirth of Joker. As he said later on, he doesn't have the "condition" because this is him: a natural psychopath that has been suppressed by life and society which just need a moment for him to finally break free.

                                          • Henry Gonzalez
                                            Henry Gonzalez  2 days back

                                            Man the acting was great... it was hard cord he new the moves...

                                            • kay jones
                                              kay jones  2 days back

                                              The perfect scene, tai chi joker style....

                                              • Best Gmn
                                                Best Gmn  2 days back

                                                It's so theatral...become THE personnage it's not easy...he is the 🤡. Two personnage! Thumbs'up To Phoenix♥️

                                                • docdurdin
                                                  docdurdin  2 days back

                                                  The entertainment media (in total) is very proud of how well they dance with the news media to influence and control the herd mentality of the public. Actually, the industry would agree with me that their work is exquisite and artful, although shameful and destructive. The actual JOKE is on you. For the youth who are blinded by an entrained obsessive need for acceptance, this work is genius. If you haven't noticed, most actors today have a different avenue of training. They have been stripped of any real personality, left only with an alter ego created by the industry in control, like trained animals. The real wake up call came from the LAST JOKER..... Might you wonder what really happened to him? There are no exits from the deal.

                                                  • rhyka101
                                                    rhyka101  2 days back

                                                    I saw the film last night. Superbly directed and an amazing performance from Phoenix. Twists that hit you hard and unapologetic violence. Homages to previous movies and thought provoking social commentary. The use of a cello and the music score overall beautifully matches the moods created.

                                                    • BeeHugger 7
                                                      BeeHugger 7  3 days back

                                                      This is better titled
                                                      " joker does qi gong"🙃

                                                      • MALi Moor
                                                        MALi Moor  3 days back

                                                        The dance of change.

                                                        • PITUFINA
                                                          PITUFINA  3 days back

                                                          Masterpiece Phoenix !!! Hopefully will win the Oscar

                                                          • Chris Mequet
                                                            Chris Mequet  3 days back

                                                            I wish that Todd waited like 1 more week to talk about the behind the scenes stuff. Only for the simple fact that some people might have not seen this before watching the movie.

                                                            • Simple Figure
                                                              Simple Figure  3 days back

                                                              Wanna hear a joke?

                                                              Joker 68%
                                                              Batwoman 69%

                                                              • task master
                                                                task master  1 days back

                                                                That perfectly represent "society"

                                                              • the shuriken
                                                                the shuriken  1 days back

                                                                you mean from Rotten Tomatoes? I will never believed that website, they rated Avengers Endgame 94% and Joker 68%, are they a bunch of elementary kids?

                                                            • guritza80
                                                              guritza80  3 days back

                                                              Genius ♡

                                                              • Day One
                                                                Day One  3 days back

                                                                This is THE best movie of 2019 ! Bring in the oscars

                                                                • David P
                                                                  David P  3 days back

                                                                  Ever dance with the Devil in the pale bathroom light?

                                                                  • Mohammad Albeshari
                                                                    Mohammad Albeshari  3 days back

                                                                    I love this movie

                                                                    • oshitomaha
                                                                      oshitomaha  3 days back

                                                                      I thought “martial arts” at first when I was at a theater.

                                                                      • A P
                                                                        A P  4 days back

                                                                        Nothing creepy about his dance

                                                                        It’s quite beautiful... like tai chi

                                                                        • Venom
                                                                          Venom  4 days back

                                                                          Venom Vs Joker?

                                                                          • Bray Bay
                                                                            Bray Bay  4 days back

                                                                            Joaquin as Joker as Thom Yorke in Lotus Flower.

                                                                            • Leontief Modell
                                                                              Leontief Modell  4 days back

                                                                              That was one of the most striking scenes of the movies, to me.

                                                                              All alone by himself, able to express something he would never express when being surrounded by other people, in a way venting his sanity and pulling in the madness through his almost ballet-like dance moves. It's like when you've hit the right amount of drunkenness, where you feel everything upped to 11 and don't feel drunk yet. So intimate. The haunting cello soundtrack, as well as the lighting and particularly the camera work, make this such a special moment. When everything just aligns perfectly.

                                                                              When I walked out of the theater a week ago I said to my friends:"What you have just witnessed is a performance you only get to see every 10-20 years. We can really feel blessed to have seen this."

                                                                              • Martin Macdonald
                                                                                Martin Macdonald  4 days back

                                                                                Critics say: Joker is a derivative mess that glorifies violence
                                                                                Critics think: Woke orthodoxy dictates that mentally-ill white males shall have no help or sympathy, fathers are not necessary in their children's lives, eat-the-rich is a noble goal, it's all Trump's fault. I'd better pan this masterpiece.

                                                                                • Giusy Anastasi
                                                                                  Giusy Anastasi  4 days back

                                                                                  Capolavoro assoluto

                                                                                  • monai
                                                                                    monai  4 days back

                                                                                    I saw this scene and the first word that came to mind was "glory." In this particular moment, I feel like the "Joker" was born. Those larger than life movements AND the way he revels at himself in the mirror, ugh, just brilliant.

                                                                                    • Adeline
                                                                                      Adeline  4 days back

                                                                                      This movie is so good that I'm seriously a little scared of knowing too much about it but still I wanna know more about it

                                                                                      • Elaine Clements Finn
                                                                                        Elaine Clements Finn  4 days back

                                                                                        Unfortunately it's very relatable for me.

                                                                                        • southpakrules
                                                                                          southpakrules  4 days back

                                                                                          Joker Critics score 69%
                                                                                          Ghostbusters 2016 Critics score 74%.
                                                                                          I'll just leave it at that.

                                                                                          • Jeffrey Baker
                                                                                            Jeffrey Baker  5 days back

                                                                                            I think the most pivotal and important scenes in the movie